Levante continued their great start to the Primera Liga season as they defeated Malaga at home to go level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table.
Juan Ignacio Martinez's side went into Sunday's encounter at Ciutat de Valencia three points behind the defending Spanish champions, who defeated Racing Santander 3-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday evening.
It was not supposed to be easy for the Granotes against high-spending Malaga, who are striving for a top-four finish this campaign, but the hosts got off to a great start after just 14 minutes when Jose Barkero's shot went in off a deflection of Enzo Maresca.
Things went from bad to worse for Malaga on 27 minutes when goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero was sent off for allegedly handling the ball outside his penalty area.
Three minutes later Juanlu doubled Levante's lead and four minutes before the half-time interval Arouna Kone secured the points for the home side with their third goal.
The win means that Levante now have 17 points from seven matches, as many as Barca, and one more than Real Madrid. On the other hand, Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga are fifth in the table on 13 points.
Sevilla remain unbeaten in the league and continue to rise up the table after a 2-1 win against Sporting Gijon at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Manu gave the Andalucian giants the lead in the 15th minute and Martin Caceres doubled their advantage three minutes before the hour-mark.
David Barral pulled one back for Sporting on 64 minutes but Sevilla survived a late scare to move up to fourth on 15 points.
Rayo Vallecano's miserable start to the 2011/12 campaign continued as they lost 1-0 to Espanyol at home, Romaric's goal in the 56th minute proving to be the difference between the two teams.
The Madrid outfit are now just a point above the relegation zone, while Espanyol are three points ahead of them in 10th.
Basque giants Real Sociedad lost their third game in a row as they went down 2-0 to Real Zaragoza.
Helder Postiga broke the deadlock for Zaragoza at La Romareda in the 11th minute with a brilliant overhead kick from the edge of the Sociedad penalty area, and found the target from close range just four minutes into the second session.
The result leaves Sociedad on seven points, just two above third-from-bottom Granada, while Zaragoza move up to ninth.