Tino Costa headed an injury time winner for Valencia to win 3-2 at RC Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, the hosts finishing the game with nine men to remain bottom of the league.
Valencia move into fifth and level on 33 points with city neighbors Levante UD, but both can be surpassed by Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and Malaga, who were scheduled to be in action yesterday.
Deportivo stay rock bottom of La Liga, now four points from safety, and will have to improve if they are to avoid the drop.
They began very nervously when Jonas Goncalves headed home a near-post corner to put Valencia ahead after only 32 seconds.
Deportivo then survived an early Valencia onslaught and Costa, Pablo Piatti, Jonas and Nelson Valdez on two occasions could have extended the lead before Riki struck twice to give his side an unexpected lead at the interval.
The equalizer came on 32 minutes with a header from a Pizzi free-kick, before he broke on the counterattack and hit a left-footed drive on the stroke of halftime to make it 2-1.
Riki now has eight for the season, but his team has the worst defensive record in the league and they were not helped on 52 minutes when Silvio, a recent loan signing from Atletico Madrid, received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Seven minutes later Valdez made up for his earlier misses by turning home a Juan Bernat cross, but he later saw a volley brilliantly saved by Dani Aranzubia in the Deportivo goal that appeared to have earned a vital point.
Then Costa popped up in injury time with the winner and Deportivo’s Paulo Assuncao made it worse when he left his side to finish the game with nine, after an elbow on Valdez.
Levante had earlier come from behind to grab a last minute winner and beat Real Valladolid 2-1.
Javier Baraja had put the visitors ahead on eight minutes with a drive from the edge of the area, before Jose Barkero floated home a free-kick just before halftime to level the game.
The second half was an even affair, but Levante kept pushing for a winner that fortuitously came in the last minute when Obafemi Martins miscontrolled a pass from substitute Valdo, into the path of the oncoming defender Antonio Rukavina, who turned the ball into his own net.
For Levante the win ended a run of two straight defeats, while Valladolid remain in 10th place on 28 points.
Ahead of them on 30 is Real Sociedad, who drew 1-1 at RC Celta de Vigo.
Danish international Michael Krohn-Dehli gave the home side a halftime lead, but their hopes of a much-needed win were dashed when Augusto Fernandez was sent off for a second yellow card on 50 minutes.
From that point Sociedad always looked likely to get something and when Gorka Elustondo headed home a corner nine minutes later they were favorites for the win.
However, Celta held on for the point that keeps them two points clear of the relegation zone.
Real Zaragoza and RCD Espanyol played out a goalless draw that leaves both in the bottom half of the table.
Both sides lost a player to two yellow cards late on, Javier Lopez for Zaragoza and Cristian Sapunaru for the visitors, for who Christian Stuani had the best chance of the game when he saw a header well saved by Roberto Jimenez in the Zaragoza goal.