Spanish La Liga Roundup, Nov. 21

November 21, 2010

Pablo Osvaldo scored a penalty and set up another goal as Espanyol beat Hercules 3-0 to rise to fourth in the Spanish league.

The Argentine striker fed Joan Verdu to sidefoot home the 15th-minute opener. He calmly beat backup goalkeeper Unai Alba from the spot in the 81st after first-choice Juan Calatayud had been sent off for tripping him.

Luis Garcia's injury-time penalty completed the victory at Cornella-El Prat stadium, where Espanyol has yet to drop a point after six games.

"I'm not surprised," coach Mauricio Pochettino said. "We're in a good position in the standings and we have to take advantage of it."


Espanyol has 22 points, one more than Valencia and two in front of Sevilla, which lost 2-1 to Mallorca after Pierre Webo scored a 90th-minute winner.

Webo took advantage of poor marking to head home an in-swinging free kick. Two minutes earlier, second-half Sevilla substitute Luis Fabiano had equalized.

Mallorca winger Michael Pereira beat goalkeeper Andres Palop at the near post after receiving a pass from Chori Castro. Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano faced former club Mallorca for the first time.

Atletico Madrid came from behind in the second half to beat Real Sociedad 4-2 after two goals from Sergio Aguero. Madrid has 20 points.

In other 12th round matches, it was: Levante 3, Racing Santander 1; Deportivo La Coruna 3, Malaga 0; and Osasuna 1, Sporting Gijon 0.

Real Madrid stayed top of the standings with 32 points after a 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, when Barcelona recorded a record 8-0 away win against second-bottom Almeria to stay second with 31 points. The Spanish rivals meet next week in the "clasico."

Almeria, meanwhile, fired coach Juan Manuel Lillo after the defeat. Former Zaragoza and Santander coach Marcelino Garcia Toral is reportedly the front-runner to take over.

In San Sebastian, Real Sociedad led 1-0 in the 12th minute after Joseba Llorente redirected Antoine Griezmann's centering pass. TV replays showed Atletico defender Tomas Ujfalusi appeared to get a touch on the ball.

Aguero started the comeback by controlling Jose Antonio Reyes' long pass and finding Diego Forlan in the middle of the area for the Uruguay striker to slot past goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Bravo was helpless in the 79th. Forlan spotted Ujfalusi running down the right and the Czech defender fed Aguero at the far post to score. The Argentina striker scored his fourth goal of the season in the 82nd with Bravo out of position.

"Our goal is to stay at the top of the standings, so the win is important," Aguero said after leading Atletico to its first victory at the Anoeta stadium since 1991.

Sociedad midfielder Diego Rivas' long-range goal in the 86th made for a tense finish. But Simao Sabrosa's penalty in the fifth-minute of injury time after Reyes was brought down in the box sealed the win.

In Valencia, Levante striker Felipe Caicedo scored twice in three minutes to extend the lead to 2-0 over Santander.

Santander defender Domingo Cisma was shown a red card for running into Caicedo shortly after the striker scored his second goal. Santander striker Ivan Bolado was on the ground, and Cisma appeared angry Caicedo did not stop play to allow Bolado to receive treatment.

Levante's Christian Stuani took advantage of poor defending for the third in the 44th as his team snapped a three-game losing streak.

Mehdi Lacen scored a consolation goal for Santander with two minutes to play.

Deportivo extended its unbeaten streak to four games, with its third win in that span.

Deportivo's Adrian Lopez scored a 21st-minute penalty after Sandro Silva was yellow-carded for bringing down Albert Lopo, and Diego Colotto headed home from a corner for 2-0 on the half-hour.

Pablo Alvarez completed Deportivo's emphatic win in the 84th. Malaga slipped back to 18th in the standings and into the drop zone.

Osasuna midfielder Masoud Shojaei coolly picked his spot past goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas in the 54th minute against Sporting, which stayed winless in five games.

On Monday, Zaragoza coach Javier Aguirre makes his debut against Getafe.

On Saturday, Villarreal drew 1-1 with Valencia. The team is third with 24 points.