Sevilla and Malaga in cruise control
Manu scored twice as Sevilla returned to winning ways tonight to boost their European hopes and increase ten-man Racing Santander's relegation worries.
The visitors came into the match on the back of two straight Primera Division defeats, but went in front in the first half thanks to Jesus Navas' opportunist strike.
Manu's low shot doubled their lead early in the second half and, after Racing's Papakouli Diop was sent off 11 minutes from time, Manu's second in stoppage time completed a night to forget for the hosts.
Elsewhere, Walter Pandiani struck a stunning equaliser in stoppage time to extend Real Betis' winless streak to five games.
After a poor first half, Ruben Castro had headed the hosts in front from Michael Pereira's cross with 18 minutes remaining.
Didac Vila looked to have wasted the chance to get Espanyol back into the game as he stabbed a great chance wide with three minutes remaining, but Pandiani came off the bench to punish some slack Betis defending and volley home from just inside the area.
In the final match of the evening, Venezuelan forward Solomon Rondon scored twice as Malaga beat Rayo Vallecano 4-2 to move into fifth position in La Liga, level on 44 points with Levante and just three behind third-placed Valencia.
Rayo went ahead with a Diego Costa penalty on five minutes after Jesus Gamez had tripped Emiliano Armenteros.
However, Rondon got a goal in either half, first with a header and then with a great piece of finishing to put the home side ahead.
Enzo Maresca made it 3-1 on 70 minutes with his first touch, scoring a header from a pinpoint Jesus Gamez cross.
Roberto Trashorras converted another penalty on 84 minutes for the side from Madrid to make it 3-2.
However, two minutes later, another Malaga substitute, Duda, scored when he hit a left footed shot from 30 yards to round of a deserved win for the side from the Costa del Sol.