Zaragoza escapes drop zone with 3-0 win over Rayo
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Real Zaragoza beat Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Sunday to escape the Spanish league's relegation zone, while Mallorca remained in last place after drawing 1-1 with Levante.
Sevilla, meanwhile, rolled to a 3-0 victory at home over Espanyol to move into eighth place and stay in the hunt for a Europa League berth.
Zaragoza midfielder Antonio "Apono'' Galdeano scored his first of two goals by driving in a spot kick to give the hosts their 26th-minute opener after Jordi Figueres was ruled to have blocked a pass in the area with his arm.
Rodrigo "Rodri'' Rios added another goal from a rebound in the 50th, before Apono cleared a goal-bound shot with his head in the 77th. Apono then capped the win with a long-range strike in stoppage time.
Zaragoza's back-to-back wins lifted it one point clear of the drop with four rounds to play. Rayo fell into ninth.
Mallorca started strongly at home and striker Tomer Hemed put it in front in the seventh with his 10th goal of the season. But a defensive lapse let Robert Acquafresca head in Levante's equalizer three minutes before halftime.
The draw left Mallorca three points from safety.
"We still have options and we are not throwing in the towel,'' Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano said.
Levante, which is being investigated for match-fixing in a recent loss to Deportivo La Coruna, stayed without a win in five rounds.
Levante lost forward Jose Barkero to a leg injury and defender Francisco "Juanfran'' Garcia after he knocked heads with another player.
Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez said that Juanfran had been taken to the hospital.
"We hope it is nothing serious,'' Martinez said. "He was somewhat dizzy and his head bothered him.''
Sevilla decided the contest in 23 minutes with Espanyol defender Joan Capdevila putting his team behind with an own goal in the 11th. Jorge "Coke'' Andujar then fired in a pass from Navas in the 19th, and four minutes later Alvaro Negredo took his goal tally to 20 for the season when goalkeeper Kiko Casilla erred in judging a cross the striker deftly deflected home.