La Liga Review: Valencia salvage draw, Espanyol bounce back

Valencia's UEFA Champions League hopes hit nervy ground on Thursday, while Espanyol returned to winning ways.

Valencia opened the door to Sevilla in the hunt for UEFA Champions League football, despite salvaging a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano, in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Dani Parejo cancelled out Adri Embarba's 19th-minute opener in the second half, firing a free-kick past Rayo goalkeeper Tono in the 66th minute at Estadio del Rayo Vallecano.

Parejo's equaliser came as a direct result of Jorge Morcillo's red card, after the Rayo defender was sent off for bringing down Andre Gomes just outside the penalty area four minutes earlier.

Valencia ended the match with 10 men following Rodrigo's dismissal for tripping Tono 17 minutes from the end.

Thursday's draw means fourth-placed Valencia, who occupy the Champions League qualifying position, are now level on 69 points with Sevilla but ahead on goal difference with four matches remaining.

Paco Montanes struck six minutes from time as Espanyol overcame second-bottom Granada 2-1.

Espanyol had failed to win their past two league fixtures but Montanes' late goal helped move the visitors level on points with Celta Vigo, who are ninth in the table.

Granada were on level terms via Diego Mainz in the 73rd minute, after Sergio Garcia broke the deadlock for Espanyol on the stroke of half-time.