First division - day 4
Celta moved a point clear at the top of the first division with a 2-0 victory over Mallorca. Both managers made changes to their sides in view of next week's European competitions, with Víctor leaving out Giovanella and Gustavo López and Krauss keeping Engonga and Luque on the bench. Both goals came from Mostovoi assists, with Edu headed the opening goal from his cross before half time and Catanha adding a second near the end after the Russian midfielder had hit the bar. Celta have not yet let in a goal in four games.
Valencia threw away a two goal lead and ended up sharing the points at Athletic Bilbao. The visitors took the lead with two goals a couple of minutes either side of half time, with Ayala heading the first from a corner and Aimar taking advantage of an error by Carlos García to get his first of the season. A rare Etxeberria header reduce the gap, and Carlos García made up for his mistake with the equaliser in the last minute.
Betis moved up to joint second in the league alongside Deportivo after a 0-2 victory at struggling Valladolid. Juande Ramos put out a virtually unchanged side, and with Denilson on his best form they ran out easy winners. The Brazilian scored the second goal himself from a short free kick, with Varela getting the first early in the second half with a lob from 30 metres out after seeing Ricardo off his line.
Betis's neighbours Sevilla came from behind against Rayo Vallecano to record their second win in a row. Rayo scored through Arteaga in the first half, but Moisés made it all square after the break after Njegus headed on a cross from the youngest player in the league Reyes. The visitors were reduced to ten men when Roy got his marching orders near the end for a tackle from behind on Casquero, and a minute later Fredi scored with an angled shot to make it 2-1. Rayo are next to bottom, just above Real Sociedad on goal average having only picked up one point in four games.
Osasuna moved off the bottom spot with a 0-1 victory over Zaragoza. They have still to score themselves in the league though, the only goal coming in the first half when Aguado turned David Cano's innocent cross past his own keeper. It was a hard game, with Juanele finally losing his nerves with the provocative Armentano and getting himself sent off for pushing the ball at his stomach after he refused to move away from a free kick. (23.09.01)
Deportivo took over at the top of the table, for 24 hours at least, with a thrilling 2-3 victory over Alavés. Sergio got the winning goal two minutes from time but their hero was Amavisca, who gave them a two goal lead with strikes in the 24th and 47th minutes, and then set up the winner for the ex Espanyol midfielder. Once again a slip in concentration in the second half let in their opponents, with Alavés drawing level with goals from Llorens from a corner and then Coloccini with a header seven minutes from the end. Referee Fernández Marín upset the local supporters sending off Iván Alonso for protesting and then disallowing a last minute goal which would have saved them a point.
Barcelona struggled to beat Tenerife, but eventually ran out winners by a flattering 2-0. Geovanni got his first official goal for Barça in the first half after a defence splitting pass by Xavi, but Bonano had to be at his best to prevent the visitors from equalising. With the home fans calling for the final whistle, Saviola picked up the ball on the wing and cut in to score past Aragoneses with the final kick of the game. The Catalan side are now third pending Sunday's games.
Real Madrid silenced their critics with a 5-1 victory over Espanyol which took them out of the relegation zone. Within 20 minutes they were three goals up, with Zidane opening the scoring in the fifth minute from Raúl's pass. Roberto Carlos got the second from a free kick, and Figo added the third from the penalty spot. De Lucas pulled one back for Espanyol after the break, but Raúl combined with Munitis to score a fourth, and McManaman made it five twenty minutes from the end.
Villarreal moved into second place behind Deportivo on goal average after a late Palermo header gave them a narrow 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad. The match was delayed by 45 minutes due to a torrential rainstorm which made conditions almost unplayable. In fact the only place in Spain with good weather was in the Canary Islands, where Las Palmas drew 0-0 with Málaga. The visitors had to play for three quarters of the game with ten men after Zárate was sent off for a second bookable offence. (22.09.01)