Valencia move to third in La Liga; Villareal continue challenging for Champions League spot
Madrid, Jan 18 (IANS) Valencia took advantage of the fact that none of their rivals at the top of the table were in action to move back into the top four of the La Liga thanks to a 3-2 win at home to Almeria.
Dani Parejo and Rodrigo twice put Valencia ahead against their struggling rivals only to be pegged back on occasions almost immediately by goals from Almeria forward Tomar Hemed on Saturday, reports Xinhua.
However, just when the game looked to be slipping towards a draw, Alvaro Negredo powered home a powerful header, which not only put his side ahead of Sevilla, but level on points with Atletico Madrid.
Villarreal also remain in the battle to qualify for the Champions League after a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, who remain in freefall. Denis Cherychev opened the scoring with a fine individual goal shortly before half-time and Bruno Soriano assured the points with a penalty with eight minutes remaining.
Elsewhere, Real Sociedad slipped deeper into relegation trouble following a 0-1 home defeat against Rayo Vallecano. The weekend kicked off on Friday with a 1-1 draw between Cordoba and Eibar, while Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid all play on Sunday.