La Liga round-up
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Villarreal moved up to third in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.Villarreal moved up to third in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Jose Mari netted a brace for the home side, with the third coming from Diego Forlan, and the efforts ensured Santiago Ezquerro's strike for Athletic counted for nothing.
Former Milan man Jose Mari has taken on a new lease of life for Villarreal this term and he pounced to net the opener on 11 minutes, slotting in with real confidence after a wicked cross had found its way to him at the far post.
Villarreal went to sleep at the back on 21 minutes as Ezquerro stole in front of two defenders to stab home Joseba Etxeberria's tantalising cross.
The home side struck back on 31 minutes, with Jose Mari climbing highest to head home a wicked Juan Roman Riquelme corner.
Villarreal refused to let their lead slip for a second time and Forlan popped up on 56 minutes to clinch the three points with a well-taken effort which propelled them above Real Betis in the table.
Valencia fought back from two goals down to take a point from their trip to Real Zaragoza.
The Che have had a turbulent season and they looked like slipping to defeat when David Miranda netted on the stroke of half time.
Things got worse for the visitors when Savio added a second for Zaragoza five minutes after the interval.
Rather than capitulating, though, Valencia fought back and their improved play was rewarded with a point as Bernardo Corradi and Marco Caneira netted in the final ten minutes.
Two goals in three minutes just before the interval from Gari Uranga and Valery Karpin sealed a 2-0 win for Real Sociedad against Osasuna.