La Liga Saturday: Deportivo rise out of the relegation zone

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

It was a wild Saturday in Spain and a pleasant reminder that just because Real Madrid and Barcelona weren't playing it doesn't mean there's not soccer worth watching in La Liga.

Deportivo La Coruña rose like a phoenix out of the relegation zone for the first time since November, Valencia appeared to have won a second straight match with a late goal but were stunned by Espanyol in the final seconds. All those details and more as we recap Saturday's games in Spain.

Real Valladolid 2-1 Getafe

A late strike from Javi Guerra helped Real Valladolid complete a second half comeback against 10-man Getafe. It's also Valladolid's first home win since January.

Despite Valadolid being the better side through the first half it was Getafe who took the lead right before halftime. Borja Fernandez sent a well timed long bal into the attacking third right as Paco Alcacer beat the offside trap. Alcacer took advantage and sent a header looping over Daniel Hernandez.

Valladolid finally got on the board in the 78th minute when Óscar González headed a Alvaro Rubio cross just beyond the Getafe keeper Jordi Codina. Four minutes later Guerra chested down a ball from González, took a quick touch and then fired a shot into the bottom corner to pur the home side ahead.

Any hopes of a Getafe comeback were stymied in the 76th minute when Alexis was shown a straight red for an elbow to head on Patrick Ebert as the two players went up for a header.

Levante 0-4 Deportivo La Coruña

Depor's meteoric rise from last place saw them rise out of the relegation zone with a 4-0 thrashing of Levante. Depor could still fall back depending on the results from Granada and Real Zaragoza, but Fernando Vázquez's can celebrate their four straight win.

Depor jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half with Valeron getting things started in the 12th minute and Pizzi doubling the lead in the 20th minute with a rocket from just on the edge of the area. Depor's third goal came eight minutes later after Levante keeper Gustavo Munua fumbled Nélson Oliveira's shot over the line. Bruno Gama added a fourth in stoppage time...just for fun.

This is the first time Depor is out of the drop zone since November but they'll still have some work to do to avoid dropping back to the Segunda Division after earning promotion last year.

Espanyol 3-3 Valencia

For the second straight game it appeared that Valencia had ripped a victory from the jaws of a draw with a last second goal. Roberto Soldado's strike three minutes into stoppage time looked to have secured them the win but Sergio García's late kick goal allowed Espnayol to take a point.

Mubarak Wakaso staked Espnayol to a 1-0 lead right before halftime but things didn't really get going until the second half. Sergio Canales equalized for Valencia in the 53rd minute, but Verdú pushed Espnayol back into the lead with eight minutes left.

Valencia equalized yet again thanks to Jonas in the 87th minute as he collected a loose ball in the box and fired a shot into the bottom corner. Soldado put them ahead one minute into stoppage, popping up in the right spot to tap the ball in after a fairly quiet match from the striker.

Things weren't over yet though.

Espnayol's Raul Rodriguez, who wasn't even in the game, was shown a red card for giving the linesman a piece of his mind after the goal. Espanyol funneled their rage and Garcia's short range finish after a scramble in the Valencia box saved a well deserved point for the home side.

Malaga 1-0 Osasuna

Júlio Baptista's stoppage time winner pulled Malaga back up to fifth and give them a bit a positive after their disappointing Champions Leaguer esult in the mid-week.

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