Valencia bounced back against Girona in La Liga Week 18 as Athletic Bilbao continued their mid-season renaissance.
Valencia had lost three of their last four League games, but a Jonas Ramalho own goal and Dani Parejo penalty either side of half-time not only kept them third but moved them five points clear of Real Madrid, despite Portu’s opener for Girona.
Eibar also needed a comeback to beat Las Palmas 2-1 on Saturday, in Paco Jemez’s first Liga game as Coach of the islanders.
Jonathan Viera’s spot-kick gave Las Palmas and Paco a dream start, but a Fabian Orellana goal on his debut and Sergi Enrich’s subsequent winner consolidated seventh place for Eibar, while Los Amarillos stayed bottom.
Leganes had fallen to as low as 14th after just one win in seven, but they leapfrogged back into the top half with a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad.
Gabriel’s finish 15 minutes from time was enough to take down La Real, who last triumphed away from home in October.
Villarreal, on the other hand, saw their mini-resurgence end after a 1-1 draw with lowly Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
The Yellow Submarine had won their last two on the bounce broke the deadlock through the returning Enes Unal.
However, Florin Andone’s second goal in as many League matches pulled Depor out of the relegation zone.
Finally, Athletic Bilbao beat Alaves 2-0 for their fourth victory in five games and fifth clean sheet in six.
Aritz Aduriz equalled Lionel Messi and Raul Gonzalez in scoring against his 35th top-flight team as he struck home a penalty after Xabi Etxeita had given Los Leones the lead, leaving them eighth and just four points off the European places.