Samuel Chukwueze played his part as Villarreal defeated newly promoted Almera 2-1 in dramatic circumstances, extending their unbeaten home run to four league games.
Chukwueze's Villarreal come from behind to secure 2-1 win despite painful red card
Goalscorer Alex Baena was shown a red card by the referee while celebrating his equalizer for Villarreal, against Almeria.
Second-half goals from Alex Baena and Nico Jackson saw the Yellow Submarine overturn Gonzalo Melero's first-half goal, ensuring that Villarreal climbs into European contention spots.
The game, however, was riddled with a controversial moment as Unai Emery's side got depleted after Baena was sent while celebrating his goal.
Almeria sting first
Despite playing in the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia due to construction at their own Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal got off to a strong start which is characteristic of their home form.
Chukwueze capitalised on the hosts' early dominance with a powerful header, but Almeria's goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco made what is likely one of the season's best saves.
Almera were in control for the majority of the first half as the Yellow Submarine struggled to get through the defence, mainly because of the massive amount of bodies the visitors committed defensively.
Not content with simply holding Villarreal, Gonzalo Melero shocked the hosts just after the half-hour mark, scoring his first goal for his new club, as the forward struck a composed finish from 15 yards.
Villarreal down to 10-men
With Unai Emery’s words ringing in their ears, the hosts came out with renewed impetus after the break and a flurry of yellow shirts descended on the visitors’ penalty area.
The resilience eventually paid off as Baena nodded in an equaliser with nearly an hour gone.
However, he went from hero to zero, at least in the eyes of the officials, as he was issued his second yellow card and marching orders for lifting his shirt in tribute to the late Villarreal vice-president Jose Manuel Llaneza.
Boos rang out around the stadium, and a shell-shocked Villarreal reverted to a defensive formation, with Manu Morlanes also seeing red for his off-field protestations.
Unsurprisingly, it was the visitors who had the brunt of the late opportunities, but Villarreal put on a brave defence, repeatedly stopping Almera, and sum the game up with a 94th-minute winner off the boots of Jackson, sending the home crowd into raptures.