First division - day 11
The big match of the week ended with a 2-0 victory for Real Madrid against their eternal rivals Barcelona. Morientes opened the scoring in the first half with his first league goal of the season, heading in from close range after Raúl headed back McManaman's cross. Either side could have scored after the break, with Casillas saving well from Gabri and Helguera putting Madrid's best chance wide. But with Barcelona throwing everyone forward, Figo made it two on his 29th birthday after Raúl stepped over Makelele's cross on a breakaway in injury time. The result takes Real Madrid up to seventh in the table, just three points behind their opponents, who drop to third.
Deportivo held on to top spot with a convincing 5-1 victory over Osasuna. They were caught out early on though when Aloisi opened the scoring for the visitors, but four goals in twenty minutes left the Basque side down and out. Diego Tristán scored twice, the first from a Valerón through ball and the second from Víctor's cross, and Donato and Amavisca added two more in a minute before the break. Makaay came on as substitute in the second half to make it five and take Depor on to 23 points. Tristán is now the league's top scorer with six goals.
Valencia moved up to second place two points behind Depor with a late 2-1 victory over bottom club Rayo Vallecano. Salva opened the scoring in the first half after a mistake by keeper Lopetegui let him in, but Peragón levelled the scores later in the half with a controversial penalty after referee Losantos Omar ruled that Palop had brought down Michel. The home side had a chance to reestablish their lead when Losantos awarded a second penalty on Juan Sánchez, but Lopetegui saved Salva's kick. Then with two minutes left to go, Sánchez finally forced the ball in to the net to secure Valencia's eleven match unbeaten run, their best ever start to the season.
The league's other unbeaten side Celta finally lost their record after losing 4-2 to Las Palmas. It was a hard fought game, with the visitors ending up with nine men on the field after substitute Sergio was sent off before half time with a direct red and Luccin followed him with a second yellow in the last minute. Schurrer headed the Canary Island side into the lead in the first minute, and although Jesuli equalised, a Tevenet penalty and another goal from Rubén gave the home side a comfortable lead at the interval. Mostovoi pulled one back, also from the penalty spot, but Rubén got his second of the night in injury time to wrap things up.
Betis hit the headlines midweek when the club president and manager broke up a players' Halloween party at four o'clock in the morning, and several players were left out of the squad as a punishment. As a result Juande Ramos was forced to put together a makeshift starting line up, and they paid the price losing 0-1 to Zaragoza. Aguado headed the only goal of the game on the hour mark, and the three points came as a gift out of the blue to much criticised manager Txetxu Rojo, who was under pressure after his team were knocked out of the UEFA cup midweek.
The other two Andalucian teams Málaga and Sevilla met in the weekend's other derby game, with a surprise 1-3 victory for the visitors who were missing their first choice strikers Olivera and Moisés. Central defender Pablo Alfaro gave them the lead in the opening minutes, and although Musampa levelled the scores from the penalty spot before half time, two goals in five minutes from dead ball kicks, the first a Toedtli penalty and the second a Fredi free kick, gave Sevilla the three points.
Villarreal's bad run continued, and they drop down the table to twelfth after losing 1-0 to Valladolid, their sixth game in a row without a win. The only goal of the game came from the home side's on-form striker Tote, who got his sixth of the season after Cuauhtèmoc set him up in the first half. This was Valladolid's first home win of the season, and they move up to the top half of the table thanks to their good away form.
Mallorca moved closer to safety with a 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Tenerife, who drop down to next to bottom after today's matches. Eto'o put them ahead from the penalty spot ten minutes before the interval when Javi Venta was ruled to have fouled Luque, and Miguel Soler added a second in injury time, his first goal for his club. Tenerife's manager Pepe Mel could be replaced in the near future if results don't improve.
Real Sociedad climbed out of the relegation spots with their third victory in a row, this time 1-2 at Espanyol. Lining up with ten Spanish players, most of whom were home grown, the Barcelona based side took the lead through Iván Díaz with a controversial goal which the visiting players claimed did not cross the goal line. However Jankauskas made it all square soon afterwards, and a De Pedro free kick in the second half gave the Basque side the three points. (04.11.01)
Athletic Bilbao finally recorded their first win of the season at home with a 2-1 victory over Alavés. The home side raced into a two goal lead with a shot from Tiko and a header from Urziaz halfway through the first half. But in a hard fought local derby, Bilbao were reduced to ten men after Felipe received a second yellow card, and shortly afterwards Alavés pulled one back through Magno. Bilbao hung on though for their first league victory in the San Mames stadium since the corresponding fixture last April, and the Vitoria based side have still to pick up a point there in nine visits. (03.11.01)