As you were in Spain
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Following Real Madrid's stalemate with Celta Vigo on Saturday, Sociedad were unable to capitalise on the opportunity to move three points clear at the summit.
Instead, Champions League-chasing Valencia held on for a point after being reduced to ten men on the hour mark following Roberto Ayala's dismissal.
Xabi Alonso headed Sociedad in front on 34 minutes but Valencia were level two minutes later when Anthony Reveillere's shot was deflected in off Igor Jauregui before Ayala was given his marching orders in the second period.
Deportivo La Coruna kept their title aspirations alive after producing a stunning fightback to beat Atletico Madrid 3-2.
Javier Irureta's troops suffered the worst possible start at the Riazor when they were reduced to ten men after just five minutes.
Nourredine Naybet was dismissed for a professional foul on Jose Mari and Demetrio Albertini duly converted the resulting spot kick.
Enrique Romero restored parity on 12 minutes only for Atletico to regain the lead on 79 minutes through Fernando Correa.
The introduction of substitute Albert Luque inspired Depor as leading scorer Roy Makaay quickly hauled the hosts back on level terms.
With Depor pressing for the victory they needed to remain in the title hunt, Juan Carlos Valeron popped up with a minute remaining to secure a priceless three points for the Galicians.
Athletic Bilbao maintain their grip on a Uefa Cup berth despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Villarreal.
Victor put the hosts ahead after just three minutes but Joseba Etxeberria salvaged a point for Bilbao with a 29th minute equaliser.
Alaves are relegated after they crashed to a 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis, who injected life into their late push for a European spot.
Fernando poached the crucial goal on 57 minutes as Alaves ended the match with ten men after Oscar Tellez's 73rd minute dismissal for fighting.
Sevilla's Marcos Vales condemned Recreativo to a swift return to Segunda Liga by nicking the only goal of the game on 50 minutes.
Osasuna virtually guaranteed top-flight football for next term after a 2-0 triumph at Real Valladolid, who were already safe.
Cesar Palacios put the visitors ahead on ten minutes and Valdo wrapped up the win two minutes before the interval.
Bottom club Rayo Vallecano also had their relegation fate confirmed after they could only muster a 1-1 draw at Mallorca, although the outcome was irrespective due to Osasuna's win at Valladolid.
Rayo grabbed the lead on 70 minutes but lost their composure on 80 minutes when Iriney Santos was sent off for deliberate handball and Walter Pandiani scored the resulting penalty.
Barcelona turned up the heat in the race for the final Uefa Cup berth by battling for a 2-1 success at home to Malaga.
Javier Saviola fired Barca ahead on 23 minutes only for Julio Dely Valdes to equalise with a penalty on 56 minutes. Gaizka Mendieta netted the winner on 67 minutes through a spot kick.
Racing Santander delivered a devastating attacking display to crush Espanyol 5-2 on home soil.
Bodipo's first-half brace put Racing in command before Savo Milosevic put Espanyol back in contention on 71 minutes only for the hosts to quickly raise the tempo.
Javi Guerrero scored the third on 75 minutes and a Pablo Cesar double had made it five on 82 minutes before Maxi scored a late consolation for the visitors.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Alaves 0-1 Real Betis
Barcelona 2-1 Malaga
Deportivo La Coruna 3-2 Atletico Madrid
Mallorca 1-1 Rayo Vallecano
Racing Santander 5-2 Espanyol
Real Sociedad 1-1 Valencia
Real Valladolid 0-2 Osasuna
Sevilla 1-0 Recreativo
Villarreal 1-1 Athletic Bilbao