BARCELONA, Spain — Francisco "Piti" Medina scored a double Sunday as Rayo Vallecano won 3-2 at Levante to stay in the hunt for a Europa League berth.
Piti opened the scoring in the 20th minute by firing in a rebound. Robert Acquafresca leveled for Levante in the 52nd. Franco Vazquez finished off a Rayo counterattack four minutes later, and Piti scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 72nd to make it 3-1.
Levante midfielder Vicente Iborra pulled one back in the 86th to add drama to the final minutes, but Rayo held on for victory.
"Piti is spectacular. Every time he touches the ball he creates danger," said Rayo coach Paco Jemez, adding that his forward has scored more goals than Real Madrid stars Karim Benzema (10) and Gonzalo Higuain (14).
Rayo's first win in six rounds lifted it into eighth place in the Spanish league, which currently earns a spot in the Europa League with Malaga banned from UEFA competition next season.
"We continue fighting for something that would be historic for this club," Jemez said.
Deportivo La Coruna beat visiting Espanyol 2-0 in a tense match featuring contrasting emotions. Deportivo is provisionally out of the relegation zone, while Real Zaragoza has fallen into the drop zone before it plays Athletic Bilbao later.
Espanyol made a good start with Christian Stuani heading Sergio Garcia's cross onto the bar. But Deportivo soaked up the pressure before going ahead five minutes after halftime when Bruno Gama struck with a curling strike from the edge of the area, sending coach Fernando Vazquez charging down the sideline with fists raised to celebrate.
Substitute Nelson Oliveira sealed the much-needed win in stoppage time. But he then provoked the ire of the Riazor Stadium crowd by holding his finger to his lips in an apparent response to previous criticism he had received from the home fans. After gesturing for the stands to be quiet, the young Portugal striker shook off his teammate's attempts to hug him in celebration of the goal.
Later, league champion Barcelona plays Valladolid without injured top scorer Lionel Messi. Barcelona can match Real Madrid's record haul of 100 points from last season if it wins its remaining three matches.
Last-place Mallorca hosts Real Betis on Monday.
Atletico Madrid beat Madrid 2-1 in extra time on Friday to win its 10th Copa del Rey and record its first win over its crosstown rivals since 1999.