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La Liga Sunday: Atletico Madrid extend their advantage, Betis can't take advantage of Malaga's draw

Atletico Madrid padded their advantage in second place at Real Betis' expense while Malaga slipped up and drew against Real Zaragoza

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

This week's La Liga action wrapped up with Atletico Madrid extended their lead over Real Madrid in second at the expense of Real Betis who'd hoped to move past Malaga. Sevilla continued their solid run with a victory over Rayo Vallecano.

Malaga 1-1 Real Zaragoza

Malaga's quest for fourth place took another blow today as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Zaragoza. Things got off to a good start for the Blanquillos in the 13th minute when Hélder Postiga scored off a Manuel Fernandez's cross, finding the bottom corner of the Malaga net. The home side equalized ten minutes later when Javier Paredes was called for a handball on Joaquin Sanchez's corner. Isco put in the penalty, beating Roberto Gago to the bottom left-hand corner.

Zaragoza's day was mired slightly in the stoppage time when José Mari took down Julio Baptista earning his second yellow card of the match and a sending off.

Sevilla FC 2-1 Rayo Vallecano

Sevilla continued their mid-season renaissance under Unai Emery winning their fourth consecutive home match 2-1 over Rayo Vallecano. Sevilla went ahead right before the halftime whistle when Rayo goalkeeper Rubén Martinez raced off his line to clear the ball, but only managed to send the ball right to Ivan Rakitic who gladly chipped the ball into the empty net from 40 yards out.

Rayo pulled even six minutes in to the second half when Fernando Navarro pulled down Alejandro Dominguez as he attempted to make a play on Roberto Trashorras' corner. Ray were awarded a penalty and Dominguez wasted no time sending a low shot past Beto. Just three minutes later Sevilla's Álvaro Negredo scored on a backheel shot from close range to give his side the winner.

Rakitic was sent off in stoppage time earning his second yellow card for diving.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Real Betis

Atletico padded their advantage over Real Madrid with a 1-0 win over Real Betis. Atleti's goal came in the 61st minute when Diego Costa scored on a close range header off a cross from Koke. For Betis, it's a disappointing result as they failed to take advantage of Malaga's slip-up earlier in the day against Real Zaragoza. They remain in 5th place, one point behind Malaga for fourth place.

Atleti move within nine points of first place Barcelona but more importantly, they now lead Real Madrid by seven points.

Real Sociedad 3-0 Mallorca

Sociedad took care of Mallorca with a comprehensive performance at the Anoeta Stadium. It took awhile for Sociedad to break through against Mallorca but after 55 minutes of the home side controlling possession and out-shooting their visitors by absurd numbers, Gonzalo Castro scored. After the opener, the floodgates opened as Carlos Vela and Diego Ifránas both scored as Sociedad cruised to a well deserved victory.

Sociedad keep themselves in the hunt for a Europa League spot while Mallorca remained firmly entrenched in the drop zone, four points from safety.