Malaga held to 1-1 home draw by Zaragoza
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Malaga was held to a 1-1 home draw by Real Zaragoza in the Spanish league on Sunday, as forward Julio Baptista returned after a 16-month layoff with a broken right foot.
Sevilla beat visiting Rayo Vallecano 2-1 as it continued to show improvement under new coach Unai Emery.
Striker Helder Postiga side-footed a long pass into the far corner of the net to score for Zaragoza 13 minutes in.
Francisco "Isco'' Alarcon leveled for Malaga 10 minutes later by converting a penalty after Javier Parades had handled the ball in the box.
Isco and Zaragoza's Antonio "Apono'' Galdeano both hit the woodwork, but neither side was able to get the winner.
Malaga's Baptista went on in the 70th to applause from the La Rosaleda crowd. The hosts, however, lost Eliseu Pereira and Joaquin Sanchez to apparent leg injuries during the game.
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini was more upset with the state of the pitch than with the result that puts in danger his team's hold on fourth place and Spain's last Champions League spot.
"I don't think I am the only one angry about the pitch, the public is also, when 20 players are incapable of making two passes in a row,'' Pellegrini said.
In Seville, Ivan Rakitic pounced on goalkeeper Ruben Martinez's deflected pass to lob in Sevilla's opener from near the center circle in first-half injury time.
Rayo forward Alejandro "Chori'' Dominguez earned and converted a penalty kick in the 51st after he had been pulled down by Fernando Navarro in the area, but four minutes later striker Alvaro Negredo restored Sevilla's lead for good with a deft flick of his back heel to scoop Jorge "Koke'' Andujar's pass into the net.
Rakitic was shown his second booking for diving in stoppage time, ruling him out of Sevilla's next match at Real Madrid.
Sevilla's third straight home win kept it mid-table, while Rayo remained in sixth place.
Later, Barcelona visits Valencia, Atletico Madrid hosts Real Betis, and Mallorca is at Real Sociedad.
On Saturday, Madrid lost 1-0 at Granada, Osasuna edged out Celta Vigo 1-0, Getafe defeated Deportivo La Coruna 3-1, and Espanyol held on to beat Levante 3-2.
Athletic Bilbao drew 2-2 at Valladolid on Friday.
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