Villarreal and Athletic Club had to settle for a point after playing out a 1-1 draw in a tight tussle at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday afternoon.
Karl Toko Ekambi’s second half finish for the hosts cancelled out Jaume Costa’s early own goal to earn Villarreal a point in what was a rather tedious affair.
Returning winger Ibai Gomez went close to giving Athletic the perfect start when he lobbed the ball over Sergio Asenjo but it clipped the outside of the post on its way out.
It was the Basques however that got the only goal of the first half, when Yuri Berchiche was played in down the left with his powerful low cross being diverted into his own net by defender Jaume Costa after 19 minutes.
The second half however wasn’t any better than the first, with the first real action resulting in the equaliser for the Yellow Submarine.
Alfonso Pedraza fired the ball across the face of goal where it was turned home by Ekambi to the delight of the home support.
There was some late controversy when Yuri squared to Iñaki Williams to tap home but VAR ruled that the left back was offside, although it was an extremely tight call as the Athletic players protested.
They had one final chance in stoppage time but substitute Gorka Guruzeta could only glance his header wide.
The draw sees Athletic climb to 13th for the time being while Villarreal remain in the relegation zone.
Villarreal: Asenjo; Gaspar, Funes Mori, Alvaro, Costa (Pedraza, 58); Fornals (Chukwueze, 59), Trigueros, Iborra, Cazorla; Ekambi, Moreno (Bacca, 66)
Athletic Club: Herrerin; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; Garcia, Beñat (San Jose, 73); Ibai (De Marcos, 76), Muniain, Cordoba; Williams (Guruzeta, 90)