|Rossi's winner ended a four-game winless streak for Villarreal [AFP]
Villarreal put their bid for a Champions League spot back on track when Giuseppe Rossi scored his 22nd goal of the season to give his team a 1-0 win over Hercules in Spain’s Primera Division on Wednesday.
The Italy forward sped on to Cani's through ball in the 21st minute at the Madrigal and finished past Juan Calatayud to lift Villarreal to 50 points from 26 matches, ending their four-game winless streak.
Hercules have not scored an away goal since October 24 - a stretch of 11 games.
Ikechukwu Uche scored his first goal since May 2009 to give Zaragoza a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao, who have lost four straight matches.
Uche had missed most of the past two seasons after separate injuries to his same left knee, but the Nigeria striker showed in the 55th that he hasn't lost his abilities, beating keeper Gorka Iraizoz from a tight angle against the run of play.
Uche was in tears as he celebrated the goal.
Five minutes earlier, Jiri Jarosik had capitalised on a poor clearance to fire an equaliser into the roof of the net, cancelling out Fernando Llorente's 18th-minute opener for Bilbao. It was Spain striker Llorente's 15th goal of the season.
Zaragoza moved out of the relegation places with their first victory in five games - two points above 18th-place Sporting Gijon, who lost 3-0 at Sevilla on Tuesday.
Atletico Madrid stayed within three points of Sevilla and the last European place after Brazilian midfielder Elias' 81st-minute header secured a 1-1 draw at Getafe.
The hosts had gone ahead after three minutes through Manu del Moral. Getafe are five points behind seventh-place Sevilla.
Asier del Horno's left-footed blast in the 77th saw Levante draw 1-1 at Real Sociedad, who took a 53rd-minute lead at the Anoeta Stadium through David Zurutuzu.
Also, Osasuna and Deportivo La Coruna drew 0-0.