| Malaga’s Roteta (left) and Romero challenge Real Sociedad’s Turk Nihat at La Rosaleda Stadium in Malaga on Sunday
Madrid: Real Sociedad reclaimed top spot in the Spanish first division from title rivals Real Madrid after a 2-0 victory over 10-man Malaga in a tense encounter at the Rosaleda stadium on Sunday.
The win meant the Basque side re-established their one point advantage over Real, who had taken over at the top on Saturday.
With just three games left, Sociedad lead the table on 72 points, one ahead of Real and six ahead of Deportivo Coruna.
Sociedad lacked their usual fluency and composure as they took on a highly motivated Malaga.
They had the better of the possession but were unable to make inroads against the well-organised Malaga defence, who appeared determined to make amends after last week’s 1-5 thrashing at Real Madrid.
But Malaga were reduced to 10 men with half an hour left when Sandro was dismissed after a second booking.
Sociedad took the lead 15 minutes later when midfielder Igor Gabilondo netted with a powerful header after defender Aitor Lopez Rekarte had unpicked the Malaga defence with a tricky run and cross from the right. Serbian striker Darko Kovacevic made sure of the victory two minutes from time when he latched on to a superb through ball from defender Bjorn Tore Kvarme, dribbled his way past one defender and finished off with a delicate chip over the ’keeper.
At the other end of the table Alaves and Recreativo Huelva (along with Rayo Vallecano) look destined to drop out of the top flight after their comprehensive defeats against Catalan sides Espanyol and Barcelona on Sunday.
Alaves lost 1-3 away to fellow strugglers Espanyol, while Recreativo went down by the same scoreline at home to Barcelona.