Primera Liga round-up

Image: Roberto Soldado: Scored a hat-trick as Valencia strengthened their position in third place

A last-gasp Santi Cazorla goal saw leaders Real Madrid drop two points on Sunday, while Valencia, Levante and Mallorca all won.

Real Madrid held, Valencia, Levante and Mallorca all win

A last-gasp Santi Cazorla goal saw Primera Liga leaders Real Madrid drop two points on Sunday, while Valencia, Levante and Mallorca all won. Real Madrid now have an eight point lead at the top after being held to a 1-1 draw by Malaga at Santiago Bernabeu. Karim Benzema notched the opener on 35 minutes with a close-range header from Cristiano Ronaldo's pin-point cross. But the visitors stunned the Bernabeu in stoppage time when Cazorla floated an exquisite free-kick into the top right corner from 28 yards, leaving keeper Iker Casillas no chance. Roberto Soldado scored a hat-trick as Valencia strengthened their position in third place with a commanding 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. The Spain international took advantage of a weak backpass from Mikel San Jose to round Gorka Iraizoz and put the visitors in front just before half-time, and he doubled Valencia's lead 12 minutes after the break with another excellent finish from Jordi Alba's cut-back. Andoni Iraola was then sent off for the hosts for a second bookable offence when he brought down Alba, and Athletic's misery was complete with five minutes to go when referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes awarded a harsh penalty for a handball by San Jose and Soldado confidently stroked home from the spot. The win saw Valencia move six points clear in third, while Athletic remain four points off the UEFA Champions League places in seventh.

Boosted hopes

Xavi Torres scored the winner deep into stoppage-time as Levante beat Villarreal 1-0 and boosted their hopes of a top-four finish. Neither side created many chances, but both had goals ruled out in the second half as Torres was adjudged to be just offside as he headed in, while at the other end Nilmar thought he had scored a bizarre winner, but was instead booked for flicking the ball out of Gustavo Munua's hands before tapping into an empty net. However, in a dramatic finale Carlos Marchena was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Valdo and from the resulting free-kick Ruben Suarez's effort struck the inside of the post and left Torres with the easiest of finishes to slot home his third goal of the season. Ten-man Real Mallorca brought Atletico Madrid back down to earth with a bump on Sunday with a 2-1 victory in an eventful match at the Iberostar Stadium. The visitors had celebrated progression through to the last eight of the Europa League in midweek, but a Diego Godin own goal and Michael Pereira strike left them trailing to Mallorca. The dismissal of Ivan Ramis gave Atletico hope of a comeback, but a missed penalty from Falcao proved costly with his later goal not enough to rescue Diego Simeone's side.

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