Valencia win again as Real lose ground on Barca

Date published: Monday 22nd February 2016 8:19

Cristiano Ronaldo: Had penalty saved in Real Madrid's draw at Malaga

Valencia recorded their third straight success in a week under Gary Neville on Sunday night, winning 2-1 at Granada in La Liga.

Midfielder Daniel Parejo broke the deadlock early in the second half and substitute Santi Mina added a late second before Granada pulled one back through Edgar Mendez deep into stoppage time.

Valencia clinched their first league win under Neville at the 10th attempt last weekend with a 2-1 home success against Espanyol and followed that up by thrashing Rapid Vienna 6-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, missed a penalty as Real Madrid slipped even further behind leaders Barcelona in the title race by drawing 1-1 at Malaga.

The Portuguese headed Real in front late in the first half at La Rosaleda but just a minute later had a spot-kick saved by Carlos Kameni. In the second half Malaga grabbed a deserved equaliser through centre-back Raul Albentosa.

The hosts might even have snatched a winner late on had it not been for some great goalkeeping by Madrid’s Keylor Navas, but Zinedine Zidane’s side have fallen nine points behind Barcelona with 13 games left of the campaign.

Malaga could have won the match, Navas again coming to Real’s aid by tipping a header from Charles over the bar, while at the other end Ronaldo was denied a late winner by a block from Brazilian centre-back Weligton.

Atletico Madrid also dropped points as they were held to a goalless home draw by Villarreal, but the point keeps them in second place, eight points adrift of the leaders.

Brazilian striker Jonathas fired his fourth goal in three matches to clinch Real Sociedad a 1-0 win at Basque derby rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Jonathas struck the game’s only goal in the first half with a thumping finish as Sociedad maintained their climb up the table with a fourth consecutive league win.

Victory lifted Sociedad up to ninth place and within two points of Athletic, whose third home league defeat of the season denied them a place in the top six.

Rayo Vallecano fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 and deny Sevilla a first away win of the season.

Unai Emery’s men looked set to finally end their away hoodoo when Steven N’Zonzi opened the scoring after 10 minutes and Vicente Iborra doubled the lead in the 20th minute.

The visitors missed chances to add to their advantage and were pegged back before half-time through Manucho’s goal. Miku then tapped in from close range midway through the second half to make it 2-2 and preserve Rayo’s six-game unbeaten run.

Paco Jemez’s side move three points above the relegation zone, while Sevilla stay fifth.

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