First Division Day 25
Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in an action packed match which ended in controversy when the referee disallowed a last minute goal from Rivaldo. Raúl opened the scoring early on after a long pass from Roberto Carlos, but Rivaldo equalised ten minutes from half time after rounding Casillas. A minute later Raúl re-established the lead after Reina turned McManaman's shot against the post. Rivaldo levelled the scores again in the second half with a shot from outside of the area to share the points. With Deportivo losing, Madrid move five points clear at the top, and they maintain their nine point advantage over fourth placed Barcelona.

Deportivo lost ground on their rivals after losing 2-1 to Mallorca. The return of Eto'o and Ibagaza to the home side was key to their victory, each getting a goal before Makaay pulled one back near the end. Mallorca stay in fifth place and close up a couple of points on the top spots.

A second half penalty by Mendieta saved a point for third placed Valencia at Zaragoza. Esnaider had given the home side early on before a foul by Aguado on Angulo let the visitors back in. Cúper left Aimar and Kily González out of his starting line up with one eye on Wednesday's Champions League tie at Sturm Graz.

Real Sociedad moved out of the relegation zone, at least for 24 hours, after beating Rayo Vallecano 2-0. Llorente opened the scoring in the first half and De Paula added the second after the break. (03.03.01)

Villarreal lost ground on the leaders, losing at home 1-2 to Málaga, their second defeat in a row. Darío Silva gave the visitors the lead just before half time, and although Arruabarrena forced in an equaliser in the second half, the Uruguayan striker took advantage of a defensive mistake to get his second of the night and give his team maximum points. Villarreal drop down to sixth, three points still ahead of the following group.

The battle at the bottom of the table hotted up with the victory of Numancia over Racing Santander. An early own goal by Ramis gave the Soria side a 1-0 victory, and they go back above Real Sociedad, just out of the relegation zone. Racing drop to last place after Osasuna beat Valladolid 2-1. Iván Rosado scored twice in a five minute period in the second half, and García Calvo got a late consolation goal for the visitors in injury time.

The victories of the bottom clubs moves them closer to Oviedo, who lost by a single Catanha goal to Celta. Oviedo have now lost five in a row, and are only a point above Numancia. Celta continue their climb up the table, and they move level on points with tenth placed Espanyol, who could only draw 0-0 with Alavés. With Rayo losing, the Vitoria side rise up to seventh, heading a group of nine teams separated by only four points. Rayo, Málaga and Athletic Bilbao, who drew 0-0 at Las Palmas, are just a point behind Alavés. (04.03.01)

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