Málaga CF beat Real Madrid CF 3-2 in their final game of 2012, but missed the opportunity to rise above José Mourinho's side into third place in the Liga, losing 1-0 to struggling RC Deportivo La Coruña.
Depor started the day bottom of the table, but their new coach Domingos Paciência made a flying start, with the man who oversaw SC Braga's trip to the 2010/11 UEFA Cup final leading his new side to success against Málaga, who remain fourth. Pizzi, who played under Paciência at Braga, got the only goal, firing in from inside the box on 57 minutes.
Rubén Castro's tenth of the season and a Jorge Molina effort were enough to secure Real Betis Balompié a 2-1 win at Real Zaragoza on Friday, but Levante UD remain a point adrift of Betis in sixth place following a 3-1 success at home against Athletic Club. The Bilbao side had taken an early lead through Aritz Aduriz, but Christian Lell equalised, and UEFA Europa League contenders Levante's luck turned definitively before the break, Aymeric Laporte's dismissal being followed by a headed goal from Vicente Iborra. Nabil El Zhar struck from distance to make it 3-1 on 69 minutes.
UEFA Champions League hopefuls Valencia CF are three points behind Levante in seventh following a 2-1 win at Granada CF, who have not won a home game since September. The hosts' Mikel Rico was sent off in the first half for two bookable offences, but Granada seemed to have weathered the storm when Brayan Angulo (49) put them in front. Jonas got his head to a Pablo Piatti corner to level on the hour, though, and Piatti was to hit the winner eight minutes from the end, with help from Roberto Soldado.
Sevilla FC ended a five-game wait for a Liga win in the late fixture, Emir Spahić making the breakthrough late on against CA Osasuna, who replaced Depor at the foot of the table.
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