First division - day 13

A low scoring weekend, with only 18 goals in the ten games played in the first division. Three matches ended 0-0, including the one between Valencia and Tenerife. If anything, the visitors were the better of the two sides, with Marioni, Morales and Xisco all going close. Salva and Rufete replied for the home side, but after Angulo was sent off for hitting out at Marioni a quarter of an hour from the end, Benítez gave instructions to his men to save the point. Valencia remain unbeaten, albeit with eight draws, and they drop to fourth place.

Alavés took advantage to move up to second place with a 1-0 victory over Celta. The only goal came in the fourth minute from Pablo, who had just returned from a one match suspension, and after that the home side defended their lead, ending the game with five defenders. Celta were missing four players through suspension, including Mostovoi who was given a four match ban for insulting the referee last week, and without his inspiration were unable to find a way through. This was their fourth defeat in a row, and they drop out of the top six down to eighth place.

Betis move up to fifth after a 2-0 win against bottom club Rayo Vallecano. The turning point in the game came when Rayo's Arteaga got himself sent off early in the second half for a second yellow card, and Joao Tomas headed the home side into the lead soon afterwards. Referee Undiano Mallenco then awarded a controversial penalty to Betis after Hernández handled in the area, the French defender stopping the ball thinking it had gone out of play. However the referee ruled that it had not, and Amato scored from the spot.

Betis are a point ahead of Athletic Bilbao, who drew 0-0 at home to Villarreal. Bilbao have only won one game at home this season, and they wasted a number of scoring chances throughout the match. Villarreal stay in ninth place, level on points with Celta and Valladolid, who defeated Zaragoza 2-0. Cuauhtèmoc Blanco returned from international duty with Mexico to open the scoring from the penalty spot in the twentieth minute after Jesús was fouled by Aguado, and then had a part in the second goal scored by Fernando. Zaragoza ended the game with ten men after Aguado received a second booking for protesting near the end.

Two managers, Espanyol's Paco Flores and Málaga's Joaquín Peiró, both breathed a sigh of relief after their sides won 2-1. Espanyol beat Mallorca thanks to a late goal from Martín Posse. Alex Fernández had given them the lead in the first half with his first goal since returning to the club, but Luque equalised four minutes later. Mallorca drop back down to the relegation spots. Málaga defeated Osasuna by the same result, although their victory was easier. Dely Valdés and Zárate put them two up by half time, both from corners, with Iván Rosado scoring a consolation goal in injury time. Málaga move a point above the Pamplona based side, who drop to sixteenth. (18.11.01)

A hat-trick from Roy Makaay helped leaders Deportivo to a 3-1 victory over Real Sociedad. Makaay was one of six changes made by Irureta in order to rest players for next week's Champions League game, and he took his opportunity well with three superb goals. A better than expected Real Sociedad took the lead though in the sixth minute with a 30 yard shot from Xabi Alonso which left Molina clutching at air, and the Basque side could have extended their lead if Jankauskas had been more on target. However the day belonged to Makaay, and his goals take Depor three points clear at the top pending Sunday's games. Real Sociedad sink further in to the drop zone, and a victory by Rayo tomorrow will leave them back at the bottom.

Barcelona were held to a fairly eventless scoreless draw at Las Palmas, and lose ground on leaders Depor. Missing Rivaldo, who was rested having only just returned from a gruelling trip to Brazil, they were unable to break down an efficient defence, and with both keepers on top form the points were shared. Referee López Nieto turned down penalty claims from both sides in the first half.

Two goals from Morientes gave Real Madrid a much needed 2-1 victory at home to Sevilla. With Zidane and Roberto Carlos returning to a full strength side Madrid dominated the first half, and were unlucky not to go in front early on when Figo had a goal disallowed for a dubious offside and Raúl hit the bar. Eventually Morientes beat keeper Notario with strikes either side of half time to put them on the road, although Moisés gave the home fans a scare pulling one back a quarter of an hour from the end. Madrid move up seven places to fifth pending the rest of the weekend's matches. (17.11.01)

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