Atletico Madrid battle past Deportivo, Nani on target in Valencia victory
Atletico Madrid were made to work hard for the 1-0 home win over 10-man Deportivo La Coruna that took them to within two points of Real Madrid at the summit of La Liga.
A solitary goal from striker Antoine Griezmann with 20 minutes remaining was enough to give Diego Simeone's side victory, with the France international turning home a Kevin Gameiro cross.
The breakthrough followed numerous missed chances, but Atleti's cause was helped when Faycal Fajr picked up two yellow cards before half-time for rash challenges, the second of them in stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Former Manchester United winger Nani scored and goalkeeper Diego Alves set a new La Liga record for penalty saves as Valencia won 2-1 at Leganes on Sunday.
Alexander Szymanowski put the home side ahead in the 21st minute after Oscar Ramos set up the chance, but Nani scored his first Valencia goal to level 13 minutes later when play was allowed to continue after it appeared goalkeeper Jon Serantes had been fouled in the buildup.
Nani then crossed for Mario Suarez to score what turned out to be the winner -- a lead preserved when Alves saved his 17th La Liga penalty, beating Andoni Zubizarreta's record, to deny Szymanowski an equaliser.
It was Valencia's second match since head coach Pako Ayestaran was dismissed and their second win, with the points lifting them to 14th in the table.
Villarreal moved up to fourth place in with a 3-1 win over Osasuna at El Madrigal as the team continues to flourish under Fran Escriba.
The Yellow Submarine are one of only three teams in the league still unbeaten after six matches and stormed out of the blocks with three first-half goals.
Alexandre Pato headed the first, Bruno Soriano scored the second from the penalty spot and a sublime chip from Nicola Sansone killed off the visitors, who pulled one back through Roberto Torres' penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The only negative note for Escriba was how his side tailed off in the second period, but essentially they had done the job in the first 45 minutes.
Celta Vigo scored twice in injury time to secure a 2-0 win at Espanyol.
Giuseppe Rossi chipped a delightful finish in off the crossbar to give the visitors the lead, and there was still time left for Pione Sisto to charge the length of the pitch through a tired Espanyol defence and drill the ball low into the bottom corner.
Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores had guided his new team to a first victory of the season when they won away at Osasuna on Thursday, but they lacked a clinical edge when back at RCDE Stadium.