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Álvaro stuns Barcelona with late Espanyol leveller

FC Barcelona trail Real Madrid CF by five points at the Liga summit after being denied victory against RCD Espanyol, Álvaro Vázquez salvaging a 1-1 draw for his side with four minutes left.

Álvaro Vázquez headed in an 86th-minute equaliser for RCD Espanyol against city rivals FC Barcelona to leave Josep Guardiola's side trailing Liga leaders Real Madrid CF by five points.

Cesc Fàbregas gave the visitors a 16th-minute lead when he timed his run perfectly to head in a right-wing delivery from Daniel Alves. The goal, Fàbregas's seventh in his last six outings in all competitions, looked like being decisive until Álvaro met Raúl Rodríguez's cross, flicked on at the near post by Thievy Bifouma. Gerard Piqué struck the crossbar in added time as Barcelona desperately pushed for the winner.

Valencia CF failed to make up ground on the top two following a 2-2 draw with neighbours Villarreal CF in which they found themselves two goals down inside 18 minutes. Aritz Aduriz denied the Yellow Submarine a vital win in José Molina's first game since succeeding Juan Carlos Garrido.

The team below third-bottom Villarreal, Real Sporting de Gijón, finished their 2-0 loss to Real Betis Balompié with nine men after red cards for Lora (43) and Carmelo (90), while Rayo Vallecano de Madrid are three points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a 2-1 defeat of Sevilla FC. The game between Getafe CF and Athletic Club finished goalless.