Espanyol, Deportivo escape drop zone with 2nd wins
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Espanyol and Deportivo La Coruna each earned much-needed second wins of the Spanish league season on Sunday, as both sides provisionally rose out of the relegation zone.
Espanyol won 1-0 at Real Sociedad for its first away victory through 10 rounds, while Deportivo ended an eight-game winless streak after edging out visiting Mallorca 1-0.
Sociedad had carried the weight of the game at Anoeta stadium until Diego Colotto tapped in a short pass from fellow center back Hector Moreno while sprawled on the ground following a corner kick in the 77th minute.
Espanyol stayed unbeaten in four league matches, while Sociedad coach Philippe Montanier had to hear part of the crowd calling for his resignation after his team remained winless in four games, including the Copa del Rey.
"My team never gave up at any moment,'' said Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino, adding that his team was fortunate to take away the three points "because there is always a luck factor you need to go your way in any game.''
At Riazor stadium, Bruno Gama scored what proved to be Deportivo's winner at the half-hour mark when the forward first cut left, then right, to get clear and fire the ball off the far post.
Luis "Pizzi'' Afonso came close to doubling the lead when he hit the crossbar with a free kick, but Mallorca was toothless in attack and recorded its fifth straight loss.
Later, Levante visits Sevilla seeking a fourth consecutive win that would propel it into fourth place in the Spanish league, keeping it in the thick of the race for a Champions League spot.
Also, last-place Osasuna hosts Real Valladolid, while Athletic Bilbao is at Granada.
Barcelona took sole possession of the league lead with a club-record ninth win in 10 rounds while Atletico Madrid suffered its first loss of the season, a 2-1 defeat at Valencia.
Real Madrid remained eight points behind Barcelona in third place after beating Real Zaragoza 4-0, while Malaga fell into fourth place after losing 2-1 to Rayo Vallecano.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
SI Now Live Friday December 20, 2013
SI Now: Olympians on Liberty Mutual, gearing up for Sochi