La Liga Review: Valencia smash Celta Vigo as Levante earn vital point
Paco Alcacer and Dani Parejo scored two apiece as Valencia thumped Celta Vigo 5-1 at Estadio de Balaidos on Saturday.
Only Liga leaders Real Madrid had taken three points back with them from a trip to Vigo so far this season but Alcacer put the visitors ahead after just 13 minutes, having been played through by Parejo.
Augusto Fernandez headed in an equaliser and Celta spurned a number of other chances before half-time, but Parejo's fine free-kick doubled Valencia's lead just prior to the interval and Alcacer made it three when he intercepted Jonny Castro's pass before converting confidently a minute after the restart.
Iago Aspas hit the post as Celta desperately sought a lifeline but Alcacer turned provider for Parejo just past the hour mark following another clinical break from the visitors.
Shkodran Mustafi's header compounded Celta's misery with 11 minutes to play and gave under-pressure Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo a vital lift heading into the international break.
Eibar remain sixth, one place ahead of Valencia, thanks to a 3-1 victory over Getafe at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua.
Sergi Enrich scored either side of a Victor Rodriguez effort, and Getafe's hopes of a second fight-back were ended when Damian Suarez was sent off for a foul on the striker, allowing Saul Berjon to convert from the penalty spot.
Bottom-placed Levante, meanwhile, earned just their seventh point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Deportivo.
Jonas Gutierrez teed up Lucas Perez to drill across goal and into the far corner to put the visitors ahead on 22 minutes but they were pegged back thanks to Victor Camarasa's free-kick shortly after half-time.
The draw moves Levante level on points with Granada, who were beaten 2-1 by Rayo Vallecano thanks to two early goals from Javi Guerra.
The experienced striker converted Pablo Hernandez's cross after just three minutes and blasted his second high into the net from close range inside the 10-minute mark.
Ze Castro's dismissal for two quick-fire yellow cards threatened to derail Rayo's strong start and Babin's header early in the second period halved the deficit, but the capital city club held on for only their second win in six league games.
Malaga's relegation worries increased in Saturday's late kick-off as Andalusian rivals Real Betis won 1-0 at La Rosaleda.
The home side enjoyed more possession and had a greater number of efforts on goal but they were stung on the break in the second half when Ruben Castro coolly converted inside the area following Varela's through-ball.
Weligton missed a late header for Malaga, who remain level on points with 18th-placed Las Palmas, while Betis climb above Athletic Bilbao into ninth.