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Molina, Castro and Isidoro (Betis)-

With Barça and Madrid battling it out for the top two places and Valencia seven points clear of the fourth placed team, the fight for the last Champions League spot and the other European places is really tight at the moment, with just two points separating fourth place Bilbao from 10th placed Osasuna.

Espanyol and Bilbao overtake Levante

Espanyol's point away to Getafe on Saturday was enough to see them overhaul Levante, who lost 3-5 at home to Rayo on Sunday, but Athletic Bilbao have a slighter better goal average – though not on head to heads – and stole ahead of Pochettino's men with a 3-0 win over Malaga. Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla put in a great performance to save a point for Espanyol after a Miku penalty had cancelled out Alvaro's fourth goal of the season. The Catalans also lost Galan to his second yellow late on and Pochettino admitted: "it was a fair result".

Bilbao made sure of the three points at San Mames with three goals in four minutes to beat Malaga, whose boss Manuel Pellegrini reckoned his team had done enough for a draw and claimed: "there are still a lot of points to play for and this team has got the skill and intensity that is required". Malaga are now down to eighth, on 31 points, two behind Espanyol and Bilbao.

Atletico concede a goal and drop two points

Atletico Madrid also failed to take full advantage, conceding their first league goal of the year and dropping two points in Gijon in their 1-1 draw with Clemente's Sporting, whose keeper Juan Pablo put in a brilliant performance, and are now in sixth on 32 points. Simeone also lost Diego Ribas to a muscle injury that will probably rule him out of next weekend's game against Barça.

Levante drop to sixth, level on points with Atletico, after an extraordinary game at the Ciudad de Valencia against Rayo. The Madrid team went in one up at half time, Levante equalized soon after the break and then the visitors put four more past their hosts, for whom Ruben Suarez grabbed two late goals to finish it off at  3-5.

Rayo enter the fray

Rayo's win takes them into European contention, as they are now up into eighth, level on points with Malaga and Osasuna, who were unable to follow up last week's heroics against Barça in Seville, where Michel got his first points with a comfortable 2-0 win that lifts Seville up to 11th, now just two points behind the Pamplona team. Seville's neighbours Betis are level with them after they put another nail into Zaragoza's coffin with a 0-2 win at La Romereda on Monday night.

That leaves Manolo Jimenez's team 11 points off safety and was big disappointment following last weekend's win against Espanyol. With Sporting taking a point, Racing and Villarreal could ill afford their heavy 4-0 defeats at the hands of Real Madrid and Mallorca, as indeed could Real Sociedad, who lost heavily(4-1) in Granada. Real are now in 16th on 27 points, one ahead of Villarreal, with Racing third from bottom on 23 and Sporting a further 3 points adrift.

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