Sunday 18 January 2015 14:33, UK
Real Sociedad suffered just their second defeat in eight league games under David Moyes when they lost 1-0 at home to Rayo Vallecano.
The sides contested a fairly lacklustre encounter in Sebastian but Vallecano forward Manucho headed home a Roberto Trashorras corner with just nine minutes left to snatch the three points.
Victory took Rayo up to ninth in the table while Sociedad remain in 12th.
The loss is a setback for Moyes’ side, who also exited the Copa del Rey in midweek, and a few jeers from their fans were heard at the end of the contest at the Anoeta Stadium.
Elsewhere, Alvaro Negredo struck with seven minutes left to earn Valencia a 3-2 victory at home to Almeria.
Dani Parejo opened the scoring for Valencia in the 11th minute but Almeria forward Tomer Hemed needed only two minutes to equalize, tapping in a Wellington Silva cross.
Rodrigo Moreno put Valencia back in front just before the half hour mark, only for Hemed to make it 2-2 soon afterwards, and the Almeria man almost completed a hat-trick minutes later, only to hit the crossbar.
However, Negredo came off the bench with half an hour to play and headed home a pass from Jose Gaya to put Valencia into third, ahead of Sunday’s action.
Villarreal are also in the hunt for a Champions League finish after extending their unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions with a 2-0 victory at home to Athletic Bilbao.
Sixth-place Villarreal struck first in an entertaining match at El Madrigal Stadium when Russian forward Denis Cheryshev (42) scored a fine solo goal, controlling a long ball, rounding the goalkeeper and then firing in from a tight angle.
And Bruno Soriano wrapped up the victory when he converted a penalty seven minutes from time after Oscar de Marcos had handled in the box.
Bilbao are 13th but have taken just one point from the last available 18.
In Saturday's other game, a last-minute goal from Felipe Caicedo gave Espanyol a dramatic 1-0 win over Celta Vigo.