Espanyol's Mexican defender Hector Alfredo Moreno Herrera (L) vies with Atletico Madrid's forward Adrian Lopez (R) during the Spanish league football match RCD Espanyol vs Atletico de Madrid on September 30, 2012 at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in Cornella.
The resurgence continues in the other half of Barcelona. Espanyol extended its unbeaten run to four matches with a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday and briefly pushed its way out of the relegation zone in the process. Héctor Moreno played a large part in the victory by assisting Diego Colotto's late winner and helping to weather significant Sociedad pressure for much of the match. A modest unbeaten run and two consecutive shutouts won't necessarily set Espanyol on a path to avoid the trap door, but the recent uptick in form does provide some hope that Moreno and his teammates possess the quality necessary to remain in La Liga at the end of the season. Moreno's success over Carlos Vela's Sociedad created the highlight of the weekend for Mexicans Abroad. Read on to scan through the rest of the notable incidents and performances:
Hector Moreno, D, Espanyol
Moreno accomplished much of his work at the back in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad, but he contributed perhaps the most important touch of the game to decide the encounter after 78 minutes. The center back displayed the technical ability of a center forward to drive a low cross through the goal area from one knee after he corralled Joan Verdú's corner kick at the near post. Fellow center back Diego Colotto popped up at the back stick to direct the cross into the net and give Espanyol three points.
Carlos Vela, F, Real Sociedad
Vela posed plenty of problems for Moreno and the rest of the Espanyol rearguard in the 1-0 defeat on Sunday. The in-form winger forced Espanyol goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez into a good save from a near-post drive and supplied the corner kick that forced Sergio Garcia to controversially clear off his own line in the first half. Vela then dragged a low effort wide of the far post in the second stanza before Colotto won the match for Espanyol in the final quarter of an hour.
Giovani do Santos, M, Mallorca
After starting in the 1-1 draw at Deportivo La Coruna in a Copa Del Rey match on Thursday, dos Santos settled for a place on the bench in the 1-0 defeat in La Coruna on Sunday. Dos Santos climbed off the bench for the final half-hour and launched one shot during his brief stint on the field at Estadio Riazor. The result leaves Mallorca in 13th place with 11 points from 10 matches.
Guillermo Ochoa, GK, Ajaccio
Ochoa and his Ajaccio teammates suffered their first home defeat of the season in a 2-0 setback to Marseille on Sunday. The former Mexico number one made four stops in a back-and-forth affair ultimately decided by second-half goals from Andre and Jordan Ayew. The result carried Marseille to joint top of Ligue 1 and kept Ajaccio four points clear of the relegation zone.
Rafa Marquez, D/M New York Red Bulls
Yet another injury has placed Márquez's availability for Wednesday's decisive Eastern Conference semifinals second leg clash against D.C. United in doubt. Márquez departed at halftime of Saturday's 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium with a calf complaint. New York coach Hans Backe told reporters on Monday that Márquez's status for the midweek affair at Red Bull Arena would be determined after he underwent an MRI scan to assess the problem on Tuesday.