Nolito struck in the final minute as Celta Vigo’s unbeaten start to the La Liga season continued with a 2-1 victory at 10-man Villarreal.
Celta came into Sunday’s clash as just one of just two sides – along with Real Madrid – yet to taste defeat in the league and they moved level with Rafael Benitez’s men and Barcelona at the top.
Fabian Orellana put Celta in front shortly before half-time, but Villarreal made light of losing Eric Bailly to a second yellow card by equalising through Denis Suarez midway through the second period.
Just when it seemed the spoils would be shared, Orellana’s shot rebounded back off the crossbar and fell to Nolito, who controlled and drilled home his sixth league goal of the season.
Celta are now level with Madrid and Barca on 18 points, with Atletico Madrid two points further behind in fourth courtesy of their 2-0 win at Real Sociedad.
Former Sociedad man Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the ninth minute, Atleti adding a second amid a flurry of action right at the end of the game.
Sociedad saw Diego Reyes sent off a minute from time, before Jonathas had a penalty appeal waved away – Atleti breaking upfield to seal the game through Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco’s first goal for the club.
An enraged Jonathas then received two bookings in quick succession as he protested against his earlier perceived injustice.
Las Palmas’ struggles continued as they were thrashed 4-0 at Getafe.
Victor Rodriguez and Pablo Sarabia netted in the opening 11 minutes for the hosts and after Las Palmas saw Emmanuel Culio sent off, Stefan Scepovic added a late brace.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao looked on course for victory as they went two up at Deportivo La Coruna through Inaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz, only for goals in the last 10 minutes from Lucas Perez and Alejandro Arribas to earn Depor a point in a 2-2 draw.