La Liga round-up: Victories for Sevilla, Malaga and Elche as Valladolid climb
Sevilla tightened their grip on fifth with a 4-1 win over Espanyol, while Malaga defeated Granada by the same scoreline.
Last Updated: 07/04/14 10:36am
Stephane M'bia netted his first goal in over four months to open the scoring, and Kevin Gameiro doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.
That lead was then reduced by Sergio Garcia's penalty at the start of the second half, but Gameiro struck again with five minutes remaining and Ivan Rakitic added to the goals in the final minute.
It was the result Unai Emery's side needed after suffering back-to-back defeats to Celta Vigo and Porto, and sees them move three points clear of Real Sociedad in fifth place, and put pressure on Athletic Bilbao, who play on Monday.
Malaga earned a first home win in two months in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 success against Granada.
Bernd Schuster's side beat Real Betis away last weekend to climb five points clear of the relegation zone and they made it welcome back-to-back wins on Sunday, with a first-half brace from Nacho Camacho setting them on their way.
Youssef El Arabi missed a penalty moments before the break that would have given Granada hope, and Malaga capitalised with a third from Nordin Amrabat before Juanmi completed the rout.
El Arabi made amends for his earlier miss by scoring 12 minutes from the end, but it was scant consolation.
Valladolid climbed out of the Primera Division relegation zone after holding Valencia to a goalless draw at the Jose Zorilla stadium.
The hosts had goalkeeper Jaime to thank for keeping the game scoreless despite Valencia's superiority, the veteran stopper repaying coach Juan Ignacio Martino's faith in him by making seven saves and denying Valencia's lively forward Paco Alcacer on several occasions.
The result means Valladolid move a point clear of 19th placed Almeria, who lost at Osasuna on Friday, and go level on points with Getafe but move above the Madrid side in the league table due to their superior head-to-head record.
Richmond Boakye struck with the final touch of the match to earn Elche a vital victory over fellow Primera Division strugglers Getafe.
After 90 goalless minutes, the on-loan Juventus striker made it 1-0 in the second minute of added time by heading in Carles Gil's cross.
The victory put four points between the two teams, easing Elche's fears but leaving Getafe looking very nervously over their shoulders.