Madrid, Dec 7 (IANS) Villarreal defeated Rayo Vallecano 2-0 thanks to two goals from Cedric Bakambu, while Athletic Bilbao fought a tense but goalless match against Malaga that did not help its La Liga position.
Villareal, coached by Marcelino Garcia Toral, had played three league games without a win and looked set for a fourth loss as Rayo got off to a great start with a magnificent goal by Sanchez Jozabed around half-time, coupled with good performance by the boys of Paco Jemezn on Sunday, reports Efe.
However, key saves by Villareal goalie Alphonse Areola and Bakambu’s goals at 69th and 86th minutes brought the team back into the game.
Villareal is now fifth with a three-point lead over Athletic Bilbao.
The match also proved to be a costly affair for both the teams due to injuries sustained by Rayo midfielder Patrick Ebert along with Jaume Costa and Jonathan dos Santos from Villareal, forcing them to withdraw from the field.
Meanwhile, Athletic’s hope of entering top positions to play at the top leagues next year further weakened after the dismissal of Mikel San Jose at the 18th minute for aggression in its match against Malaga.
However, Malaga, much in need of points to come out of the red zone, failed to take advantage of its numerical superiority and ended with a 0-0 draw.
Eibar, like Rayo Vallecano, could not stay ahead even after Borja opened the scores with an early goal as Real Sociedad rallied with a brace from Imanol Agirretxe to win 2-1.
Sporting Gijon won 3-1 against Las Palmas at the El Molinon stadium, with two goals in the last quarter of an hour by Jony Rodriguez and Tonny Sanabria.