Elche beat Villarreal to win at last and avoid setting worst-ever losing streak in LaLiga

Pere Milla celebrates after scoring Elche's third goal in their 3-1 win over Villarreal in LaLiga in February 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LaLiga strugglers Elche beat Villarreal 3-1 on Saturday to claim their first victory of the season in the league and in the process avoided their worst-ever winless streak in the top flight.

This is Elche's centenary year and there were high hopes ahead of the new season after last term's 13th-placed finish.

But no club in Europe's top five leagues was worse off at the halfway stage, with Elche rock bottom of LaLiga after no wins, 13 defeats and six draws from their opening 19 matches.

Another loss on Saturday would have made it their worst-ever winless run in LaLiga, but Pablo Machin's men came out on top thanks to a Pere Milla hat-trick at the Martinez Valero.

Milla put Elche ahead early on and scored a penalty in each half to claim the points after Gerard Moreno had made it 1-1 midway through the first period.

Elche remain bottom of the table, 11 points behind Real Valladolid, Celta Vigo and Valencia (17th, 16th and 15th, respectively, and all still to play this weekend).

Their win leaves Serie A side Cremonese as the only club in Europe's top five leagues without a victory in the league this season.

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