Hapoel Be’er Sheva spoiled Quique Setién’s bow as Villarreal’s manager as they came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw.
A spirited performance kept the visitors in contention to qualify for the knockout stages, needing results to go their way on matchday six to secure progression.
The Yellow Submarine entered the post-Emery era in a dominant fashion, controlling the first half, but they were left frustrated in their efforts to make the breakthrough.
Samuel Chukwueze ought to have scored within the opening 15 minutes, first firing into the near post before his rebound was denied by the bar.
Arnaut Danjuma spurned a huge chance after stealing in behind, firing at the near post before the Hapoel goalkeeper tipped over.
Villarreal’s wastefulness would be punished almost immediately after the restart. Within 52 seconds of kick-off, Helder Lopes’ low cross was blocked by the outstretched arm of Aissa Mandi, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Toner Hemed stepped up and confidently dispatched from the spot, giving the visitors a surprise lead.
The Israelis’ lead would last less than 10 minutes, though, as a failure to clear an attack cost them dearly. Alberto Moreno picked up the loose ball on the edge of the area and found Chukwueze, who unleashed a first-time shot that proved too good for Glazer in the Hapoel goal.
It didn’t take Villarreal long to then take the lead for the first time on the night through the ever-dangerous Danjuma, who showed tremendous trickery to beat a man before firing a left-footed effort into the bottom corner.
Sagiv Yehezkel’s mazy dribble punctured the heart of the Yellow Submarine’s defence before slotting past Pepe Reina to stun the home faithful.
It is the first time the Spaniards dropped Points in the group stage this term.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu