Villarreal stamp home authority
A review of the rest of the weekend's action in Spain's Primera Division.
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Giovani dos Santos scored twice, set up another goal and missed a penalty as promoted Villarreal put local rivals Valencia to the sword in a 4-1 drubbing on Sunday afternoon.
Only Real Madrid have avoided defeat at El Madrigal so far this season and Valencia could not follow suit as Villarreal scored twice in the opening 22 minutes through Ikechukwu Uche and Hernan Perez before Giovani made it 3-0 just after the break.
Valencia gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Ricardo Costa pulled a goal back but Giovani's late second wrapped up a convincing victory for the Yellow Submarine, who move to within two points of third-placed Madrid.
David Villa announced his return to form in emphatic style by hitting a hat-trick as Atletico Madrid thrashed Real Betis 5-0 at the Vicente Calderon.
Eighteen-year-old Oliver Torres also had a night to remember, marking his first competitive start for Atletico by opening the scoring in the first minute, as well as impressing with his passing range and ability to read the game.
Diego Costa also got on the scoresheet to grab his 11th goal of the season, adding an extra shine to what was a fine night all around for Diego Simeone's side.
Atleti are now just one point behind league leaders Barcelona but Betis are in real trouble, slipping into the relegation zone.
Forward Antoine Griezmann scored twice with his head in a 3-0 win as Real Sociedad extended the misery for bottom side Almeria by inflicting a fifth consecutive defeat.
The Frenchman doubled his Primera Division tally to four with a goal early in each half as their Andalusian opponents' win-less run since the start of the season was stretched to 10 matches.
On-loan Roma left-back Jose Angel scored only the second goal of his career and the first since his senior debut season for Sporting Gijon in 2009 as Sociedad moved up to ninth in the table.
Celta Vigo broke a four-match winless run as they claimed a thumping 5-0 victory away at fellow-strugglers Malaga.
Alex Lopez got the opener and fellow midfielder Augusto Fernandez doubled the lead before the break.
Lopez bagged his second in the 65th minute and further goals from Nolito and Charles Dias completed the rout against a Malaga side who have now lost three games in a row.
Levante leapfrogged opponents Espanyol into seventh in the Primera Division table after recording a 3-0 victory at Ciutat de Valencia.
Nabil El Zhar scored in each half, either side of Papa Baba Diawara's first-half effort, as Joaquin Caparros' side made it three wins from the last four league games.
Elche's fine run came to an end as Manuel Iturra's goal guided Granada to their first victory in three matches in the Primera Division.
Iturra headed home Fran Rico's cross from the right in the 26th minute to snap a downward spiral which had seen them take five points from eight games.
Last week's 2-0 home defeat by Getafe had prompted calls by some fans for coach Lucas Alcaraz to be sacked.
However, they will be considerably happier now although for Elche the match had appeared to represent a good opportunity to claim their fourth successive victory.
Valladolid leapfrogged Rayo Vallecano in the league table after pulling off a resounding 3-0 victory away to Paco Jemez's side.
German winger Patrick Ebert got the ball rolling by scoring an impressive goal from distance after half an hour and then Javi Guerra doubled the lead before half-time.
Any hope the hosts had of a second-half comeback swiftly vanished when Dani Larsson made it 3-0 on 48 minutes.
Goals from Ivan Rakitic and Jairo Samperio handed Sevilla a 2-1 victory over 10-man Osasuna at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
The home side stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches as they moved up to 10th in La Liga table while their lowly opponents, who have lost three of their last five, remain second bottom.
Damia Abella was sent off after 35 minutes for Osasuna, while Oriol Riera claimed a late consolation but they were unable to find an equaliser in the closing minutes.