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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 16, 2012

Atletico hang on for victory

Atletico Madrid continued their fine goalscoring form but very nearly threw away a four-goal lead as they beat Rayo Vallecano 4-3 at the Vicente Calderon.

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Mario Suarez tapped home from Diego Costa's cut-back to give the hosts the lead at the break and they appeared to have made sure of the points with three goals in ten minutes after the interval from Koke, Arda Turan and a Radamel Falcao penalty.

However, the hosts took their foot off the pedal as the clock ticked down, allowing Rayo to score three times in the final ten minutes.

Substitute Andrija Delibasic scored twice and Leo Baptistao added a third two minutes from time as the visitors moved to within touching distance of an improbable point, but they could not force an equaliser in what time remained.

Fernando Llorente scored on his return as Athletic Bilbao twice came from behind to claim a 3-3 draw against Espanyol in an enthralling game at Cornella-El Prat.

Espanyol enjoyed the better of the first half and went ahead thanks to a wonderful team move on 18 minutes as Javi Lopez side-footed home before Joan Verdu tapped in a second just before half-time. However, Athletic responded early in the second half and after Aritz Aduriz had brought them back into the game, Llorente scored within seconds of coming on as a substitute to level the scores with 25 minutes remaining.

The drama continued as Samuele Longo restored Espanyol's lead with 10 minutes to go, only to be shown a second yellow card for his over-exuberant celebrations. And Athletic made their man advantage count almost immediately as Aduriz volleyed in a stunning equaliser to ensure a point for Marcelo Bielsa's side.

Espanyol have now let the lead slip in their last three games and nearly contrived to lose from two goals up for the second consecutive game with a tepid second-half display in contrast to the positive and confident performance they put in before the break.

Tomer Hemed scored his fourth goal in four games as Mallorca kept their unbeaten start to the season going with a 1-1 draw away at Osasuna.

After a slow start the game was awakened when both sides were reduced to ten men as Jose Nunes and Joseba Llorente were both sent-off when they clashed ten minutes before half-time.

Osasuna though remained the more likely team to break the deadlock and they finally did so 21 minutes from time when Kike Sola headed in Roland Lamah's cross. However, the visitors responded positively to going behind and after a brilliant save from Andres Fernandez had denied them a fortuitous equaliser, Hemed ensured they left Pamplona with a point as he headed home from Emilio Nsue's corner.

Second-half efforts from Inigo Martinez and Carlos Vela handed Real Sociedad a 2-0 victory against a disappointing Real Zaragoza side at Anoeta.

After a goalless first half Martinez headed home in the 55th minute to break the deadlock and within six minutes the hosts had a second. Javier Paredes took down Vela to concede a penalty and the Mexico forward picked himself up to convert from the spot.

Granada's winless start to the season continued as Antonio Floro Flores' goal ten minutes from time could only salvage a 1-1 draw against Deportivo La Coruna at Nuevo Los Carmenes.

However, it could have been so much worse for the home side, who went behind when Nelson Oliveira struck just before half-time and could have conceded again when the same player hit the crossbar just after the break. Replays later suggested the ball may have crossed the line.

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