Winless Villarreal drops to last with Xerez loss
MADRID (AP) -- Villarreal and Atletico Madrid's early season struggles continued as both sides crashed to defeat Sunday.
Antonio Ramirez scored a late winner as Xerez came from a goal down against Villarreal to win 2-1, while Atletico were thrashed 3-0 by Osasuna ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game against Chelsea.
Newly promoted Xerez's first win of the campaign moved it out of last place, now occupied by winless Villarreal, which is competing in the Europa League this season.
"It's unbelievable that we were so nervous," said under-fire Villarreal coach Ernesto Valverde. "There's tension, but we have to set the pace and go for the game. The team has to react and right now we're just thinking about carrying on working."
Robert Pires had put Villarreal in the lead after charging through midfield into the area and exchanging passes with Joseba Llorente, but the unmarked Mario Bermejo equalized in the 42nd minute by heading in a corner.
Nilmar hit the post with only the Xerez 'keeper to beat in the 75th and, four minutes later, Ramirez took advantage of a fumbled clearance by Lopez to lob the Villarreal goalkeeper, who could only waive his arms in frustration.
Atletico coach Abel Resino is under pressure after mid-table Osasuna raced to a three-goal lead inside half an hour.
Walter Pandiani scored twice, with a powerful header four minutes in and another in the 25th from a Francisco Punal freekick. Carlos Aranda swept the ball in from a rebound for the third.
Sergio Aguero struggled alone up front for Atletico without his usual partner Diego Forlan, who was rested after international duty with Uruguay.
In Sunday's other games it was: Espanyol 2, Tenerife 1; Mallorca 3, Getafe 1; Zaragoza 2, Racing 2; Malaga 1, Almeria 2, Athletic Bilbao 1, Sporting Gijon 2.
Barcelona leads the standings with 19 points, one ahead of Real Madrid after seven rounds. Deportivo La Coruna beat Sevilla 1-0 on Saturday to join it on 15 points.
At the Cornella-El Prat Stadium, Ivan Alonso beat Tenerife goalkeeper Sergio Aragoneses to put Espanyol ahead in the 11th minute, only for Alejandro Alfaro to equalize almost immediately for the visitors with a long-range shot following a lapse by 'keeper Carlos Kameni.
But Alonso scored again on the hour mark from Fernando Marques' pass as Espanyol shrugged off the absence of striker Raul Tamudo, who was dropped because of a contract dispute with the club.
At the Ono Estadi, Aritz Aduriz's brace steered Mallorca to a victory that saw it move up to fifth with 13 points. Julio Alvarez opened the scoring in the 31st before the Basque forward struck twice in the second half.
Juan Angel Albin notched a consolation goal for Getafe in the 79th.
Almeria scored two goals in as many minutes to take control at Malaga, with Domingo Cisma scoring from a free kick in the 39th and Fernando Soriano pouncing a minute later after Malaga lost possession in its own area.
Edinho pulled one back for the hosts in the 68th but Mallorca stayed winless since opening day.
Zaragoza coach Marcelino Garcia looked set for victory in his first meeting against former team Racing Santander after defender Paco Pavon and striker Angel Arizmendi's first half goals put the hosts 2-0 up inside 32 minutes. But goals from Mohamed Tchite and Oscar Serrano in the last 10 minutes brought Racing level.
Miguel Angel de las Cuevas scored twice in the second half to give Sporting a 2-0 lead against Athletic. Gaizka Toquero struck 10 minutes from the end but Athletic failed to equalize despite late pressure.
On Saturday Raul Gonzalez scored two goals as Real Madrid bounced back from its first defeat of the season with a 4-2 win over Valladolid. Barcelona's winning start to the season ended with a 0-0 draw against Valencia.