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Valencia secured a 3-0 win over nine-man Espanyol in a bad-tempered affair at La Mestalla.

Los Ches went ahead after just 12 minutes when skipper Ruben Baraja fired home from a free kick.

The match then erupted into chaos just five minutes before the interval when referee Victor Esquinas Torres booked Alberto Lopo for a trip on Pablo Aimar on the edge of the area.

Defender Hugo Ibarra was also booked as his side continued to protest. The kick was then taken and Aimar almost scored as he struck the woodwork.

That only incensed Espanyol further and the players continued to protest, by which time Esquinas Torres was also becoming annoyed and he handed out further cards to Angel Morales, Martin Posse and Maurico Pochettino.

Still the protesting continued and the referee decided he had taken too much and proceeded to send off Raul Tamudo and Oscar Serrano for their protests.

The match was now all but over as a contest and Valencia went on to wrap up the game in the final few minutes when Mista struck twice - but the talking point from this game will be the flurry of cards before the interval.

Osasuna moved into seventh with a 2-0 victory over Numancia at Estadio El Sadar.

Richard Morales grabbed a goal in each half (49 & 68) to seal a victory, which means Numancia are entrenched at the bottom of the table.

Athletic Bilbao moved into the top half of the table with a comfortable 4-0 win over Mallorca at The San Mames.

Francisco Yeste opened and finished (6 and 90 pen) the scoring for Bilbao, with Santiago Ezquerro (10) and Carlos Gurpegi (76) popping up in-between.

Deportivo La Coruna's desperate run of form continues, as they went down 3-2 at home to Real Zaragoza.

Ruben Cani put Real ahead after 35 minutes before Pablo Amo levelled just after the break.

Albert Luque then fired Depor ahead, but Zaragoza came back strongly and won the game with goals from Gabriel Milito (57) and David Villa (70).

Depor's evening went from bad to worse late-on when winger Lionel Scaloni was dismissed.

Getafe grabbed their first win in over a month with a 2-0 win over Racing Santander.

Striker Riki fired home twice (5 & 31) to give his side victory.

Real Sociedad signed-off this year in fine style with a fantastic 5-1 win at Malaga.

Darko Kovacevic put Sociedad ahead after 11 minutes, but Malaga levelled just before half time when Vicente Valcarce pounced.

Kovacevic added another before the floodgates opened as Mikel Labaka (59) and Kahveci Nihat (70 & 81) pounced.

Albacete and Villarreal played out a 2-2 draw at The Estadio Carlos Belmonte.

Antonio Pacheco put Albacete ahead before goals from Diego Forlan (32) and Antonio Guayre (35) put Villarreal in-front.

Pacheco was on-hand to grab a share of the spoils as he struck four minutes from time.

Click below for match summaries:
Albacete 2-2 Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Mallorca
Deportivo La Coruna 2-3 Real Zaragoza
Getafe 2-0 Racing Santander
Malaga 1-5 Real Sociedad
Osasuna 2-0 Numancia
Valencia 3-0 Espanyol