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Valencia held to another La Liga draw

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/12/2016 Tales Azzoni

The frustration keeps piling up for Valencia in La Liga, with Cesare Prandelli's team conceding an equaliser in the final minute of stoppage time in a 2-2 draw with Malaga.

The draw extended their winless streak in the league to six games, prompting more jeers from disappointed home fans at Mestalla Stadium.

"We have to stay optimistic," Prandelli said. "We have to find ways to overcome these obstacles. I know it's hard, but we have to keep our heads high."

The hosts appeared in position to finally win , but the defense faltered and Malaga midfielder Pablo Fornals scored from inside the area right at the end of the match.

Fornals had scored Malaga's first goal three minutes into the game, but striker Rodrigo and midfielder Alvaro Medran each netted in the first half to give Valencia a chance to snap the winless streak.

Prandelli won in his first match in charge of Valencia in October, but since then has had three losses and three draws to drop to 16th in the standings.

"It's a pity, we played well enough to win this game but we let it escape again," Rodrigo said. "We have to stay united and keep working hard."

Malaga, unbeaten in four league games, are in 11th place with 20 points.

Leaders Real Madrid drew with Barcelona 1-1 in Saturday's "clasico" at Camp Nou to move to 34 points and maintain their six-point advantage over their Catalan rival.

Sevilla are third with 27 points and Atletico Madrid fourth with 25.

Playmaker Benat Etxebarria scored with a superb free kick just before halftime to lead Athletic Bilbao to a 3-1 victory over Eibar, getting his team back in the fight for a Europa League spot.

It was Athletic's second win in their last three matches, leaving them seventh in the standings with 23 points, the same as fifth-placed Villarreal and sixth-placed Real Sociedad.

Spain striker Iago Aspas scored a goal in each half and Argentine defender Facundo Roncaglia netted an 85th-minute equaliser for Celta Vigo in its thrilling 3-3 draw with Real Betis in Seville.

Betis twice had the lead with goals by striker Ruben Castro, Paraguay forward Antonio Sanabria and Argentine defender German Pezzella. But Celta kept coming back to secure the away draw that left the visitors in ninth place with 21 points.

Elsewhere, Alaves drew with visiting Las Palmas 1-1, while hosts Sporting Gijon defeated Osasuna 3-1 to snap a 10-match winless streak.

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