Spanish La Liga Roundup, Oct. 24
Villarreal moved into second place in the Spanish league thanks to a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Ruben "Cani" Garcia put Villarreal ahead after nine minutes as he poked Nilmar's slick pass into the area past goalkeeper David De Gea to finish a quick counterattack.
Giuseppe Rossi's impressive individual effort inside the area ended with the Italy striker tucking a shot inside the near post past De Gea to double the lead in the 52nd against a frustrated Atletico team.
Coach Quique Sanchez Flores was sent from the touchline during halftime for protesting a penalty appeal in the first half's final moments, when Sergio Aguero was tripped up inside the area while chasing the rebound from Diego Godin's shot.
Nilmar and Rossi harassed Atletico's goal to the close and De Gea stopped the Brazil striker after he stole the ball for a one-on-one inside the area.
Atletico, which also had an early penalty appeal waved away, could not find its rhythm even after Diego Forlan's 58th-minute entrance as the Uruguay striker surprisingly started on the bench.
Villarreal leads Barcelona on goal difference with the two clubs tied on 19 points to trail leader Real Madrid by one point.
Luis Fabiano ended a two-month scoring drought with two goals Sunday as Sevilla beat Athletic Bilbao 4-3 in a match marked by a dramatic last half hour.
Luis Fabiano controlled Frederic Kanoute's failed effort to score in the 35th minute for his first goal since August.
The Brazil striker then earned a 45th-minute penalty that Kanoute converted to deflate the Basque visitors, before racing past Athletic's defense to reach Ndri Romaric's long ball in the 62nd and tap a looping shot over goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz for 3-0.
But Athletic was given life by Fernando Navarro's sending off in the 64th as Fernando Llorente headed Markel Susaeta's cross into the bottom corner before scoring from the rebound of his own saved penalty for his sixth goal of the season.
"The game got crazy with the sending off," Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano said. "But we were better than Athletic."
The frantic close saw Kanoute step up for another penalty score in the 80th before Igor Gabilondo headed home Athletic's third deep into injury time.
Earlier, Iran internationals Javad Nekounam and Masoud Soleimani each scored to lead Osasuna out of the relegation places with a 3-0 victory over Malaga.
Nekounam converted a third-minute penalty before Soleimani capped a good buildup with a thunderous volley in the 37th. Carlos Aranda scored the in the 53rd for Osasuna to move up the standings.
Also, Espanyol stayed perfect at home and continued its good start to the season with a 2-1 win over Levante while Getafe beat Sporting Gijon 3-0.
At Cornella El-Prat stadium, Espanyol's Jesus Alberto Datolo latched on to Joan Verdu's pass in the 13th to score with a left-footed shot.
Jose Callejon scored from a low shot in the 81st before Levante - down to 10 men from the 56th - made for a tight finish through substitute Christian Stuani's 83rd-minute header.
At Getafe, Derek Boateng scored from Daniel Parejo's corner kick in the ninth minute for the Ghana midfielder's first goal since 2008.
Adrian Colunga added the second from the spot in the 52nd after Juan Angel Albin was tripped, while Ivan Marcano got the third from a left-foot shot eight minutes later.
Almeria's goalscoring woes continued in a 1-1 draw against Hercules, which went ahead through Nelson Valdez in the 38th when the Paraguay striker tapped Francisco Rufete's second centering pass in for his fourth goal.
But Hercules, which was without forwards David Trezeguet (suspension) and Royston Drenthe (sickness), couldn't hold on as Jose Alluoa slotted home an equalizer with six minutes to play.
On Saturday, Real Madrid routed Racing Santander 6-1, Barcelona beat Zaragoza 2-0 and Mallorca won 2-1 at Valencia, which has 16 points. Espanyol has 15 points and Sevilla 14.
On Monday, Real Sociedad plays Deportivo La Coruna.
Mallorca beat Valencia 2-1 on Saturday.