Liga - Real Sociedad snatch late win
Real Sociedad scored twice late on to secure a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Malaga in La Liga on Sunday that prevented the ambitious Andalusian club drawing level on points with fourth-placed Levante.
Qatar-owned Malaga, one of Europe's biggest spenders in the close season transfer market, are fifth with 23 points, three behind Levante who were thrashed 5-0 at champions Barcelona on Saturday.
"It hurts to lose a game in the final three minutes," Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini told a news conference.
"We had controlled this match," the Chilean, Jose Mourinho's predecessor at Real Madrid, added.
Real Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao played out a 1-1 draw on the Balearic Islands as a late rally from both sides failed to force a winner.
In a scrappy encounter at the Iberostar Estadi, Mallorca took a second-minute lead when Alvaro drilled home a low finish after Michael Pereira’s low cross caused havoc in the visiting defence.
The visitors fought back and, after Gaizka Toquero saw a goal chalked off for offside, they equalised deep into first-half stoppage time when defender Fernando Amorebieta headed in Ander Herrera’s pinpoint cross.
The second half was largely dreary and heavily punctuated by a rash of yellow cards from a very fussy referee, but the final minutes saw chances galore as both sides went close to a winner.
Gorka Iraizoz in the Athletic goal made fine saves from Pereira and sub Tomer Hemed, while down the other end Iker Muniain miscontrolled when he raced clean through, and Chico denied Amorebieta a second headed goal on the line.
Deep into injury time Ivan Ramis headed Jose Marti’s corner wide and it stayed level, meaning Athletic sit in ninth and Mallorca move to 13th with a game in hand.
The future of Real Betis coach Pepe Mel hung in the balance after the Seville club conceded a goal deep into stoppage time to lose 2-1 at Osasuna, a ninth defeat in 10 matches that left them in 16th on 13 points.
"It's not up to me," Mel told a news conference when asked about his future.
"If they want me to carry on I'll carry on," he added. "If not I have a very clear conscience."
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid cruised to a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano with Gabi Fernandez opening the scoring in the 25th minute before gifting their local rivals a consolation in stoppage time with an own goal, moments after Educardo Salvio had made it three with Radamel Falaco heading the second home on 74 minutes.
And in the late match Granada climbed to 12th thanks to a 1-0 home win over bottom club Real Zaragoza.