Atletico Madrid leapfrogged Sevilla into third place with victory over Malaga, while Aritz Aduriz scored his 100th La Liga goal for Athletic Bilbao at Osasuna.
Villarreal 2-3 Eibar
Eibar knocked two birds with one stone as they not only killed off Villarreal’s Champions League hopes but left them with a fight to stay in La Liga’s top six.
A high-scoring game was promised – and delivered – at La Ceramica, given Villarreal were without their first-choice goalkeeper and centre-back in Sergio Asenjo and Mateo Musacchio, while Eibar had not registered a clean sheet since mid-February.
The hosts took an early lead through Roberto Soriano, who headed in Mario Gaspar’s cross at the far post, before the bar denied Roberto Soldado’s piledriver from making it 2-0.
Controversy reared its ugly head when Kike Garcia won a penalty that Pedro Leon converted, despite no contact from nearest challenger Alvaro Gonzalez.
The Yellow Submarine were then robbed of a clear penalty as Fabian Lejeune’s outstretched hand blocked another Mario cross from the right, only for the referee to disagree.
From that, Eibar went 2-1 up through Kike’s near-post finish, before Takashi Inui – criticised by his Coach before the game – served a helping of humble pie, dispossessing Jonathan dos Santos near the Villarreal box and clipping a shot into the top-left corner.
The Basques’ afternoon, however, was tarnished by Soriano’s late consolation and Anaitz Arbilla being stretched off with an ankle injury.
Osasuna 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao moved to within a point of La Liga’s top six as they secured a 2-1 win at basement boys Osasuna, who are now unbeaten in four games.
Aritz Aduriz got Athletic’s ball rolling, finishing off a low cross from the right for his 100th League goal in Los Leones colours.
Osasuna were not without their chances, however, as Emmanuel Riviere had a header saved on the line by Kepa Arrizabalaga, before a cross-shot smacked the goalkeeper’s bar.
Nonetheless, Inaki Williams was on hand to turn a through ball into a one-on-one and slip a finish past Salvatore Sirigu just before half-time.
Aduriz’s lobbed effort with only the Italian to beat whistled wide, making for a nail-biting finale as Sergio Leon sent a lovely finish across Kepa for his eighth League goal of the season.
Real Sociedad 1-1 Leganes
Real Sociedad climbed to fifth but saw their Champions League chances dashed after a 1-1 draw with Leganes on Saturday.
Mikel Oyarzabal’s close-range finish was pushed away by Athletic Bilbao-owned Iago Herrerin, but Juanmi missed the rebound from even nearer.
At the other end, Alexander Szymanowski blasted the ball high when it was easier to score but eventually hit Gero Rulli’s bar with a second bite of the cherry.
Lega’s form has improved in tandem with Szymanowski’s return from injury, and the Argentine netted a ‘golazo’, lobbing Rulli with his back to goal.
Alvaro Odriozola was not awarded a penalty, despite being chopped down in the box by Diego Rico, before Igor Zubeldia fired a long-range effort just over.
However, more good work from Odriozola saw him cut into Lega’s area from the right and pull the ball back for Juanmi to draw the sides level.
It could have got even better for La Real when fit-again Willian Jose met a cross at the near post, but the top scorer could only shin the ball into Herrerin’s gloves.
Malaga 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid took back third place in La Liga with a 2-0 victory over Malaga on Saturday as Los Colchoneros extended their winning streak to four.
Fernando Torres assisted both of Atleti’s goals, barely a month after his head injury. The striker turned into Malaga’s D and inadvertently laid off Koke for a drilled finish.
Keko then came close to scoring one of the goals of the season, but his backheeled effort from a right-wing cross went straight at Jan Oblak.
A sweeping Rojiblancos move reached Torres, who held the ball up for Antoine Griezmann, but the Frenchman shot wide of the target.
Filipe Luis fared better, however, as he latched onto the former Liverpool and Chelsea man’s through ball and chipped a finish over Carlos Kameni.
Diego Llorente should have pulled one back for Malaga when he sent a free header wide from a free kick, while Oblak was at full-stretch to deny substitute Michael Santos.