Madrid: Asier Illarramendi's brilliant 25-yard strike just after the hour mark saw Real Sociedad leapfrog Atletico Madrid into fourth in La Liga with a 2-1 win at Espanyol on Friday.
Despite losing top scorer Willian Jose to an early injury, the visitors capitalised on a bright start when Carlos Vela and Inigo Martinez threatened the opposition with quick passing and superb one-twos. Vela opened the scoring in the 26th minute after brilliantly controlling a pass from Inigo Martinez and finishing with composure.
Hernan Perez's solo run and finish brought Espanyol level thirty minutes into the game.
However, former Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores' side fell to their first home defeat since September when Illarramendi took aim and blasted into the top corner in the 61st minute to give visitors a 2-1 lead.
With that win, Sociedad move two points ahead of Atletico Madrid, who host Celta Vigo on Sunday, in the final Champions League place but remain two points adrift of third-placed Sevilla.
League leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona will be in action on Saturday when they travel to Osasuna and Alaves respectively.
(with inputs from AFP)
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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2017 10:59:35 IST