Villarreal midfielder Manu Trigueros has said he is delighted his side are back in the Champions League qualifying places after beating Atletico Madrid 3-0 on Monday.
After taking only one point from their previous three league games, Villarreal turned in a strong performance at El Madrigal to leapfrog Atletico and climb to fourth place in La Liga.
Trigueros, who opened the scoring with his third league goal of the season, told Onda Cero radio: "This has been our best game of the season.
"To beat a team like Atletico Madrid is very difficult, and we all handed in a complete performance to win.
"We dominated the encounter and we were very solid defensively. I'm just very happy to have helped the team.
"We have returned to be fourth and we are delighted. It's difficult to defend this position, but we need to do that."
Villarreal have the best defence in La Liga with just 10 goals conceded, four fewer than leaders Real Madrid.
They have progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League and will face Roma in the next round.
Fran Escriba's side are away to Sporting Gijon on Saturday in their last league game before the winter break and end 2016 at home to Toledo in the Copa del Reyon Dec. 20, a tie in which they hold a 3-0 advantage.