Villarreal rolls past Valencia

Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos scored two goals and set up the opener as Villarreal rolled past Valencia 4-1 to strengthen its hold on fourth place in the Spanish league.

Real Sociedad took out some of the frustration from its loss at Manchester United in the Champions League this week by beating up on last-place Almeria 3-0.

Sevilla edged 10-man Osasuna 2-1 for a third win in as many rounds.

Villarreal’s home victory in the regional derby lifted the promoted side to within two points of third-place Real Madrid after it lost 2-1 at leader Barcelona on Saturday.

”We should be very satisfied and pleased with the performance of our players,” said Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia. ”We are a humble club that took it at a Valencia side fighting to be in the Champions League. Besides, we played some good football tonight.”

Dos Santos crossed for striker Ikechuwku Uche to steer the ball in at the far post and get Villarreal started in the 17th minute.

Villarreal’s passing game undid Valencia’s pressure before Ruben ”Cani” Gracia sent in another cross to the second post for Hernan Perez to head home and double the lead five minutes later.

Dos Santos hit the post and had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Vicente Guita after Jeremy Mathieu tripped Uche in the area, but he made up for his missed spot kick with a deft flick with his back to the net to score from the resulting corner kick in the 49th. That gave him a team-high six goals this season.

After Ricardo Costa headed in Valencia’s lone goal in the 63rd, Dos Santos polished off his outstanding performance with a long left-footed strike to beat Guaita in the 84th.

Osasuna lost a player in the 34th at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium when defender Damia Abella got a direct red card for pulling down Kevin Gameiro from behind with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Osasuna held Sevilla at bay until midfielder Ivan Rakitic broke through in the 55th by volleying in Stephane Mbia’s lobbed pass for his team-leading fifth goal in league play this season.

Sevilla forward Jairo Samperio hit on the break in the 75th, in-between teammate Carlos Bacca’s two shots off the goalframe.

Osasuna striker Oriol Riera headed in a consolation goal three minutes from time.

”Rakitic is our captain, and you noticed that both on and off the pitch,” Jairo said. ”He is our leader and makes everything go for us.”

Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann scored two headers in the 13th and 50th, while Jose Angel set up the second of those opening goals before adding a third in the 55th.

Winless Almeria has earned three of a possible 30 points.