First division day 27
Mallorca rounded off their magnificent season against the big three with a 1-0 victory over top of the table Real Madrid. A headed goal from Luque shortly before half time gave them the victory which leaves them only a point behind fourth placed Barcelona. Real Madrid's defeat was less significant as the teams below them failed to take full advantage. Second placed Deportivo lost 2-0 the night before against Las Palmas who had previously only taken one point in five games. Both goals came from Samways corners in the first half, with Josico heading the first and Alvaro the second. Deportivo stay five points behind the leaders.
Juan Sánchez gave third placed Valencia a first half lead at Celta, but two controversial penalties in five minutes in the second half put the home side back in the game. Karpin converted both and completed his hat-trick a few minutes later, but Vagner turned the ball in his own net two minutes from the end to make it 3-2. The Brazilian then got himself sent off after giving away a penalty in injury time, but Cavallero saved from Kily González. Barcelona missed out on a golden opportunity to get back in the title race with a disappointing 1-1 draw at Numancia. Kluivert gave them the lead in the first half but Rubén Navarro squared the match in the second.
Sixth placed Villarreal opened up a three point gap over their immediate followers with a 4-2 victory over Racing Santander. Cagna, Jorge López, Palermo and Craioveanu put them four up before Magallanes and Mazzoni pulled two back in the last quarter of an hour. Racing drop back to last spot after Osasuna earned themselves a point in a thrilling match at home to Málaga. Rufete and Dely Valdés gave the visitors a two goal lead, but strikes by Alex, Gancedo and Iván Rosado put the Pamplona side ahead. However an injury time goal made it 3-3, taking Málaga to ninth place, a point behind Celta and Alavés, who drew their local derby at Real Sociedad 1-1. De Paula gave John Toshack's side the lead with a spectacular header, but a Contra shot made it all square.
Oviedo finally won their first game away from home, beating Rayo Vallecano 0-2. Rayo appeared to be affected by their defeat in the UEFA cup against Alavés midweek, and put up little resistance as Danjou and then Oli beat keeper Kasey Keller. They move four points clear of the bottom four, and Radomir Antic's job is safe for another week. Espanyol also won their first game for six weeks thanks to a late Tamudo goal against Valladolid. They move up to tenth, level on points with Athletic Bilbao who forced a 2-2 draw at Zaragoza. The home side took the lead twice through Jamelli and Esnaider, but first Tiko and then Urzaiz levelled the scores. (18.03.01)