Villarreal outlasts plucky Espanyol
Asenjo dove correctly to his right to deny Sergio Garcia's spot kick after Villarreal defender Gabriel Armando handled inside the area.
Villarreal led 2-0 by the 50th minute at Cornella El-Prat Stadium, starting with teenage midfielder Matias Nahuel picking out Moises Gomez's run into the area before Jeremy Perbet doubled the advantage by scoring from a through ball into the area.
Espanyol cut the advantage in half in the 77th after Jhon Cordoba powered home a low shot, but Asenjo's late heroics ensured Villarreal kept pace with fourth-place Athletic Bilbao for the league's last Champions League qualifying place.
Villarreal trails Athletic by four points. Espanyol stayed 10th.