Zaza strikes again as Valencia beats Real Sociedad 3-2
MADRID (AP) — Simone Zaza added to his scoring streak with a late goal that gave unbeaten Valencia a 3-2 win at Real Sociedad in a thrilling Spanish league match on Sunday.
Zaza’s fourth goal in his last two games came with a left-footed shot from the middle of the area in the 85th minute at Anoeta Stadium, sealing the victory after Valencia had twice relinquished the lead.
The Italian forward was coming off a hat trick in the 5-0 rout of Malaga on Tuesday.
Valencia’s second consecutive victory moved Valencia to fourth place, six points behind leader Barcelona, which defeated Girona 3-0 Saturday to stay with a perfect record after six matches.
Barcelona has a four-point advantage over Atletico Madrid, which defeated Sevilla 2-0 Saturday for its third straight victory. Sevilla stayed third, five points back, despite having its four-game winning streak halted.
Real Madrid rebounded from a home loss to Real Betis with a 2-1 win at last-place Alaves. Madrd is fifth, seven points behind Barcelona.
Real Sociedad won its first four league games but lost its last two, dropping to eighth.
Sociedad equalized with Aritz Elustondo’s goal seven minutes after Valencia took the lead through Rodrigo in the first half. The hosts evened the match again with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring four minutes after Nacho Vidal had put Valencia ahead in the second half.
Both teams ended with 10 men because of red cards — Real Sociedad’s Igor Zubeldia in the 69th and Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia in the 80th.
“It was a spectacular match, both teams took risks and went for the victory,” Valencia coach Marcelino said. “It’s not easy to come to San Sebastian and win, Valencia hadn’t done it in seven years.”
Marcelino pulled a thigh muscle while celebrating Zaza’s winner and finished the match limping.
“I’m older, I need to control myself in certain situations,” the 52-year-old Marcelino said. “When it’s the coach getting injured, it’s not a problem.”
Espanyol beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 for its second win in the Spanish league after a poor start to the season.
Leo Baptistao opened the scoring five minutes into the match at the RCDE Stadium in Barcelona, helping the hosts to move further from the bottom of the standings.
Espanyol had earned only one point from its first three matches, but was coming off a win against Celta Vigo and a draw at Villarreal. It reached 12th place with the victory on Sunday.
An own-goal by Deportivo La Coruna defender Alejandro Arribas gave Espanyol a 2-0 lead at halftime. Striker Gerard Moreno added a brace in the second half after Celso Borges had put the visitors on the board.
Deportivo was coming off its first victory of the season against Alaves in the previous round. It has lost four of its six matches and is inside the relegation zone.
NEAR THE TOP
Leganes won 2-0 at Las Palmas to halt a three-game winless run and move closer to the top.
The club from southern Madrid is sixth with 10 points, one less than Real Madrid.
It was the second straight loss for Las Palmas, which stayed on six points.
Getafe scored three goals early in the second half to rout Villarreal 4-0 and win its first home game of the season.
Angel Rodriguez scored in the 54th minute, Jorge Molina in the 64th and Markel Bergara in the 67th. Rodriguez closed the scoring in second-half injury time.
Getafe’s other win had come at Leganes in the third round.
Villarreal was unbeaten in its last four matches. It had opened with two consecutive losses.
Celta Vigo scored twice in each half to earn a comfortable 4-0 win at Eibar, snapping a two-game winless streak and moving further away from the bottom of the table.
It was the fourth defeat for Eibar, which was coming off a 6-1 rout to Barcelona.
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