La Liga wrap: Valencia climb, Atletico held
By Football News
A late header from Jonas has helped Valencia steal a 2-1 victory over Real Valladolid and gave his side's Champions League hopes a boost.
Valencia moved into fifth position in La Liga on 49 points, just two behind Real Sociedad, who sit in the crucial fourth spot, which would give them a berth in the qualifying rounds of next season's Champions League.
Valladolid defender Mikel Balenziaga gave Valencia the lead in the 39th minute, knocking the ball into his own net at a corner, and the visitors copped another blow 12 minutes after half-time when Sereno was sent off after conceding a penalty.
Roberto Soldado missed the spot kick for the hosts and he would have been rueing his mistake when Valladolid equalised in the 71st minute after Oscar Gonzalez's thumping strike.
But Jonas ensured Valencia took all three points on Sunday when he got on the end of Joao Pereira's 93rd-minute cross and flicked his header past Valladolid goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez to send the home fans wild.
Rayo Vallecano moved up to eighth with a 2-0 win away to Celta de Vigo with a goal in each half.
Piti put the visitors in front in the 14th minute with a smart back heel from Lass Bangoura's cutback, while Montenegrin substitute Andrija Delibasic tapped home Jose Manuel Casado's cross seven minutes from time to wrap up Rayo Vallecano's victory.
Espanyol also picked up a win on the road thanks to an impressive performance from Ghanaian midfielder Wakaso Mubarak in their 2-0 triumph at Osasuna.
The 22-year-old left-winger was brought on at half-time for Simao and set up Espanyol's opening goal six minutes into the second half, whipping in a corner for Hector Moreno to head home.
Mubarak got on the scoresheet himself in stoppage time, slotting the ball home from outside the penalty area far on the left wing after Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez had come off his line.
The win continues Espanyol's rise up the La Liga standings into 11th, while Osasuna remain 15th.
And Atletico Madrid suffered a blow in their hopes of reeling in city rivals Real Madrid when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Getafe, leaving them three points behind Jose Mourinho's side in third place.