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La Liga wrap: Atletico, Valencia share spoils, Sociedad held

Atletico Madrid failed to climb above rivals Real Madrid after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

The visitors got off to a dream start at the Estadio Vicente Calderon when Brazilian attacker Jonas scored in the fifth minute – firing home between the legs of Atletico shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois from eight yards out.

But their celebrations were short-lived as Atletico hit man Radamel Falcao equalised just 90 seconds later.

Falcao scored his first-ever goal against Valencia when he struck a swift volley home past Diego Alves, after being put through by a delightful Arda Turan chip pass.

Valencia came closest to stealing all three points late, when Dani Parejo’s long-range effort went just inches wide of Atletico’s goal on 85 minutes.

Atletico, though, could not find the winner that would catapult them above Jose Mourinho’s men and into second spot, and remain third just one point behind Real.

Diego Simeone’s side also failed to capitalise on fourth-placed Real Sociedad being held to a draw earlier in the day.

Espanyol were the team to deny Philippe Montanier’s Champions League chasers in a 2-2 draw at home.

Sociedad were forced to come from behind twice, and they couldn’t find the winner to boost their chances of reaching the European top-tier competition next season.

Sergio Garcia had put the Estadio Cornella-El Prat hosts ahead in the ninth minute, only for Real to equalise via David Zurutuza.

Christian Stuani restored Espanyol’s advantage, before defender Javi Lopez then conceded into his own net with 14 minutes to play.

Elsewhere, bottom side Deportivo La Coruna earned a valuable three points in their relegation plight, beating second-bottom Mallorca 3-2 away from home.

Deportivo trailed when Victor Casadesus kept the Iberostar Stadium faithful happy on 19 minutes, as the Spaniard fired in a deflected strike.

But it was 1-1 at the interval, when Deportivo’s Silvio completed a dashing run down the left with a shot into the bottom-right corner.

Three minutes after the interval, Deportivo completely turned around the relegation six-pointer via the boot of Carlos Marchena from close range.

A Riki header increased Deportivo’s buffer, but they had to see off some nervous late moments due to an 86th-minute strike from Mallorca’s Emilio Nsue.

A brace to Kike Sola helped Osasuna snap a three-match losing streak, as they beat Real Valladolid 3-1 away.

Osasuna put their opponents ahead at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, when Ruben Gonzalez got the final touch into his own net off his head.

But it was Sola to the rescue, as he first equalised with a diving header before doubling his tally and putting his side ahead on the hour mark.

Miguel de las Cuevas then created a turnover in midfield, and stormed towards goal before slotting Osasuna’s third – seeing them seven points clear of the drop zone.

Sun 31 March, 2013
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