MADRID (AFP) – Valencia’s unbeaten start to the season came crashing to an end as they were beaten 3-0 away at struggling Deportivo la Coruna as Sevilla moved into second on Sunday.
Second-half goals from Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro handed Sevilla a 2-0 win at Elche to move them above Real Madrid and to within three points of leaders Barcelona.
Valencia are now tied with Atletico Madrid in fourth place after the champions beat Espanyol earlier in the day thanks to goals from Tiago and Mario Suarez.
Los Che had started the weekend just two points behind Barca, but never got going against a Depor side that had won just one of their first seven league games on their return to the top flight.
The hosts opener came in controversial circumstances, however, as Shkodran Mustafi inadvertently turned a corner towards his own goal and despite Jose Gaya’s attempts to clear off the line the goal was given, although replays suggested the whole ball hadn’t crossed the line.
German international Mustafi was at fault again as Depor doubled their lead six minutes later, misjudging a header as Lucas Perez scampered in behind the Valencia defence before firing in off the far post.
Valencia pushed for an equaliser after the break, but despite starting with Spanish internationals Paco Alcacer and Rodrigo up front, the closest they came to getting back into the game was when Alcacer struck the outside of the post 13 minutes from time.
However, within a minute, Deportivo had extended their lead as Toche took advantage of the huge space in behind the Valencia defence to gallop clear on goal and slot past Yoel Rodriguez.
Sevilla took advantage of Valencia’s misfortune to record their sixth win in their last seven games.
Colombian international Bacca opened the scoring from close range after Manu Herrera had parried Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu’s drive.
And substitute Gameiro secured the three points when he headed home Denis Suarez’s cross 17 minutes from time.
Earlier, Atletico moved back to within five points of Barcelona thanks to a routine win over Espanyol.
Tiago opened the scoring with a wonderful looping header into the far corner from Gabi’s cross two minutes before half-time to settle the hosts’ nerves.
The Portuguese midfielder then limped off early in the second half, making him a doubt for Atletico’s Champions League game against Malmo in midweek.
However, his replacement Suarez had the easy task of tapping home the second from Jose Gimenez’s header 20 minutes from time.