Villarreal moved above Real Madrid and into the top four in La Liga after a 2-1 win over Levante on Saturday that piled more pressure on the struggling champions’ coach Zinedine Zidane.
Valencia had two players sent off as they fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Las Palmas, while Atletico Madrid gave leaders Barcelona the chance to pull 11 points clear after only drawing 1-1 with Girona.
Cheryshev’s tap-in, the first goal in La Liga for the injury-plagued attacker since March 2016, sealed the deal against Levante, who pulled one back with a stoppage-time penalty from Roger.
Antoine Griezmann’s first goal in six league games wasn’t enough for Atletico as they drew 1-1 with Girona and gave Barcelona a chance to extend their lead at the top.
Atletico stay second on 43 points, three points ahead of Valencia after their surprise defeat in a temperamental affair at Las Palmas, which saw defender Gabriel booked twice for dissent after giving away the host’s winning penalty and then his centre-back partner Ruben Vezo sent off with three minutes left for elbowing spot-kick scorer Jonathan Calleri.
Costa made his mark again on Saturday, with his second assist since returning from Chelsea adding to his three goals in five games in all competitions.