Getafe shock Valencia, Manucho strikes
Getafe climbed out of the relegation zone after shocking Valencia 3-1 at the Mestalla on a day which saw several lower-placed teams pick up unexpected results in the Primera Division.
• Saturday: Top three win
Getafe were without a league win since November -- a run of 15 matches -- and they looked on course for another night of disappointment as ninth-placed Valencia took a sixth-minute lead through Eduardo Vargas.
However, two goals in three minutes just before the half-hour mark from Angel Lafita and Ciprian Marica turned the game on its head, and Getafe captain Pedro Leon wrapped up the points with a third goal two minutes from time. Soon after that goal Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu was sent off following an off-the-ball incident involving Leon as tempers boiled over both on the pitch and the touchline in the closing stages.
The victory sees Getafe move above Osasuna, Almeria and Real Valladolid in the relegation dogfight, and was much-needed as three of their rivals near the bottom of the table all picked up points on Sunday.
Real Valladolid boosted their hopes of retaining their Primera Division status on Sunday with a 1-0 home victory over fellow strugglers Almeria.
Angola striker Manucho netted the game's only goal within five minutes of kick-off. The hosts would have added to their tally had it not been for a number of decent saves from Almeria goalkeeper Esteban, but the visitors offered little as an attacking threat and had their hopes of getting back into the game hit by the second-half dismissal of Marco Torsiglieri.
Elche remain dangerously close to the relegation zone despite picking up a creditable 1-1 draw at European hopefuls Villarreal.
Damian Suarez gave Fran Escriba's side the lead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark but Jonathan Pereira levelled on the stroke of half-time as the spoils were shared at El Madrigal.
Although the hosts were the better side, they were unable to make their superiority count, and, like their opponents, failed to take advantage of slip ups by the teams nearest to them in the table. The result means Elche are just two points above the drop zone, while Villarreal remain in seventh, passing up an opportunity to climb up to fifth.
Osasuna ended a run of five straight defeats but a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad was not what either side was after.
Sociedad saw their chances of Champions League football recede a little further as they failed to build on a seventh-minute strike from Gonzalo Castro, conceding the equaliser just before the hour mark as Oriol Riera headed in for the hosts.
The result leaves Osasuna still hovering just above the drop zone while Sociedad are six points off Athletic Bilbao in fourth with seven left to play.