Málaga CF triumphed 2-0 at Sevilla FC in the Andalusian derby to move within four points of third-placed Real Madrid CF, who play RCD Espanyol on Sunday before visiting La Rosaleda next week.
Álvaro Negredo had the best chance of the first half, but after neatly rounding Willy in the Málaga goal he sliced a right-foot shot against the upright. Manuel Pellegrini's charges created little, but came out of the traps quicker after the break and Martín Demichelis headed in Joaquín's 49th-minute corner.
Last man Federico Fazio then felled Joaquín to earn himself a red card – Sevilla's sixth in their last four games – and concede a penalty. Eliseu did the honours, and the visitors held on for their ninth Liga clean sheet of the campaign.
Eliminated from the Copa del Rey in midweek by third-tier SD Eibar, Athletic Club prevailed 1-0 at RCD Mallorca, who are third from bottom and without a win in any competition since 23 September. Granada CF, one place above the Balearic club, drew 0-0 at home with Real Sociedad de Fútbol and Diego Castro earned Getafe CF a point against ten-man CA Osasuna with an added-time penalty.
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