Spain: Atletico tops Osasuna, Malaga falters yet again
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Diego Costa scored twice to give Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win at Osasuna's hostile Reyno de Navarra Stadium on Sunday, keeping his team in the chase for a runner-up finish in the Spanish league.
Elsewhere, Malaga wasted a chance to regain its hold on fourth place by slipping to a 2-0 loss to visiting Espanyol, while Sevilla rolled to a 4-0 win at home over 10-man Real Zaragoza.
Atletico rebounded from its first home loss of the season in the last round with a no-nonsense performance that left it one point behind second-place Real Madrid. Barcelona is a further 10 points ahead before it hosts Rayo Vallecano later.
Diego Costa has a reputation for being one of the league's most physical players, and he responded to the jeers of the home fans with a pair of goals before being helped off with an apparent leg injury in the 74th.
The Brazilian forward, who scored a hat trick here two seasons ago, headed in his own miss after goalkeeper Andres Fernandez saved his first try to finish off a counterattack led by Jorge "Koke'' Resurrecion in the 35th minute.
He sealed the win with a second goal in the 48th by muscling by his marker to tap in Koke's well-placed free kick.
On Wednesday, Malaga beat Porto to reach the last eight in the Champions League, but a disciplined Espanyol proved too much for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
After a subdued first half at La Rosaleda, defender Diego Colotto put Espanyol in front in the 49th when he fired in a corner kick spilled by goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
"(Caballero) is human and has the right to make a mistake,'' Pellegrini said. "He has played some great games and just got unlucky this time.''
Espanyol had little trouble soaking up Malaga's pressure and doubled its lead in the 66th off a counterattack led by Wakaso Mubarak, who raced down the left side and crossed for Sergio Garcia to deftly sidefoot into the net.
Malaga was left in sixth place, while Espanyol rose 11 points clear of the drop zone.
Sevilla's lopsided win left Zaragoza just two points above the relegation zone and winless in 11 rounds.
Sevilla right back Jorge "Coke'' Andujar opened the scoring in the 28th and added another goal in the 52nd- his first goals of the season- after Zaragoza's Stefan Babovic received his second booking in the 31st.
Jose Antonio Reyes combined with fellow forward Jesus Navas to add a third goal on the break in the 63rd, before setting up Alvaro Negredo to cap the rout five minutes later.
Sevilla has inched up into 10th place after winning its last six games at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Last-place Deportivo La Coruna beat Celta Vigo 3-1 on Friday. On Saturday, it was: Real Madrid 5, Mallorca 2; Real Sociedad 4, Valladolid 1; Valencia 3, Real Betis 0; and Getafe 1, Athletic Bilbao 0.