La Liga

Vela's overhead kick salvages point

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Carlos Vela's spectacular overhead-kick five minutes from time handed Real Sociedad a point from an entertaining 1-1 draw with Villarreal.

LA LIGA FIXTURES

 
Saturday, April 21
Mallorca 1-0 Zaragoza
Gijon 2-1 Vallecano
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid
Sevilla 1-1 Levante
Sunday, April 22
Granada 1-0 Getafe
Sociedad 1-1 Villarreal
Santander 0-1 Bilbao
Atletico 3-1 Espanyol
Valencia 4-0 Betis
Monday, April 23
Osasuna 1-1 Malaga
More: La Liga| Standings|Stats

The visitors dominated for long spells in the first half and took the lead three minutes before the break as Marcos Senna fired in off the post from just inside the area.

Sociedad then had Claudio Bravo to thank as the Chilean keeper denied Marco Ruben and Cani to keep his side in the game after waves of attacks from the hosts.

The equaliser eventually arrived as Vela acrobatically turned in Xabi Prieto's header for his fifth goal in his last five games.

The Mexican's late intervention means that Sociedad stretched their unbeaten run to five games, but they did not start the game like a side high on confidence as Villarreal controlled possession.

Hernan Perez had been on target in his previous two appearances and the Paraguayan should have had another goal to celebrate just after the half-hour mark. But after racing onto Borja Valero's great through ball he lifted his effort over the bar.

Moments later Sociedad broke well down the right and Prieto sent a typically rasping effort against the post, but Villarreal were still good value for a first-half lead and Senna gave it to them as he latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area, giving Bravo no chance with a crisp low drive into the corner.

The visitors should have extended their advantage within minutes of the restart as another lovely reverse pass from Borja put Ruben in the clear. He shot straight at Bravo.

Substitute Cani then had an even better chance as he somehow failed to beat Bravo from only a couple of yards out after Perez's cross.

However, Philippe Montanier introduced Antoine Griezmann and Ruben Pardo either side of the hour mark and both made a huge impact as the game swung in Sociedad's favour for the final quarter.

The Frenchman was first to go close and his reaction volley dipped just too late before Imanol Agirretxe had an effort turned over the bar from Diego Lopez.

Gorka Elustondo should have done better when completely free at the back post from the resulting corner, but the equaliser was coming and it arrived in some style as Griezmann's cross was nodded back across goal by Prieto and brilliantly hooked into the net by Vela for his 11th of the season.

Griezmann was then denied by a wonderful stop from Lopez after he had jinked past three Villarreal challenges on the edge of the box.

Joseba Llorente and Vela also went close in stoppage time, the visitors held on to move six points clear of the relegation zone.
 

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