Villarreal sinks Malaga to increase survival hopes

Hernan Perez scored off a beautiful half- volley from well outside the area deep in stoppage time, and Villarreal edged Malaga 2-1 on Thursday at the El Madrigal to aid its La Liga survival hopes.

Perez drew a penalty that Marcos Senna converted in the 84th minute and struck the half-volley from 28 yards off a punch from Malaga backup goalie Ruben with the final kick of the match.

Santi Cazorla had given Malaga the lead early in the second half against his former team, but his eighth goal of the season was erased when Senna lifted a pass into the area for Perez, who was wiped out by goalie Carlos Kameni.

Kameni was sent off for the challenge, and Senna drove the penalty right down the middle against Ruben, who had just entered the match.

Malaga was set to escape with a draw, but off a corner deep in stoppage time, Ruben punched the corner out of the area, but into the path of Perez. Perez lined up the bouncing ball, and unleashed a shot into the bottom right.

The Yellow Submarines won for the second time in their last four matches and moved seven points clear of the relegation zone with six matches left in the season.

Malaga lost for the second time in its last four but is still fourth, which is good enough for a Champions League qualification spot.

Sevilla 3, Real Zaragoza 0

Seville, Spain - Alvaro Negredo scored twice in the first half as Sevilla beat Real Zaragoza, 3-0, on Thursday for its fourth win in its last five La Liga matches.

Federico Fazio opened the scoring after 10 minutes for Sevilla and Negredo had goals in the 29th and 42nd minutes as the hosts sealed three points before the break.

Sevilla climbed to seventh in the table and within one point of a Europa spot, while Zaragoza remained stuck in the relegation zone in 19th and seven points from safety with just six matches remaining in the season.

Mallorca 3, Racing 0

Santander, Spain - Mallorca downed last-place Racing 3-0 on Thursday to snap a three-match winless skid and move 12 points clear of the relegation zone in La Liga.

Emilio Nsue, Gonzalo Castro and Alfaro scored for Mallorca, which also climbed to within six points of a Europa League berth in the tightly-packed standings.

Racing lost its third straight game, and for the eighth time during a 13-match winless skid that has it cemented on the bottom of the table on just 25 points from 32 matches.