La Liga Round 8 Results: Malaga's impressive start continues, Falcao nets winner for Atletico Madrid
Manuel Pellegrini's high-flying side maintain their superb record, while Atleti had their Colombian hit-man to thank for the points in San Sebastian
By Martin Macdonald
A goal each from Isco and Joaquin enabled Malaga to come from behind to earn a 2-1 home victory against Valladolid at La Rosaleda on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts did not get off to the best of starts, as Manucho put Valladolid ahead in the ninth minute. The Angolan latched on to a loose ball in the penalty area to slot home after goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved a strike from Omar Ramos.
However, Isco was at the heart of the best play in the match and equalised eight minutes before half-time when he took down Eliseu’s cross into the area with ease, before placing the ball into the bottom corner.
Joaquin missed a penalty with five minutes remaining but atoned for his error two minutes later, when he reacted quickest inside the area find the net after Valladolid goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez parried a header from Martin Demichelis.
Two last-gasp goals from Tino Costa and Nelson Valdez saw Valencia steal the points in a 3-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night.
It was the away side who struck first just before the 20-minute mark when Aritz Aduriz fired home with a left-footed strike from the edge of the area, but Valencia reacted quickly to equalise seven minutes later through Roberto Soldado's penalty.
Aduriz would strike again on the half-hour mark when he stabbed home from six yards following a corner kick from Inigo Perez.
However, the tide would turn when Ander Herrera was sent off for petulantly kicking out, and Valencia took advantage. A close-range strike from Costa and a stunning header from Valdez within the last five minutes were enough for Los Che to snatch victory from under the noses of Athletic.
|Levante pulled off a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory over Getafe, despite the hosts dominating the contest.
Diego Castro's arrival as a second-half substitute had the most impact for Luis Garcia's side, but in the end his efforts were in vain when Michel's speculative effort from distance, with three minutes to go, flashed past Miguel Moya and into the net.
|A late strike from Christian Stuani earned Espanyol a victory against a stubborn Rayo side in Catalunya.
Leo Baptistao was the first to find the net, squeezing a rebound over the line after his initial effort was blocked, but the influential Verdu struck either side of half-time to put the hosts back into the lead.
Rayo remained firmly in the contest, however, and Leo took advantage of Alejandro Dominguez's weaving run to drive into the net from inside the area.
A crazy closing spell to the match saw both Mikel Labaka and Diego Colotto dismissed to leave both sides with 10 men, but there was still time for Stuani to leap highest in the area and power home Sergio Garcia's cross to clinch a precious three points.
|Zaragoza edged clear of the relegation positions in La Liga after a strong first-half performance was enough to see off Granada.
Helder Postiga's excellent header after just three minutes set the tone for the visitors, and they deservedly doubled their lead when Victor Rodriguez slotted home from close-range before the half-hour mark.
Iriney was then sent off for the hosts to compound their misery, and despite snatching a consolation courtesy of Youssef El Arabi, Granada have fallen below Zaragoza in the table, just two points above the relegation positions.
|Osasuna were unable to lift themselves from the foot of the Primera Division table as they were held to a lacklustre 0-0 draw at home to Betis.
The men from Pamplona had the better of the contest, with Alejandro Arribas and Emiliano Armenteros both going close, but were unable to find a breakthrough and remain on just five points for the season, three clear of safety.
|Atletico Madrid's impressive start to the season continued, but they were made to wait until their talisman Radamel Falcao produced a moment of brilliance in the last minute to seal a 1-0 victory.
The match had been low on chances and the Colombian had been frustrated, until his sublime free-kick found the top corner of Zubikarai's net with added time looming, to leave the Basque hosts with no time to respond.
Falcao's ninth league goal of the season means that the capital giants remain level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table, with 22 points from their eight games played.
|Sevilla twice came from behind to deservedly beat a stubborn Real Mallorca side on Monday night.
Pedro Bigas put the visitors in the lead against the run of play, knocking Giovani dos Santos' ball past the goalkeeper with his first touch. Alvaro Negredo smashed into the roof of the net to equalise but Tomer Hemed showed impressive physicality to exploit the hosts' high defensive line and score.
Sevilla came out after half-time determined to get a result and Negredo nodded in his second to level the tie, before defender Cicinho scored a terrific (albeit deflected) volley to seal the win.
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