Big two come from behind to win
A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish La Liga.
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Gonzalo Higuain scored an 88th-minute winner as Real Madrid came from a goal down to sneak past a 2-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna.
The hosts, bottom of the Primera Division, took the attack to a slightly weakened Madrid side, with Luis Pizzi and Riki causing problems before the latter broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the interval.
Depor had several chances to extend their lead but were made to rue some poor finishing when Kaka equalised in the 73rd minute, while Higuain sealed victory for the visitors two minutes from time.
Angel Di Maria was then given his marching orders in the 90th minute after picking up two bookings, but it mattered little to the result.
Barcelona also had to come from a goal down to beat Sevilla 2-1 and extend their lead at the top to 15 points.
Sevilla who took the lead through Alberto Botia in the 42nd minute before two goals in eight minutes turned the game on its head.
David Villa equalised when he nodded home in the 52nd minute on his return from a kidney stone operation before Lionel Messi scored his 38th league goal of the season eight minutes later.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Getafe came from a goal behind to win 3-1 at Real Mallorca thanks to scoring three times in the closing stages of the match.
Giovani Dos Santos gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half but everything changed when Getafe were awarded a controversial penalty with 20 minutes remaining.
Diego Castro scored from the spot to equalise and then Adrian Colunga netted twice inside five minutes to condemn Gregorio Manzano's side to back-to-back defeats.
Real Zaragoza missed a great chance to increase the gap between them and the sides in the relegation zone by throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Valencia.
A penalty by Apono and a headed goal by Helder Postiga gave the Aragon side a two-goal cushion that was cancelled out by a double from Jonas.
However, things could have been even worse for Manolo Jimenez's side, who played the final 11 minutes of the game with 10 men after goalkeeper Leo Franco was sent off for handling the ball outside his area.
On Sunday, Real Betis got their European bid back on track in emphatic fashion after hitting high-flying Andalusian rivals Malaga with a first-half blitz at the Benito Villamarin stadium.
Jorge Molina opened the scoring inside the first 30 seconds and further goals from Mario and Dorlan Pabon increased Betis' lead before the interval.
The hosts even had the luxury of missing 35th-minute penalty through Molina as they comfortably picked up their first victory in six matches.
Shellshocked Malaga, who were beaten by Porto in the Champions League in midweek but had not lost in their previous five league outings, could find no way back after that first-half mauling and might have suffered an even heavier defeat after losing Nacho Camacho to a red card in the 63rd minute.
Atletico Madrid maintained their 100 per cent home record in the Primera Division this season by beating Espanyol 1-0 thanks to a first-half Radamel Falcao penalty.
Diego Simeone's side had to play the whole of the second half with just 10 men after Gabi was sent off on the stroke of half-time, but their defence, which has now kept eight clean sheets in the row at the Vicente Calderon, was rarely troubled by a timid and impotent Espanyol.
Rayo Vallecano's ambitions for Europa League qualification suffered a blow as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Real Valladolid.
The visitors took a second-half lead thanks to an own goal by Jordi Amat, who then scored an outstanding goal at the other end to equalise.
However, Manucho fired Miroslav Djukic's side in front once more on 79 minutes.
New Celta Vigo coach Abel Resino enjoyed a perfect start to his spell in charge of the club with a hard-fought 2-1 win over former club Granada.
Iago Aspas gave the home side the lead on 24 minutes and although that goal was soon cancelled out by Odion Ighalo, Mario Bermejo grabbed the winner nine minutes from the end.
Resino was named as Paco Herrera's successor on Monday and inherited a club in the relegation zone, four points from safety and without a win in their last six league games.
And although they remain in the bottom three, Sunday's three points means they are now just two behind Real Zaragoza in 17th.
On Friday night, Real Sociedad recovered from a goal down to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 and claim a first away victory over their arch rivals in over a decade.
Struggling Athletic took the lead in the Basque derby on the half-hour mark through Ibai Gomez but Primera Division high-flyers Sociedad drew level almost immediately thanks to Antoine Griezmann.
The visitors then netted twice in 10 second-half minutes through Imanol Agirretxe and Carlos Vela to claim the victory which saw them move level with fifth-placed Valencia on 40 points and also end the club's miserable run of results in their neighbours' back yard.