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 By PA Sport

Levante edge Villarreal late in return to top flight; Eibar hold off Malaga

Jose Morales scored the only goal as Levante defeated Villarreal.

A late penalty from captain Jose Morales gave Levante a 1-0 win over Villarreal in their La Liga return at Ciutat de Valencia.

The Segunda Division champions went close at the end of the first half when a header from Alex Alegria hit the underside of the crossbar.

Villarreal almost went ahead in stoppage time when Alvaro Gonzalez saw his effort from a corner saved.

On 65 minutes, Levante defender Chema stabbed the ball just wide from close range and it looked like a disappointing night for the home side against their neighbours from 64 kilometres up the coast.

Morales saw his rising shot saved by Villarreal keeper Andres Fernandez before finally making the breakthrough with just two minutes left.

The Levante skipper weaved into the left side of the penalty area before being clipped by Antonio Rukavina.

Morales picked himself up to coolly dispatch the resulting spot-kick low into the bottom right corner, thus getting Levante's start to life back in the top flight off to a good start.

Monday's late kick-off saw Eibar win 1-0 at Malaga with a goal for Brazil forward Charles against his old club.

The visitors thought they had raced into an early lead through their summer signing after just three minutes, but the celebrations were cut short as the referee had spotted a handball.

Malaga went close when Venezuela forward Juanpi saw his shot flash just past a post.

Charles, who left Malaga in the summer after two seasons, then fired straight at goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez from inside the six-yard box.

Just before the hour, though, the Brazilian did find the net when he headed a cross from defender Jose Angel into the far corner.

Malaga almost grabbed an equaliser when Borja Baston, on loan from Swansea, saw his long-range effort saved by Marko Dmitrovic.

At the other end, Eibar defender Ivan Alejo headed over before, with 15 minutes left, Japan midfielder Takashi Inui forced a good stop from the Malaga keeper.


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