Villarreal whip Levante to stay 4th
Ikechukwu Uche scored two goals and earned a penalty in Villarreal's 3-0 win against 10-man Levante on Sunday, keeping the promoted side near the top of La Liga.
Uche broke free in the area in the 10th minute and was brought down by goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who was shown a straight red card. Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano stroked in the penalty after Javi Jimenez replaced Navas.
Jimenez kept Levante in the match until Soriano delivered a through-ball for Uche to score in the 74th minute. The Nigeria international scored again with a bicycle kick in the 89th.
Villarreal's victory kept them in fourth place and in control of Spain's last Champions League spot.
Sevilla rolled over 10-man Betis 4-0 in an always-heated Seville derby. Carlos Bacca scored one goal and set up another at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium to keep crosstown rivals Betis winless on the road this season and stuck in last place.
Betis lost defender Paulao when he was booked for a second time in the 42nd minute for fouling Jose Antonio Reyes, and Stephane M'bia headed the resulting free kick, delivered by Ivan Rakitic, through the hands of goalie Sara Guillermo.
After Betis again lost the ball in their own half, Bacca chipped a pass to Vitolo to beat Sara from a tight angle in the 65th minute. Vicente Iborra, who had hit the post earlier, completed the demolition in the 88th with a header to turn in Rakitic's corner kick.
Sergio Garcia scored a hat trick for Espanyol in their 4-1 victory at 10-man Rayo Vallecano to break a four-game winless streak for the Catalan club.
Garcia drew a foul from Rayo goalkeeper Ruben Martinez, who was sent off with a red card in the 25th minute. Garcia converted the penalty and then added a second goal for Espanyol from the spot in the 51st minute when striker Jonathan Cordoba was fouled by Anaitz Arbilla.
Saul Niguez gave Rayo some hope with a headed goal in the 81st minute. But Garcia managed to toe the ball home while falling backwards to seal the win two minutes later. Substitute Christian Stuani hit on the break in the 85th minute to cap Espanyol's much-needed victory.
Elche edged Valencia 2-1 at home thanks to substitute Cristian Herrera's late winner.
Fidel Chaves put Elche in front in the 57th minute with a well-directed header to flick Edu Abacar's pass off the base of the far upright and into the net.
Valencia pushed Elche back into their area and Juan Bernat banged in his own rebound in the 73rd minute after goalkeeper Manuel Herrera parried his initial volley.
Cristian Herrera came on in the 79th minute and five minutes later took Ferran Corominas' lobbed pass into the area and beat keeper Diego Alves with a shot from the left corner of the six-yard box to claim the three points.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.