First division, day 10
Real Sociedad held on to top spot after drawing 0-0 at Real Madrid. Reynald Denoueix's side held their own in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to take a well earned point which keeps up their unbeaten record. Both sides hit the post, Raúl in the first half from a header and Kovacevic after the break with a shot from left of goal, and both could have scored from similar incidents before the break when first Cambiasso and then Nihat broke free but were stopped by the respective keepers. Westerveld saved well from Raúl after the restart and Iván Helguera cleared off the line from Schurrer at the other end a few minutes later as the game swung from end to end. A draw though was a fair result, and Real Madrid stay in fifth place, five points away from the leaders.
Mallorca came from behind to beat Racing Santander 1-2 and move up to second place in the table. The home side took the lead when referee Moreno Delgado ruled that Cortés had brought down Munitis in the area, but Ibagaza equalised shortly before half time, surprising Ceballos with a shot straight at goal from a free kick wide on the left of the area. Moreno awarded another controversial penalty in the second half to the visitors after Sietes tackled Eto'o, and although Ceballos got to Pandiani's penalty kick, the ball went in off the post. It was a record seventh win in a row for Gregorio Manzano's side and takes them to within a point of leaders Real Sociedad.
Osasuna ended Valencia's unbeaten away record with a 1-0 victory in the Sadar stadium. The Pamplona based side scored in the sixth minute, Iván Rosado stooping to head Pablo García's long free kick past Cañizares, and could have gone further ahead in the second half when Moha went close twice. The well organised local defence meant that the visitors were largely limited to high balls into the area looking for Carew, but the big striker did manage a couple of shots at goal either side of the interval. The bad news for Rafa Benítez though were injuries to Aimar and Rufete in the first half, and both could be missing from the upcoming Champions League games at the end of the month.
Betis moved up to fourth in the table with a controversial late 2-1 victory over Celta. The visitors had taken the lead midway through the second half when Catanha laid the ball back for José Ignacio to beat Prats. Five minutes later though Assunçao found substitute Alfonso with a free kick for the striker to level the scores, and then three minutes from the end Denilson broke free in front of goal and passed across for Joaquín to tap in. The winger was clearly in an offside position though, and referee Pérez Lasa was surrounded by protesting Celta players when the game came to an end. The Vigo side drop to sixth, behind their opponents on goal difference.
Atlético Madrid also came from behind to beat struggling Espanyol 1-2. Maxi had put the Barcelona based side ahead three minutes in to the second half, beating the offside trap to collect a lofted pass from Iván De la Peña and steer the ball around Esteban. But Ramón Moya took off the ex Barcelona and Lazio midfielder a few minutes later, and the visitors got back in the game, scoring twice in the last quarter of an hour to take the three points. Both goals came from headers following crosses by Stankovic, the first by substitute Luis García and the second from defender García Calvo. Atlético are now ninth, just two points off the Champions League spots.
Athletic Bilbao were yet another side to make a comeback, and they beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 thanks to two late goals. Bilbao reject Bolo got his revenge on his old club by opening the scoring on the stroke of half time for the visitors, and almost put them further ahead at the start of the second half. However Urzaiz headed an equaliser a quarter of an hour from the end, and three minutes later Larrazábal hit the winner from the penalty spot after Arriaga was brought down in the area. Rayo's Azkoitia was sent off in the last minute after receiving a second yellow card.
Málaga scraped a 0-0 draw at Valladolid to hold on to eighth spot. It was a dull game with few chances, although Dely Valdés thought he had scored early on when his effort was cleared off the line by Peña with keeper Bizzarri beaten. Pachón hit the post midway through the first half and the two keepers made saves respectively from Darío Silva and Marcos after the break. In the end a point apiece, which keeps both safely in mid-table.
Alavés bounced back from their defeat in Europe to beat bottom side Recreativo Huelva 3-0. Mané's side were two up with only a quarter of an hour on the clock, Rubén Navarro scoring the first from Magno's cross and Magno getting the second himself. Visiting keeper César was sent off ten minutes in to the second half for handling the ball outside of the area, and Ilie struck the resulting free kick past his replacement Almunia for the third.(17.11.02)
Two late goals gave Deportivo La Coruña a 2-0 victory over Barcelona on Saturday night. The visitors had matched their hosts throughout the game and were heading for a well earned point when Sergio's cross was left by Makaay and Scaloni ran on to drive a low shot wide of Bonano. Then as Barcelona threw everything forward, Luque made it two with a first time strike after good work by Víctor. Bonano had saved from Makaay in the first minute, but otherwise neither team had really created serious chances until Juanmi tipped a shot from Motta over the bar on the hour mark. Depor's victory takes them two points above their opponents up to fifth, pending Sunday's games.
A late goal too at Villarreal, where Belletti's strike two minutes from the end was enough to give the home side a 1-0 win over Sevilla. The home club had asked the game to be brought forward to Saturday to enable the Brazilian full back to play before leaving on international duty, and in the end his presence was vital to their interests. Villarreal were left with ten men with five minutes to go after Ballesteros was sent off for elbowing Víctor Salas, but three minutes later Belletti controlled Palermo's headed pass on his chest before firing a shot past Notario. (16.11.02)