Sevilla end drab run, Levante impress

An Alvaro Negredo penalty gave Sevilla their first away win of the season as they defeated relegation-threatened Real Zaragoza 1-0. 

It has been a disappointing campaign for Sevilla who went into the match without a victory in five attempts and had drawn all their previous away matches. However, this win still left them well-placed in fifth place.

Injuries to their attacking players have not helped the team and Negredo, returning to the starting line-up, was a constant threat against Zaragoza early on. He won the penalty midway through the first half after being fouled by David Mateos and dispatched the spot-kick himself.

Sevilla controlled the game but were dealt a blow with Negredo going off injured after 58 minutes. They still had the chances to finish off the game, notably from Piotr Trochowski and Jose Angel Campana, while Zaragoza were reduced to ten men in the final minute when Juan Carlos was adjudged to have thrown an elbow at Jorge Coke.

Levante thrash Sporting
Arouna Kone hit a brace as modest Levante consolidated their position among the top four with a crushing 4-0 victory over Sporting Gijon. 

The club are more accustomed to fighting relegation battles but a run of seven straight wins earlier in the season made them surprise league leaders. The bubble appeared to have burst as they lost three on the trot but they responded with a convincing performance over an improving Sporting side who had not lost in five matches.

Sporting were defending desperately as Levante began the match with plenty of impetus but Andre Castro almost put them ahead on 17 minutes when his overhead kick came back off the crossbar. It was a warning for Levante who minutes later took the lead with Jose Barkero slotting into an open goal following good work from Kone.

Sporting had the opportunities to equalise before the break with David Barral clipping the crossbar and Miguel de las Cuevas heading straight at the keeper from close range but in the second half Levante ran away with the match.

Valdo Lopes scored straight after the restart and then Kone hit a brace. His first goal came after he was put through from just inside the Sporting half after a defensive mistake and he kept his cool, finishing with aplomb.

Bilbao, Espanyol suffer defeats
It was a disappointing afternoon for Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol who were both looking to boost their European hopes. 

Bilbao saw their 11-match unbeaten run come to an end with Granada winning 1-0 thanks to an Inigo Lopez goal after 31 minutes, while Espanyol also crashed to a loss at home with Osasuna beating them 2-1. Roland Lamah and Javad Nekounam gave Osasuna a commanding lead either side of half-time with Alvaro Vazquez reducing the deficit on 55 minutes. 

An injury-time strike from the halfway line by Inigo Martinez gave Real Sociedad a much needed 3-2 win away at Real Betis.

The visitors who were joint-bottom of the table going into the match went two goals clear through Imanol Aguirretxe and Carlos Vela at the start of the second half, but substitute Jonathan Pereira appeared to have given Betis a point with two goals in the final ten minutes until Martinez’s wonder goal.

Racing Santander are now on their own at the bottom on nine points after they were beaten 2-1 by Mallorca.