Getafe beats Villarreal to extend miserable season
VILLARREAL, Spain (AP) Getafe ensured Villarreal remains in a relegation battle in the Spanish league by winning 2-1 away on Monday after goals from Diego Costa and Abdel Barrada.
A Villarreal defensive lapse allowed Getafe to score the opening goal in the sixth minute. Barrada was given space and time to find Miku inside the area, and the Venezuela striker centered for Costa to score from a tap-in.
Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya was busy after that, denying striker Nilmar before stopping Borja Valero's 18th-minute penalty after Miguel Marcos had bundled Jaume Costa to the ground.
Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna hit the crossbar in the 38th before his team finally broke through just before halftime, Nilmar scoring from the spot after the Brazil striker had been taken down by defender Cata Diaz.
Getafe dominated play after the restart and Barrada gave his team a deserved victory in the 72nd minute at the Madrigal by finishing off a move started by Castro and involving Pedro Leon.
Villarreal, which is still without Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi, created chances such as Moya saving from Valero in stoppage time.
Getafe moved eight points clear of the drop zone, while Villarreal is only three above 18th-place Racing Santander.
"This is a big step toward staying up," Getafe coach Luis Garcia said, while counterpart Jose Francisco Molina was blunt about his team's predicament: "We're in a very difficult situation."
Villarreal bowed out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey without winning a game in either competition.
Leader Real Madrid is 10 points in front of three-time defending champion Barcelona with 12 rounds remaining.
Updated March 12, 2012