Villarreal 1-0 Mallorca: Early Carlos Bacca finish keeps chase for Europe alive for hosts as Mallorca miss the chance to move out of the relegation zone in second straight LaLiga defeat
- Carlos Bacca scored the winner as Villarreal won at home to Mallorca in La Liga
- The Colombian striker finished from a Samuel Chukwueze cross after 16 minutes
- Villarreal moved up to seventh and are two points short of a Europa League spot
- Relegation-threatened Mallorca remain third-bottom and are a point from safety
Villarreal kept alive their hopes of claiming a Europa League qualifying berth after a first-half goal by striker Carlos Bacca gave them a 1-0 home win over struggling Mallorca in La Liga on Tuesday.
The result lifted Villarreal two places to seventh on 44 points from 29 games, two behind sixth-placed Atletico Madrid who have a game in hand. Mallorca stayed 18th on 25 points as the defeat dented their hopes of avoiding relegation.
A darting run and cross from Samuel Chukwueze left Bacca with a simple tap-in from two metres at the far post in the 16th minute, after Mallorca’s Idrissu Baba had rattled the crossbar with a thunderbolt from 30 metres at the other end.
Villarreal and Mallorca stars stand to honour those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic
Stewards wore masks and El Madrigal was empty as the sides continued their return to action
The lively Chukwueze fired wide after a solo run shortly after the break and visiting goalkeeper Manolo Reina saved a Manuel Trigueros shot before Mallorca missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise.
Substitute Aleksandar Trajkovski’s fine footwork and cross left Juan Hernandez unmarked at the far post but the forward sliced his shot wide from six metres with the goal at his mercy.
Home keeper Sergio Asenjo kept out a fierce Ante Budimir shot and Villarreal cleared the ball off the line in the closing stages as Mallorca piled on the pressure but were unable to find a way through.
Villarreal striker Carlos Bacca applies the finish to give his side an early lead against Mallorca
Cardboard cutouts of Villarreal fans lined the stands to provide a sense of support for the side
Mallorca remained a mere two points off the bottom of La Liga after slipping to a narrow defeat
The hosts held on for a potentially vital win in their quest for European qualification this term