Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo remarkably saved two penalties as his team narrowly defeated Getafe thanks to an early goal from Enes Ünal in a breathless contest at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
In the third minute, the Turkish forward bundled home from close range after Samu Castillejo’s defence-splitting pass was collected by Carlos Bacca who in turn found the onrushing striker.
Roberto Soriano could have added to the first half advantage, but he drove the ball straight at Getafe stopper Vicente Guaita.
The away side had a golden opportunity to draw level, but after Djené Dakonam was hacked down by Javi Fuego in the box, Ángel Rodríguez saw his subsequent penalty well saved by Asenjo.
There was a strong shout for another penalty in the aftermath of the save, but the referee was unmoved despite the ball appearing to hit defender Jaume Costa’s outstretched arm.
Costa was not so fortunate in the second half, as this time his trip on Jorge Molina resulted in another opportunity for Getafe to score from 12 yards.
But incredibly, Asenjo pushed away Molina’s unconvincing penalty to maintain Villarreal’s delicate lead once again.
Ünal almost grabbed himself a second goal, but his powerful low strike was brilliantly saved from a tight angle.
Getafe had one more chance to snatch a point, but Amath Ndiaye fired wide of the top-right corner, after the Senegalese attacker had time and space on the edge of the area.
The result represents a first win in four matches for Villarreal who stand fifth in La Liga. For Getafe, the loss carries an added bitterness considering they wasted two glorious opportunities.
In midweek, Villarreal travel north to play Eibar. For Getafe, they welcome Deportivo to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.
Villarreal: Asenjo; Rukavina, Bonera, Ruiz, Costa; Castillejo (Rabaseda 71’), Fuego, Trigueros (Hernández 57’), Soriano; Ünal, Bacca (Fornals 81’).
Getafe: Guaita; Molinero, Djené Dakonam, González Cabrera, Antunes; Arambarri, Fajr, Portillo (Ndockyt 69’), Shibasaki (Molina 45’), Remy (Amath 69’); Ángel.