La Liga: Villarreal Held By Huesca, Betis Record Vital Win
Unai Emery had a disappointing return to Spanish soccer as his Villarreal side could only draw 1-1 at home to promoted Huesca in an eventful LaLiga game which had three goals ruled out and a serious-looking injury to Villarreal's Francis Coquelin.
Also on Sunday, Real Betis beat Alaves 1-0 while Real Sociedad earned a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid.
Emery's side had first-half strikes from Paco Alcacer and Raul Albiol ruled out before Pablo Maffeo, making his Huesca debut, gave the visitors the lead in the 42nd minute against the run of play.
Maffeo then gave away a penalty for handball from which Villarreal's Gerard Moreno levelled in the 68th, while new signing Coquelin, making his debut since signing from Valencia, was carried off on a stretcher with ten minutes remaining.
Huesca could have won the match in a frantic six minutes of stoppage time, as Joaquin was denied by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo before teammate Jorge Pulido put the ball in the net for the visitors but the strike was ruled out for offside.
Betis beat Alaves courtesy of a stoppage time goal from Cristian Tello, giving coach Manuel Pellegrini a winning start in his first game in charge of the Seville club.
Tello collected a pass following a short corner and cut inside on the edge of the area to unleash a left-footed strike which crept inside the near post.
Veteran goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made an impressive debut for Betis on his return to Spain after four years with Manchester City and did well to keep out a header from Alaves' Rodrigo Battaglia early in the second half.
Sergio Canales had come closest for Betis with a powerful free kick which hit the crossbar before teeing up Tello for the decisive late goal, which got former Real Madrid, Malaga and Villarreal coach Pellegrini off to an ideal start on his return to Spain after stints with Manchester City and West Ham United.
Valladolid took the lead against Sociedad in the 39th minute in the day's other game when Michel tapped into the net following fine work by Sergi Guardiola down the wing.
But they lost their lead due to a moment of madness from keeper Masip, who let a tame free kick from Roberto Lopez slip through his hands and over the line on the hour mark. (Reuters)