La Liga Saturday: La Real struggle to a draw against Elche, Espanyol and Villarreal win

Denis Doyle

Carlos Vela saved Real Sociedad with a late goal to salvage a point, while Espanyol and Villarreal both pulled off come from behind wins after conceding early.

Three interesting results from La Liga today as Valencia and Real Sociedad struggled while Villarreal pulled off their second straight comeback victory.

Here's a recap of today's matches in Spain.

Espanyol 3-1 Valencia

Espanyol overcame an early Valencia goal to score a big 3-1 win over Los Che.

Hélder Postiga opened his Valencia account in the 10th minute after Adil Rami collected a ball in from Jonas with his back to goal and found Postiga who slipped a shot past Francisco Casilla to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Espanyol fought back and controlled the match for the most part, finally finding the equalizer in the 31st minute. Javí López broke free from defender Jeremy Mathieu and made an excellent play, heading Simão's pass into the bottom corner.

Espanyol moved ahead two minute after halftime when Christian Stuani headed a curling free kick from Juan Rafael Fuentes past goalkeeper Diego Alves. Thievy added a third just before stoppage time to secure the three points.

Elche 1-1 Real Socieded

La Real needed a late goal from Carlos Vela to avoid an embarrassing defeat against newly promoted Elche.

Los Ilicitanos put Real Sociedad under heavy pressure from the opening whistle and it only took 2 minutes to find the opening goal. Edu Albacar's low cross caused all sorts of problems for the Real defense as no one could get a foot on the ball, allowing it to roll to the far post where Corominas tapped it into the net.

Real did not look good at all as the match prorgressed and finally head coachJagoba Arrasate brought in Xabi Prieto and David Zurutuza, to immediate effect.

In the 75th minute Zurutuza exploited a whole in the Elche defense and played a ball in to Prieto who fired a cross that was knocked uncleanly, but effectively, into the far corner, salvaging a point for Real.

Villarreal 2-1 Real Valladolid

For the second straight match The Yellow Submarine fought back from an early deficit to earn the full three points.

Valladolid got off to a flying start in the 4th minute when Zakara Bergdich found Javi Guerra making a run into the box. Guerra collected the ball, turned inside and deftly finished into the bottom corner.

Villarreal pulled level just before the halftime break after earning a fairly soft penalty when Valladolid's Gilberto "Alcatraz" Garcia made judged to have fouled Jaume Costa. It didn't look like much on the replay but the referee was convinced and Giovanni Dos Santos stepped up and beat Diego Mariño to the bottom corner.

Five minutes from full time Villarreal's Cani absolutely blew by two Valladolid defenders and sent a rocket into the top corner that Mariño had zero chance of stopping, giving the win to the Yellow Submarine.

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