La Liga Round 22 Results: Atletico maintain perfect home record
Diego Simeone's men continued their 100 per cent record at the Vicente Calderon, meanwhile there was wins for Sevilla, Real Sociedad, and Espanyol
By Martin Macdonald
Athletic Bilbao came back from two goals down to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with Real Valladolid in La Liga on Friday evening.
Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit got off to the worst possible start, and found themselves two down within the first 15 minutes. Javi Guerra headed in from Antonio Rukavina's cross and Alberto Bueno finished from close range to give Valladolid an early lead.
However, the Basque side clawed a goal back just seven minutes later. Markel Susaeta crossed in from the right and Oscar De Marcos got in front of his marker to direct a volley into the bottom left corner.
The comeback was complete five minutes into the second period when Aritz Aduriz glanced a header to the back post, and Susaeta was there to smash home and earn a point for Athletic.OSASUNA 1-0 CELTA VIGO
A solitary strike from Emiliano Armenteros gave Osasuna a vital 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo at Reyno de Navarra on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts were the first to threaten midway through the first half. Alvaro Cejudo crossed into the centre and Armenteros powered a header towards goal, but his attempt crashed off the woodwork.
The breakthrough eventually came 10 minutes into the second half when the ball broke to Armenteros at the back post and the former Rayo man lashed a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
Celta grew into the match as the second half wore on, but the home side ultimately held out for their important win, which lifts them out of the relegation zone.GETAFE 3-1 DEPORTIVO
Getafe came from a goal down and a man down to record their first win in 10 games with a 3-1 victory over Deportivo at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
The hosts got off to the worst start imaginable, and found themselves a goal down with a man sent off after just 12 minutes. Miguel Angel Moya saw red for bringing down Riki inside the area, and Pizzi stepped up to convert the penalty.
An unlikely comeback was on 13 minutes later when Diego Castro netted a penalty of his own after Ze Castro fouled Abdel Barrada inside the box.
Things took a turn for the worst for Depor 20 minutes from time when Abel Aguilar was shown a second yellow card, with both sides going down to 10 men.
Alvaro Vasquez hit a driven shot into the right corner and Adrian Colunga smashed high into the net inside the last 10 minutes to complete the comeback, and seal the three points.ESPANYOL 3-2 LEVANTE
Espanyol continued their ascendancy up the Spanish Primera Division with a 3-2 victory over Levante in an entertaining affair at Cornella-El Prat on Saturday evening.
The hosts had the better of the first half, and it was an unlikely source that eventually saw them take the lead. Levante defender David Navarro headed off the unfortunate Vicente Iborra, and the ball bounced over the line.
The visitors fought back, though, and were on level terms just after the break when Ruben got in behind the Espanyol defence to arch a header over the line.
However, the goal did not seem to deter the Barcelona outfit, and they scored two goals in two minutes to go 3-1 up. Christian Stuani headed home and Sergio Garcia coolly slotted into the corner to give the hosts a healthy lead.
Obafemi Martins scored with a superb finish three minutes from time, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
MALAGA 1-1 ZARAGOZA
Zaragoza further distanced themselves from the relegation zone with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Malaga on Sunday morning.
The visitors took the lead after just 13 minutes when Helder Postiga expertly finished into the bottom corner following Manuel Fernandez's cross. However, Malaga struck back just 10 minutes later when Javier Paredes handled inside the area, and Isco dispatched the resulting penalty.
Manolo Jimenez’s men had the better of the second period and were unlucky not to take the lead 10 minutes into the half when Apono’s free-kick struck the woodwork.
One positive for Malaga was the return from injury of Julio Baptista, but ultimately, they had to settle for a point.
SEVILLA 2-1 RAYO VALLECANO
Sevilla won their fourth consecutive home game with a 2-1 victory over Rayo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts dominated the early proceedings, but they didn’t take the lead until just before the break. Ruben Martinez rushed out from his goal to clear but the ball broke straight to Ivan Rakitic, who lobbed the Rayo goalkeeper from 40 yards.
However, the visitors quickly got back into the match just five minutes after the break. Fernando Navarro pulled down Alejandro Dominguez and the Argentine dusted himself off to convert the spot kick.
Alvaro Negredo restored the lead only three minutes later, though. The Sevilla man got in front of his marker to turn Coke’s low cross past Ruben, a goal which earned the three points for the home side.
ATLETICO MADRID 1-0 BETIS
Atletico Madrid maintained their perfect La Liga home record and closed the gap between themselves and Barcelona at the top of the table to nine points with a narrow 1-0 victory over Betis on Sunday evening.
The first half was a relative non-event with neither goalkeeper being taxed too much between the sticks. The match sprang into life just after the hour mark when substitute Diego Costa scored from close range to give the hosts the lead.
The Brazilian had previously raked his studs down the leg of Ruben Perez, causing a mini-brawl to erupt. He was a marked man for the rest of the match and came under some rough treatment from the hosts, but Diego Simeone’s men saw out the win for a vital three points.
REAL SOCIEDAD 3-0 MALLORCA
Real Sociedad netted three goals in the second period to come out 3-0 winners over struggling Mallorca at the Anoeta.
Javi Marquez was dismissed in the first half, ensuring a tough night would be in store for the Islanders.
The hosts eventually took the lead 10 minutes into the second period when Juan Catalayud’s palmed save broke straight to Gonzalo Castro, who tucked home for the opening goal. Carlos Vela made it two 20 minutes from time when he stroked in from Ruben Pardo’s cross.
Diego Ifran sealed the win two minutes before the full-time whistle when he passed the ball home from 12 yards.
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