Pablo Fornals away goal has given Villarreal hope but their Europa League hopes teeter on the edge following a 3-1 defeat at Lyon.
The midfielder struck just after the hour mark to salvage something from a dreadful second half for the Yellow Submarine, after two quickfire goals put them on the backfoot.
Tanguy Ndombele opened the scoring at the far-post inside a minute after the break before Nabil Fekir’s long-range strike double the French side’s lead three minutes later.
Fornals then completed a swooping counter-attack to give Villarreal hope but Lyon extended their lead in the final ten minutes through Memphis Depay.
The second leg at Estadio La Ceramica takes place next week, with the Spanish side facing an uphill task.