After back-to-back defeats in his first two league game in charge of the club, Quique Setien picked up his first victory as Villarreal manager on Wednesday, edging Espanyol in a 1-0 affair.
Setien features Chukwueze for all 90 minutes as Villarreal return to winning ways
Setien had already come under fire for his results as Villarreal's boss, despite being on the job a little over 15 days.
The win meant that the Yellow Submarine ended a winless run of six La Liga matches on the road, finishing their pre-World Cup campaign on a high.
Setien once again, started Nigeria's Samuel Chukwueze, leaving him on the pitch for the entirety of the game.
Prior, Setien had already come under fire for his results as Villarreal's boss, despite being on the job a little over 15 days.
The midweek games saw his team come close to grabbing a halftime lead, but Espanyol goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte saved Yeremy Pino's driven shot with a brilliant stop from close range.
At the time, Setien may have felt unlucky, but luck would smile on the Yellow Submarine boss as his side took the lead thanks to an own goal by Lecomte midway through the second half.
The Espanyol goalkeeper who was unable to react quickly to Alberto Moreno’s cutback, could do little but watch as the ball rebounded off him and into the back of the net.
Last victorious on the road in La Liga over two months ago, the temptation of three points forced Villarreal to retreat, with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli called upon numerous times.
First, he pulled off a fabulous save to deny Keidi Bare with an instinctive move. Moments later, the 30-year-old made another save to smother Oscar Gil’s well-struck effort.
Setien's Villarreal eventually saw out the rest of the game without conceding, with the Yellow Submarine moving into the top eight ahead of the World Cup break.