Valencia sweep aside Osasuna

MADRID - Valencia swept aside Osasuna 3-1 away with a trio of impressive goals to move back into the Champions League places in La Liga on Sunday.

Spain striker David Villa set them on their way with his ninth of the campaign, acrobatically prodding home Carlos Marchena's lob over the defence in the 12th minute.

David Albelda and then Marchena both scored from outside the area with superb shots, and Osasuna, although they pulled one back through Masoud midway through the second half, finished in disarray with nine men on the pitch.

Unai Emery's well-organised side climbed up to fourth with 24 points from 11 games, pushing Deportivo La Coruna down to fifth on 22. Depor overcame struggling Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Saturday.

Real Madrid replaced Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Saturday after Gonzalo Higuain scored in a 1-0 home win over Racing Santander, moving them on to 28 points.

Champions Barca were held 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao and have 27 points, two ahead of third-placed Sevilla, who beat promoted Tenerife 2-1 away.

Earlier, Real Mallorca maintained their 100 percent record at the Ono Estadi with a 3-1 victory over Almeria, but it needed two late strikes from Victor and Gonzalo Castro, who bagged his second of the game, to secure all three points.

Mallorca are sixth with 20 points.

Brazil striker Nilmar scored twice to lead Villarreal to a 3-1 home win over Real Valladolid that moved them up to 11th with 12 points.

The in-form Nilmar, who scored in Brazil's recent friendlies against England and Oman, headed the opener after seven minutes and looped in a second header just after the re-start.

Italy's Giuseppe Rossi made it 3-0 before Diego Costa pulled one back for the visitors, but Ernesto Valverde's side continued their steady climb up the table after being rooted to the bottom last month.