La Liga Wrap: Levante extend unbeaten run, Elche steal late win over Celta
Levante extended their unbeaten run to eight La Liga matches after beating Osasuna 2-0 at Ciudad de Valencia on Saturday.
Prior to their current run, Levante managed only one victory from seven in the Spanish top flight, but they have since seen themselves become contenders for a Europa League place.
Pape Diop netted their first after just four minutes as he received a clever flick pass from Andreas Ivanschitz on the edge of the area, before lashing a low drive into the bottom-left corner.
Talented attacking midfielder Ruben Garcia doubled their lead just before the break as he brought down Juanfran's free-kick in the area, swivelled and blasted past Andres Fernandez.
Victor put Levante in an uncertain position by picking up a red card for a tackle from behind on Alvaro Cejudo, but once again they were able to rely on Costa Rica goalkeeping sensation Keylor Navas to keep Osasuna at bay.
The win sees Levante go up to 36 points, one more than their city rivals Valencia and Sevilla, both of whom play on Sunday, while Osasuna remain 12th.
Carles Gil's 84th-minute strike earned Elche a big boost in their bid to avoid the drop as they defeated visitors Celta Vigo 1-0 in Saturday’s late kick-off.
It looked like Elche's chances of winning had gone after Manu Del Moral hit the post and Cristian Herrera wasted a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper, but substitute Gil produced a good finish late on to move them up to 29 points, one behind Celta.
Malaga's dreadful run of form continued at home to relegation battlers Real Valladolid in the day's early kick-off, with the match ending in a 1-1 stalemate.
Roque Santa Cruz gave Malaga the lead at La Rosaleda as he headed Duda's 13th-minute corner corner, but Valladolid were level by the half-hour mark.
Former Manchester United forward Manucho inadvertently picked out Daniel Larsson in the penalty area after failing to get Antonio Rukavina's right-wing cross under control, and the Swede coolly slotted past Willy Caballero.
Malaga have only won one of their last nine in the league and sit just three points above the bottom three, with Valladolid occupying that final slot in the relegation zone.
In Madrid, Getafe held Espanyol to a 0-0 draw at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, meaning the visitors could fall five points behind their fellow Europa League challengers on Sunday.
Both sides tested the respective goalkeepers on numerous occasions, but neither team could find a way through and the match ended goalless, keeping Getafe four points above the drop zone.