Sociedad, Vallecano, Espanyol all win
Real Sociedad defender Alberto de la Bella's second-half goal ensured 10-man Sevilla's recent dire Primera Division form continued as the hosts won 2-1 at the Anoeta on Thursday.
De la Bella netted in the 69th minute as the hosts extended their unbeaten record to eight matches in all competitions, while Sevilla have now collected just one point from their last five league matches.
The visitors did get back on level terms as Gary Medel cancelled out Carlos Vela's early strike, but De la Bella ensured they went home empty handed and their misery was further compounded when Andujar Coke picked up two yellow cards in the space of four second-half minutes.
Second-half goals by Nacho Martinez, Piti and Franco Vazquez guided Rayo Vallecano to a 3-0 victory over Levante as they ended 2012 with two consecutive victories.
Martinez opened the scoring just before the hour and Piti struck 10 minutes from time, both goals coming from fine strikes, before Vazquez pounced.
Victory guided Rayo to two points behind Levante who had been in a strong vein of form coming into the game with six wins and two draws from their past 10 Primera Division matches.
Espanyol moved out of the drop zone following a hard-earned 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Deportivo La Coruna.
Former Portugal international Simao Sabrosa headed home just after the half hour in a match where the losers would have the unwanted position of going into the two-week winter break at the foot of the table.
In the closing stages, substitute Christian Stuani sealed the three points which moved Javier Aguirre's men into 16th place although they could find themselves back in the bottom three by Saturday.