Villarreal's hopes of pipping local rivals Valencia to third place in the Primera Division virtually disappeared this evening as the Yellow Submarine could only manage a goalless draw at relegated Almeria.
Villarreal, who were assured of a top-four finish by Athletic Bilbao's defeat last night, remained five points behind Valencia heading into the final two games of the season after Los Che played out a 2-2 draw at Espanyol.
The Yellow Submarine complete their campaign with games against Real Madrid and Osasuna, while Valencia - who also boast the better head-to-head record against their neighbours this season - take on Levante and Deportivo La Coruna.
Villarreal started well and might well have been out of sight inside the opening 25 minutes with Nilmar (three times) and Borja Valero going close, but Almeria goalkeeper Esteban Suarez helped to keep his side on level terms.
Almeria then had a decent chance to take the lead in the 25th minute when the ball dropped over Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio's shoulder to Antonio Luna but, with only Diego Lopez to beat, he blazed high over the crossbar.
The second half again saw Villarreal start the stronger with Musacchio heading just wide, but the visitors survived a huge let-off in the 52nd minute when Carlos Garcia saw his thumping header crash back off the crossbar and, in the ensuing scramble, Marcelo Silva fired over.
Almeria striker Leonardo Ulloa was then denied by Lopez before Luna had a goal ruled out for offside as the home side sought a big-name scalp before bidding farewell to the top flight.
Corona was another player who was saw an effort saved by Lopez late on as the game finished goalless.