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La Liga Round 29 Results: Real Sociedad stretch unbeaten run to 11 with draw at Espanyol
Philippe Montanier's men equalised late on courtesy of a fortunate own goal from Javi Lopez, to preserve their impressive form and stay one point ahead of Malaga in fourth place
By Martin Macdonald and Charlie Scott
Malaga's hopes of finishing fourth in the Spanish Primera Division were given a boost on Saturday afternoon as they came out comfortable 3-1 winners over Rayo at Vallecas.
The hosts started the match brightly, but Manuel Pellegrini's men quickly turned the tide and opened the scoring 21 minutes into play. January loan signing, Pedro Morales, whipped a free kick to the back post and Weligton was on hand to head home past David Cobeno.
However, the Madrid-based side looked unfazed by going behind, and quickly registered a goal to make it level. Tito went on an overlapping run into the penalty area but as he attempted to round Willy Caballero, the Argentine keeper brought him down and the hosts were given a penalty. Piti smashed home the spot kick to even the game.
Lass Bangoura and Jose Carlos both squandered opportunities to give their side the lead before the break, which would soon see Rayo punished.
One again, Morales provided the assist for Malaga. The Chilean swung in a corner kick and Julio Baptista rose high to power home his first goal for one-and-a-half years.
Morales rounded off the match and a superb debut start for Malaga with a cracking finish with four minutes to go, ensuring Los Boquerones took all three points.
LEVANTE 1-0 SEVILLA
A solitary strike from Ruben Garcia gave Levante their first win since the end of January as Juan Ignacio Martínez's outfit came out narrow 1-0 winners over Sevilla at Ciutat de Valencia.
The hosts tested Antonio Beto early doors. Michel curled in a corner kick from the right-hand side and Vicente Iborra shrugged off challenges to bullet a header at goal, but the Sevilla keeper managed to palm the ball to safety.
However, there was nothing he could do to stop Levante taking the lead five minutes before the break.
Garcia collected possession 25 yards from goal and rifled a strike into the bottom right corner, giving Beto no chance.
It was then Gustavo Munua's turn to keep his side in the match. The Levante goalkeeper somehow got across goal to deny Jesus Navas' close-range strike and then managed to turn away a powerful Alvaro Negredo effort.
Sevilla probed for an equaliser, but the home side held on for the win, which takes them above their opponents in the table.
VALLADOLID 1-3 OSASUNA
Osasuna distanced themselves from the relegation zone with a 3-1 comeback win over Real Valladolid at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Sunday morning.
Both sides looked relatively comfortable in the opening few minutes, but Valladolid took the lead on 11 minutes thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Ruben Gonzalez. The Osasuna defender failed to communicate with team-mate Andres Fernandez and deflected a header into his own net, leaving the keeper with no chance.
The rest of the first half was end-to-end with both sides looking dangerous, but it wasn't until five minutes into the second half when the visitors equalised. Miguel de las Cuevas's strike was parried by Dani Hernandez, which allowed Kike Sola to score with a diving header.
Ten minutes later the match was turned on its head. Hernandez cleared the ball out of the box with a punch, but found himself out of position as the ball came back inside, allowing Sola to glance home with his back to goal.
The match was put beyond Valladolid nine minutes later when De las Cuevas robbed the ball in the middle of the park before galloping forward and coolly slotting home.
MALLORCA 2-3 DEPORTIVO
Deportivo moved within one point of their rivals at the bottom of La Liga with a 3-2 away victory over Mallorca in a relegation six-pointer at the Iberostar Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Fernando Vazquez's men were four points adrift of the Islanders before play, but were coming off a vital 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers, Celta Vigo, last week.
They didn't get off to the best of starts as Victor Casadesus gave the hosts the lead 19 minutes in. The 28-year-old latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the box and slid a shot at goal, and the deflected effort gave Daniel Aranzubia no chance.
However, a turnaround either side of the break saw Depor go 2-1 up. Silvio went on a superb solo run down the left-hand side and cut inside before lashing a strike into the bottom right corner. Then, three minutes after the re-start, Carlos Marchena found himself in the right place at the right time to stab home from close range.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Pizzi's strike was saved by Dudu Aouate, allowing Riki to nod home from a few yards.
Emilio Nsue squeezed home from a yard with four minutes to go to make it 3-2, but the damage had already been done and Deportivo escaped with the points.
ESPANYOL 2-2 REAL SOCIEDAD
Sergio Garcia gave the home side a 1-0 lead after nine minutes, when he got the vital touch to divert Simao's devilish cross past Enaut Zubikarai.
That advantage did not last long though, as the visitors equalised midway through the half through David Zurutuza. The attacking midfielder produced a delightful finish to lob Espanyol's Kiko Casilla after the goalkeeper's clearance fell straight to him.
Javier Aguirre's team restored their lead shortly before the interval when Christian Stuani flicked a deft effort into the net after strong build-up play from Garcia, but Sociedad hit back in fortuitous fashion 14 minutes from the end when Espanyol's Javi Lopez turned the ball past his own goalkeeper.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match