sport

Sociedad win to keep up chase

Real Sociedad kept up the pressure on Sevilla in the chase for Europe by beating Real Valladolid 1-0, Real Betis kept their slim surivival hopes alive with a win, while Valencia drew.

A solitary goal by Carlos Vela allowed Real Sociedad to take all three points at home to Valladolid and get back to winning ways after their agonising defeat at Almeria, but the result leaves Juan Ignacio Martinez's side languishing in the relegation zone.

The former Arsenal forward struck midway through the first half with a smart finish, punishing the visitors for having more of the ball but failing to create chances.

Martinez's side got more sights of goal in the second half but were unable to take advantage, slumping to a second consecutive defeat that keeps them second bottom of the Primera Division.

Jagoba Arrasate's side meanwhile stay sixth in the table, cutting the gap between themselves and Athletic Bilbao in fourth to seven points.

Valencia's bid to force their way into the European reckoning suffered a blow as they squandered a 2-0 lead away to relegation-battling Almeria.

Valencia led just nine seconds into the match through Seydou Keita and were 2-0 up when Eduardo Vargas found the net 10 minutes before half-time.

But Almeria replied with two goals in as many minutes early in the second half with Oscar Diaz and Corona bringing them level for a crucial point.

Salva Sevilla gave Real Betis the perfect start at Levante as the relegation battling side held on to claim a vital 3-1 victory Ciutat de Valencia.

Levante hit back after Sevilla's 12th minute opener when Papakouli Diop struck a little over 10 minutes later.

But Betis recorded their first away win of the season in dramatic fashion as a quickfire double from Jorge Molina and Ruben Castro secured all three points.

Gabriel Calderon's men are now seven points clear of safety with eight games remaining.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Perbet's early strike proved sufficient to earn Villarreal all the points from their trip to relegation-threatened Getafe.

Perbet fired home in the fifth minute as the visitors ended a run of four matches without a win to reignite their faltering push for the European berths.

The 1-0 reverse leaves Getafe coach Cosmin Contra still searching for his first win since taking charge a fortnight ago, with the club mired in the bottom three.