La Liga Round-Up
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
It was a good day for the struggling sides in La Liga as Espanyol and Real Sociedad both claimed vital victories.
Raul Tamudo was the star for basement club Espanyol as they clinched their third league win of the season over Mallorca.
The striker notched in the opening minute and then doubled his tally on 74 minutes against the visitors, who finished with ten men after the dismissal of Samuel Eto'o in the final ten minutes.
Sociedad also picked up a welcome result as they fought back to win 2-1 at Malaga.
Litos gave the home team the lead with a goal on 25 minutes but by half time Malaga were behind as Valery Karpin (37) and Nihat Kahveci (45) hit back to clinch the points.
At the top of the table, Valencia kept up the pressure on Real Mardid with a 4-2 success over Villarreal.
They got off to a poor start and fell behind after 15 minutes when Argentinian Juan Roman Riquelme gave the away side the lead.
However, two goals in two minutes turned the game on its head as Ruben Baraja (57) and Pablo Aimar (58) put Valencia into a lead they would not relinquish.
Baraja grabbed his second on 73 but Villarreal refused to go away and cut the deficit to one when Juliano Belletti scored, despite having Sergio Ballesteros dismissed just after the hour mark.
Mista netted three minutes from time to settle the result and leave Valencia just two points off the league leaders.
Racing Santander heaped further trouble on fallen giants Barcelona as they won 3-0 at home.
After a scoreless first half, Delgado Manuel Juanma opened the scoring on 52 minutes with Mario Regueiro (79) and Javi Guerrero (83) adding late goals to wrap up the points.
Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna fought out a 1-1 draw, a result that pushes both teams up one place in the table.
Izquierdo put Osasuna in front ten minutes before the break but Bilbao levelled matters through Asier del Horno on the stroke of half time.
Albacete ended the game at Sevilla with nine men and went down to a 2-0 defeat.
Julio Baptista (39) and Antonito (90) got the goals for the hosts as Miquel Buades and Carlos Aranda were both given straight red cards.
Real Valladolid and Real Betis finished goalless in the other afternoon game.