Getafe climbed out of the relegation zone after shocking Valencia 3-1 at the Mestalla on a day which saw several lower-placed teams pick up unexpected results in the Spanish La Liga. Getafe were without a league win since November – a run of 15 matches – and they looked on course for another night of disappointment as ninth-placed Valencia took a sixth-minute lead through Eduardo Vargas.
However, two goals in three minutes just before the half-hour mark from Angel Lafita and Ciprian Marica turned the game on its head, and Getafe captain Pedro Leon wrapped up the points with a third goal two minutes from time. Soon after that goal Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu was sent off following an off-the-ball incident involving Leon as tempers boiled over both on the pitch and the touchline in the closing stages.
The victory sees Getafe move above Osasuna, Almeria and Real Valladolid in the relegation dogfight, and was much-needed as three of their rivals near the bottom of the table all picked up points. Valladolid were the other victors, beating Almeria 1-0 thanks to an early goal from former Manchester United striker Alberto Manucho. Almeria lost Marco Torsiglieri to a red card with 15 minutes to go as they slipped back into the bottom three.
Osasuna also picked up a decent result as they held fifth-placed Real Sociedad to a 1-1 draw, although with Getafe winning in the late kick-off they still slipped down a place into the bottom two. Gonzalo Castro put Sociedad ahead after just seven minutes but Osasuna equalised just before the hour-mark as Oriol Riera headed home.
The day’s other game did not go as as anticipated either, with Elche holding Villarreal 1-1 at El Madrigal. Villarreal would have gone fifth with a win but they fell behind to a Damian Suarez penalty and needed an equaliser from Jonathan Pereira on the stroke of half-time just to claim a draw. Elche remain two points above the drop zone while Villarreal stay seventh.