Villarreal’s unbeaten start to the La Liga season came to an unfortunate end on Sunday no thanks to a second-half strike by Rodri, enough to earn Real Betis a 1-0 victory.
Chukwueze's Villarreal falter at Real Betis, lose first league game of season
After five league games, and scoring nine goals, Villarreal conceded their first league goal this season.
After grabbing a goal and two assist in Villarreal's last two game - in the league and Conference League - Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze, featured again, but was unable to replicate his form as Betis earned their seventh win in ten home games.
The harsh weather and the slick ground at the Benito Villamarn caused Villarreal's Gerard Moreno to lose his footing as his attempt - the first of the game - from inside the box was stopped.
Giovani Lo Celso then wasted another glorious chance for the visitors, as Rui Silva dashed off his line and made a superb stop, before Moreno failed to hit the target from close range.
Betis were struggling to get into the game, but they did see a Rodri shot saved, while Youssouf Sabaly blazed harmlessly off target from distance.
The hosts should have been behind at the break though, as Nicolas Jackson missed two huge chances and Moreno had a thumping drive from the edge of the area well saved.
Manuel Pellegrini must have given his side a stern talking to at half-time, as they were dominant in the second half.
Borja Iglesias spurned one chance, hammering just past the post from inside the area, but they took the lead with their next shot when Rodri steered home a stunning, fierce right-wing cross from Luiz Henrique.
That was the first league goal Villarreal had conceded this season, and a second nearly followed moments later when Henrique saw a shot of his own saved.
At the other end, substitute Francis Coquelin dragged an effort just wide from 20 yards, but the visitors lacked the cutting edge they had earlier enjoyed, allowing Betis to win for only the second time in seven head-to-head meetings.