Spanish La Liga Roundup, Nov. 28
Neslon Valdez scored twice and David Trezeguet added another as Hercules beat Malaga 3-1 on Sunday in the Spanish league, and Carlos Gurpegi headed an injury-time goal to give Athletic Bilbao a 1-0 win over Osasuna.
Valdez scored the opener for Hercules in the 40th minute, pouncing on the rebound of an Olivier Thombert header.
A minute later, forward Ruben Suarez equalized for Levante. Trezeguet regained the lead for Hercules with his seventh goal of the season in the 62nd with a close-range strike and Valdez scored his second of the game and sixth of the season five minutes later, firing in a cross from Jorge Lopez.
"We did the difficult part of scoring and then immediately let them draw even," said Hercules coach Esteban Vigo, whose team moved into 13th place with 15 points. "But the second half was fantastic."
Vigo was not worried that Valdez and Trezeguet have scored all but one of Hercules' goals.
"As long as they keep scoring, I could (not) care less. Let them score all of them."
Gurpegi scored from a corner by David Lopez in the second minute of stoppage time for Athletic at San Mames stadium.
Spain left back Nacho Monreal had Osasuna's best shot in the 12th with a point-blank header that goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz stopped with a diving save.
A minute before the break, Monreal robbed Fernando Llorente of a goal by stretching his leg to block the striker's header.
At Iberostar stadium, Mallorca beat Malaga 2-0 on second-half goals by Pierre Webo and Gonzalo Castro.
Webo scored in the 50th with a left-footed shot after a perfectly timed pass by Castro put the Cameroon striker through the Malaga defense.
Five minutes later, Webo returned the favor, sliding the ball to Castro for Mallorca's second.
The win lifted Michael Laudrup's team into sixth place on 21 points, while Malaga remained in the relegation zone.
Also on Sunday, Roberto Soldado's double gave Valencia a 2-1 win over Almeria, Real Sociedad beat Sporting Gijon 3-1, and Racing Santander downed Deportivo 1-0.
Valencia's victory keeps it one point out of fourth place and spoiled the debut for Almeria coach Jose Luis Oltra, who took over from Juanma Lillo after 19th-place Almeria lost 8-0 to Barcelona last weekend.
Soldado used his head to control a cross before eluding two defenders in the area and beating goalkeeper Diego Alves with a low right-footed shot in the 26th.
Valencia winger Juanma Mata's crafty backheeled pass in the 63rd allowed Soldado to score his fourth goal of the season.
Jose Ulloa halved the difference for Almeria with a header from a corner in the 90th.
At El Molinon stadium, center back Gregory Arnolin put Sporting ahead in the third minute, but Xabi Prieto equalized for Real Sociedad eight minutes later, firing past Sporting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas from the edge of the area.
David Zurutuza added Real Sociedad's second just before halftime with a shot from inside the area, and substitute Mikel Aranburu capped the victory in injury time.
Deportivo lost for the first time in four weeks at El Sardinero stadium.
Deportivo striker Adrian Lopez hit the post ten minutes into the game, but it was Racing who took the lead through Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg in the 61st.
"We controlled the game and had more scoring chances," Sporting coach Miguel Angel Portugal said. "We should have decided the game earlier, but that's just football."
Barcelona plays leader Real Madrid in the "clasico" on Monday with Jose Mourinho's team one point ahead of the Spanish champions.
On Saturday, Villarreal solidified its third-place in the standings with 27 points through a 3-0 win at last-place Zaragoza. Two points behind, fourth-placed Espanyol beat Atletico Madrid 3-2, and Getafe won 3-1 at Sevilla.