Florin Andone’s late header earned Deportivo a precious point away to Villarreal in a closely-fought battle at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
The visitors fell behind to Enes Ünal’s first half goal, but responded with ten minutes remaining to ensure a morale-boosting result in their quest to remain in La Liga.
Deportivo carved out the game’s first presentable opportunity, but defender Raúl Albentosa fired over the crossbar after Adrián López’s intelligent pass found him free in the Villarreal box.
Villarreal striker Carlos Bacca tested goalkeeper Rubén Martínez with a distant effort as the hosts began to gradually find their feet in the game.
The striker was again involved for the match’s opening goal, as he squared the ball for striker Ünal to sweep home after a flowing move also involving Pablo Fornals.
Deportivo could have levelled the scores before half-time, but striker Andone’s low shot was thwarted by goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
After the break, Villarreal came close to putting the game beyond the Galician’s reach, but Samu Castillejo’s curling effort was too central to trouble Rúben.
The Yellow Submarine would rue their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal, and were nearly punished by the impressive López, but his shot from a narrow angle was saved.
Deportivo finally clinched their just reward through Andone’s precise header, after centre-back Sidnei was allowed to maraud through Villarreal’s defence and pick out the Romanian.
The result lifts Deportivo above the relegation zone, while Villarreal are placed 6th in the league standings.