Santi Mina secures third straight league victory for Valencia
Valencia closed the gap on third-placed Real Madrid to two points.
Santi Mina secured Valencia’s third straight LaLiga win as his double saw off Real Sociedad 2-1 at the Mestalla.
Mikel Oyarzabal had equalised early in the second half, but Sociedad were undone by a dreadful error from goalkeeper Tono Ramirez after 68 minutes.
Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo both went close before Mina met Martin Montoya’s deflected 34th minute cross to head Valencia in front at the far post.
Sociedad improved after the break and Oyarzabal punished some Valencia sloppiness at the back with a firm 54th minute finish.
But Mina’s 11th league goal of the season restored Los Che’s lead, the striker sliding home after Tono had failed to cut out Rodrigo Moreno’s cross.
Sergio Canales almost found a late equaliser, but Valencia held firm to move within two points of third-placed Real Madrid.
Enes Unal’s third minute goal gave Villarreal a 1-0 victory over Getafe, but goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo was the real star of the show as he saved a penalty in each half.
Unal stabbed home Carlos Bacca’s cross after he was played in by a superb pass from Samu Castillejo to put the Yellow Submarine in front.
The visitors were given the chance to equalise in the 35th minute when Javi Martinez hauled down Dakonam Djene in the area, but Asenjo dived to his right to save an unconvincing penalty from Angel Rodriguez.
And Asenjo repeated the feat just four minutes into the second half, this time saving from substitute Jorge Molina after Molina had been clipped by Jaume Costa as he ran into the area.
Athletic Bilbao beat bottom-placed Malaga 2-1 at San Mames to claim their first win in seven LaLiga games.
Malaga took a 13th minute lead when Youssef En-Nesyri converted Maxime Lestienne’s cross.
But Athletic were level four minutes later through Markel Susaeta, and ahead when Mikel San Jose scored his first goal of the season just before half-time.
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s brilliant penalty stop from En-Nesyri prevented parity, and the Malaga striker was sent off six minutes from time when he was shown a straight red card for standing on the Athletic goalkeeper.