Late goal lifts Espanyol over Rayo

Osasuna could not mark midfielder Patxi Punal’s record-breaking appearance with victory as they were held in a stalemate with Real Betis.

The 37-year-old Punal lined up in midfield to break the club’s record of 463 appearances, but the match itself proved a largely frustrating experience as Betis stood firm, and the visitors would have won the match but for an assistant’s flag denying Ruben Castro a first-half goal.

The result leaves Osasuna still rooted to the foot of the table, while Betis missed the chance to push into the top four.

Christian Stuani’s first goal for Espanyol deep into stoppage time handed the Catalans their first win of the season as they came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2.

Leo Baptistao had headed Rayo into an early lead but two goals from Joan Verdu either side of half-time put Espanyol 2-1 in front before Leo slotted home his second of the game just after the hour mark.

However, after both sides had been reduced to 10-men as Diego Colotto and Mikel Labaka both saw red it was substitute Stuani who was the hero as he powered home Sergio Garcia’s cross to bring relief to the Cornella El Prat.

Michel’s stunning 35-yard strike three minutes from time handed Levante all three points from an otherwise turgid 1-0 victory over Getafe at the Alfonso Perez Coliseum.

Both goalkeepers had comfortably dealt with long-range efforts all afternoon as neither side looked capable of breaking the opposition down until the Levante substitute latched onto a loose ball just inside the Getafe half and took a touch before looping his effort over the helpless Miguel Angel Moya.

A second consecutive 1-0 win for Juan Ignacio Martinez’s men moves them up into fifth, whilst Getafe slip back into the bottom half.

Real Zaragoza survived a late scare to beat 10-man Granada 2-1 at Nuevos Los Carmenes.

Helder Postiga headed the visitors in front from Victor Rodriguez’s free-kick after just three minutes and the latter then added a second 25 minutes later with a simple finish from Abraham’s cross.

Granada seemed dead and buried when Iriney was shown a straight red card for bringing down Apono midway through the second period, but they did manage to get a goal back with just over 10 minutes remaining when Youssef El-Arabi headed home from Fabian Orellana’s corner.

Back to Saturday’s action and Valencia snatched victory away from 10-man Athletic Bilbao with two late goals in a match between two of the division’s most notable early-season strugglers.

Aritz Aduriz’s first-half double, either side of a Roberto Soldado penalty, looked like it would be enough for Bilbao despite Ander Herrera’s dismissal on 67 minutes.

But after Tino Costa levelled with just two minutes remaining, substitute Nelson Valdez popped up to head in the winner with barely any time left on the clock.

Joaquin scored the winner three minutes from time as Malaga came from behind to beat 10-man Real Valladolid 2-1.

Manucho had fired the visitors into a shock lead on just nine minutes but Isco levelled the scores eight minutes before half-time with an accurate low finish from Eliseu’s cut-back.

The game appeared to being going Malaga’s way when Manucho was harshly sent off for a second yellow card nine minutes from time and then the hosts were awarded a penalty when Henrique Sereno felled Javier Saviola in the area, but Joaquin blazed his spot-kick over.

However, the former Spain international made amends two minutes later when he pounced after Dani Gimenez could only parry Martin Demichelis’ header back into the danger area.