Luis Fabiano and Kanoute back on song for Sevilla
Inconsistent Sevilla returned to form on Sunday with a dramatic 4-3 home win over Athletic Bilbao, with old partners Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute scoring two goals each, dpa reported.
The veteran striker pair - who guided Sevilla to two UEFA Cups and two King's Cups - finally rediscovered their form after a poor start to the season, in a match of three penalties.
Gregorio Manzano's team are now sixth, with 14 points from eight games.
Luis Fabiano opened the scoring in the 36th minute with his first goal of the season. Just before half-time the Brazilian was pulled down for a penalty, which was calmly converted by Kanoute to make it 2-0.
Luis Fabiano made it 3-0 on the hour with a classy lob. But then Sevilla had left-back Fernando Navarro sent off, and Spain striker Fernando Llorente reduced arrears with one of his trademark powerful headers.
Bilbao were then given a penalty for handball by Abdoulay Konko and Llorente made it 3-2 from the spot. But then Sevilla were given a second penalty, for an alleged foul on Alvaro Negredo, and Kanoute cooly made it 4-2.
Veteran Igor Gabilondo pulled a third goal back for Bilbao but it came too late to save them.
Earlier on Sunday, Espanyol had moved up to fifth with a 2-1 home defeat of 10-man Levante.
Espanyol kept up their perfect home record thanks to goals from Argentine midfielder Jesus Datolo and Spanish striker Jose Callejon.
Levante, who had striker Xisco Nadal sent off on the hour, pulled a late goal back through Christian Stuani but couldn't find an equalizer.
"Our home form is very strong, and that is always the basis for having a good season," said Datalo.
Espanyol have 15 points from eight matches, just one point less than Valencia and Villarreal, who share third place.
Valencia crashed 2-1 at home to Mallorca on Saturday, Villarreal were due to play sixth-placed Atletico Madrid later on Sunday.
Getafe, meanwhile, moved up to seventh with a 3-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon, with goals from Derek Boateng, Ivan Marcano and Adrian Colunga.
Another team to win 3-0 was Osasuna, who overcame Malaga thanks to strikes from Iranians Massoud Shojael and Javad Nekounam, plus one from veteran Carlos Aranda.
Sunday's other early game was a 1-1 draw between Almeria and Hercules. Nelson Valdez gave Hercules the lead, Leonardo Ulloa hit a late equalizer for Almeria.