Juanma Mata and Pablo Hernandez scored late goals as Valencia rallied for a 3-1 win over 10-man Sevilla on Sunday.
Julien Escude’s header from a corner squeezed in off the underside of the bar to give Sevilla a ninth-minute lead at the Mestalla before the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd when Adriano was sent off for tripping David Villa from behind.
Escude was at fault for a 45th-minute penalty after he collided with Mata inside the area, with Villa stepping up to beat goalkeeper Andres Palop.
Valencia took the lead in the 83rd minute with another penalty, converted by Mata after Fernando Navarro handled Vicente Rodriguez’s cross. Hernandez added the third, deep into injury time, to seal a fourth straight win for his side.
It was a highly charged match, which saw 16 cards brandished and Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez banished from the touchline in the 86th minute.
Valencia are fourth with 52 points — three more than nearest challengers Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.
Also on Sunday Villarreal drew 0-0 with Valladolid while Espanyol moved off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win over Racing Santander.
Alvaro Negredo scored two goals to lead Almeria over Osasuna 2-1 while Achille Emana scored both goals as Real Betis earned a 2-0 win over Sporting Gijon.