Villarreal tighten grip on top four; Sevilla lose at home; Bilbao held
Villarreal strengthened their grip on fourth place as they ended their Primera Division winless streak with a 2-1 come-from-behind triumph at Eibar.
It had looked as if the Yellow Submarine's run of league games without a victory was going to stretch to five after they fell behind in the 22nd minute to Ander Capa's deflected strike.
But they were level in the 35th minute thanks to an Adrian tap-in and Roberto Soldado notched the winner five minutes into the second half.
Meanwhile, Sevilla's incredible run at home finally came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by 10-man Real Sociedad, halting a run of 13 straight league wins.
Markel Bergara headed the Basques in front after just two minutes and Grzegorz Krychowiak's own goal doubled their advantage before the break.
Kevin Gameiro pulled one back from the penalty spot early in the second half and Bergara was sent off on 67 minutes for a second booking -- but an equaliser remained elusive.
Sevilla are the only team in the league without an away win but they have stayed among the Europa League places due to their imperious home form.
Athletic Bilbao's hopes of challenging Villarreal for the fourth Champions League spot were derailed as they conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with relegation-threatened Granada.
Inigo Lekue put the dominant hosts in charge in the 27th minute and top scorer Aritz Aduriz missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Talented 18-year-old Venezuelan Adalberto Penaranda punished Athletic for their profligacy by levelling with 13 minutes left and edging Granada one point above the relegation zone, and leaving Athletic six points behind Villarreal.
Malaga benefited from a contentious penalty decision as they battled out a 1-1 draw with Espanyol at Estadio La Rosaleda.
The visitors complained heartily when referee Juan Martinez pointed to the spot following a challenge by Victor Sanchez on Juanpi in the box.
But it was to no avail, with Duje Cop converting the resulting opportunity from 12 yards in the 45th minute, cancelling out Pape Diop's 11th-minute opener in the Primera Division encounter.