First division day 31

Any doubts about Real Madrid's claim to the league title this season were dissipated after this weekend's results. While Madrid were winning 2-3 at Zaragoza, the five clubs beneath them all dropped points to leave the leaders eleven points clear at the top with seven games to go. Raúl gave his team the lead twice with headers in the first half at the Romareda stadium (his fourth goal in four days), but Juanele equalised the first time and Jamelli the second before Savio finally got the winner from Figo's short corner in the 67th minute.

Celta had virtually handed the league championship to Real Madrid the day before by coming from behind to beat second placed Deportivo de La Coruña 2-1. Valerón gave the visitors the lead ten minutes in to the second half with a header, but a goal from Djorovic on his return after several months out made it all square only three minutes later. Mostovoi, who had only been pardoned from a two match suspension hours earlier, got the winner with twenty minutes to go to take Celta back up to sixth place.

Deportivo still have a four point gap over the third and fourth placed teams, Valencia and Mallorca, both of whom drew. Valencia played out a dull 0-0 draw at Oviedo in the last game of the day, with neither team risking anything. Valencia's Pellegrino was sent off in the last minute. Mallorca came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Villarreal. The home side raced into an half time lead with goals by Palermo and Víctor, but Carreras and substitute Güiza made it all square after the interval. Palermo got himself sent off near the end when he was given a second yellow card for scoring with his hand.

Barcelona sank even further after losing to relegation candidates Osasuna 3-1, and manager Serra Ferrer is expected to be replaced by caretaker manager Carlos Reixach this week. Iván Rosado scored two and alex got another directly from a corner kick, with Overmars levelling the scores for a short while in the first half. Rederee Megia Dávila sent off three Barça players in the second half, Simao and De la Peña with direct reds and Sergi for a second bookable offence. Alavés too suffered a UEFA cup hangover after their epic victory midweek. They were surprised by Málaga, who beat them in Vitoria 1-2. Larrainzar and Rufete gave the visitors the lead shortly after half time, with Téllez pulling one back later in the second half.

Alavés drop out of the top six a point behind Celta, with Málaga now only a point behind them. The last UEFA spot is being hotly disputed between these three plus Villarreal and Espanyol, who beat a poor Racing Santander side 3-0. Roger got a goal in each half, with substitute Serrano helping himself to a goal in between. There is then a five point gap to Athletic Bilbao who beat Rayo Vallecano 1-2 to end a run of six games without a victory. Ezquerro gave them the lead in the first half and Tiko made it two in injury time before Luis Cembranos pulled one back from the penalty spot. Rayo's Poschner got his fourth red card of the season in the second half.

Real Sociedad moved back out of the relegation zone once again with a 3-1 victory over struggling Valladolid, whose president Ignacio Lewin resigned earlier in the week leaving the club in financial difficulties. Youngster Gabilondo took advantage of a rare opportunity to score twice in the first half, and Tayfun added a third after the break before Pachón got a late consolation in injury time. Real are now only two points behind their opponents and draw level with Oviedo. Meanwhile Osasuna's victory takes them up above Racing, leaving Numancia down in last place despite their 1-1 draw at Las Palmas. They actually took the lead through Rosu in the first half, but Eloy won his side a point in the second half. (22.04.01)

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