Sunday bore witness to La Liga’s game of the weekend as Valencia beat Real Betis in a dramatic, nine-goal thriller, while Malaga lost again.
The day got under way at Eibar, where neither they nor Deportivo La Coruna found the goal that would give them breathing space in the table.
Eibar’s players wore shirts with Fran Rico on the back before kick-off, in a show of unity to their injured teammate.
The Basques saw most of the ball and had more attempts on target, but it was Espanyol who came closest.
Indeed, Gerard Moreno should’ve won the game for the visitors, ye his header was controversially disallowed due to an alleged foul on Antonio Luna.
Villarreal, meanwhile, made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 victory over struggling Girona.
Cedric Bakambu’s hot form in front of goal saw him bag another brace, putting him joint-second in the Pichichi standings with Simone Zaza.
Former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani did pull one back for Girona, but they are now only out of the relegation places by the virtue of goal difference.
Next up were Malaga, who lost their seventh match out of eight after a 2-0 defeat at home to Leganes.
Malaga had more possession at La Rosaleda, yet they could do nothing about second-half strikes from Gabriel and Alexander Szymanowski.
Michel Gonzalez’s position as Coach now seems untenable, with the side yet to win after eight rounds of fixtures and already five points adrift.
However, the best was saved for last at Benito Villamarin, where Valencia almost threw away a 4-0 lead to ultimately beat Real Betis 6-3.
Valencia were four up and cruising thanks to goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia, Goncalo Guedes, Rodrigo Moreno and Santi Mina.
Yet three Betis strikes in five minutes saw Joel Campbell, Cristian Tello and the prolific Antonio Sanabria pull the score back to 4-3.
Nonetheless, Zaza and Andreas Pereira were on hand to put the Andalusians out of sight with goals in the final two minutes of normal time to propel Los Che into second place.