Villarreal maintain push, Sociedad climb

Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in their La Liga clash on Sunday to maintain their push for Champions League qualification. 

Jozabed had given Rayo the lead just before half-time at Camp El Madrigal, but Bakambu’s brace – the second of which came just four minutes from time – leaves Villarreal just a point behind Celta Vigo in fourth. 

The main action in La Liga on Sunday, however, was at the bottom, where Real Sociedad, Sporting Gijon and Malaga all picked up points to enhance their chances of avoiding a relegation scrap. 

Sociedad beat Eibar 2-1 thanks to a last-minute Imanol Agirretxe strike, while an Antonio Sanabria hat-trick gave Gijon a 3-1 home win over Las Palmas, who remain deep in the mire. 

Malaga could only manage a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames Barria, though the Europa-chasing hosts did have to contend with a Mikel San Jose red card midway through the first half. 

The La Liga game week concludes on Monday, when bottom-of-the-table Levante head to Espanyol.