First division, day 27
Real Madrid moved three points clear at the top of the table after beating third placed Deportivo La Coruña 2-0. The visitors had won five league games in a row and could have moved level with their opponents if they had won. However they were never a threat to their rivals, and found themselves behind just before the break when Ronaldo played a ball back from the goal line for Zidane to beat Molina from close up. The French midfielder returned the favour five minutes after the break, playing through a pass for Ronaldo to score a second.
Second placed Real Sociedad threw away a two goal lead in injury time, and ended up drawing 2-2 with Villarreal. Kovacevic had put them ahead in the first half from Aranzábal's pass, and made it two from the penalty spot after the break after the referee ruled that Quique Alvarez held him back. However Víctor headed a goal back in the second minute of time added on, and Jorge López scored an equaliser two minutes later following a corner to leave the Basque side stunned.
Valencia missed out on the chance to close the gap on Real and Deportivo after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Espanyol. Clemente's side surprised their opponents with a first half strike from David García after good work by De la Peña and Roger, and it was not until the hour mark that the reigning league champions equalised when Baraja followed up after Carew appeared to be held back in the area. Aimar and Rufete both put efforts over the bar as Valencia tried their best to wrap things up.
Celta's new signing Mido came straight in to the side for the game against Athletic Bilbao and made his mark with an equalising goal midway through the first half after a Del Horno free kick had given the visitors the lead. The Ajax striker was a constant threat, but it was substitute McCarthy who hit the winner in the second half with a spectacular overhead kick to take his side within three points of Valencia in fifth place.
Sevilla moved level with sixth placed Atlético after a last minute 3-2 win over Alavés. Casquero put them in front in the first half, but headed goals from Rubén Navarro and Astudillo in the second half turned the score around. Reyes made it all square though from the penalty spot after new international Javi Navarro was fouled in the area, and in the second minute of injury time the unfortunate Karmona couldn't get out of the way of Juan Pablo's clearance and scored in his own net.
Sevilla move ahead of their city neighbours Betis, who have now gone five games without a win after drawing 0-0 at Málaga. Both keepers were on top form, with Prats turning a long shot from Iznata against the post early on and Arnau, substituting for the suspended Contreras, stopping an Assunçao free kick later in the first half. Málaga thought themselves unlucky not to win though when Darío Silva had a goal disallowed after the break.
Barcelona closed to within three points of the UEFA spots after they thrashed Racing 6-1. Kluivert scored in the first minute from Riquelme's pass and the Argentine midfielder scored the second himself six minutes later before Kluivert made it three. Javi Guerrero pulled one back after the break, but Overmars scored twice in three minutes near the end and Mendieta finished things off with an injury time penalty after Saviola had been fouled.
Mallorca moved closer to safety after they came from behind to beat Valladolid 2-1. The visitors had opened the scoring on the stroke of half time when Jonathan headed past Leo Franco, and Olivera could have made it two after the restart when he hit the bar. The local crowd started to get on their players' backs before Pandiani headed Riera's cross down into the corner of the net, and three minutes later the roles were reversed as Riera turned in Pandiani's cross for the winner.
Osasuna were close to taking revenge on Recreativo for their elimination from the cup at the semi-final stage, but an impressive late goal from Pernía made it 1-1 to save a point for the bottom club. Aloisi had put the visitors in front in earlier in the second half with a first time volley in off the post. (23.03.03)
City rivals Rayo Vallecano and Atlético Madrid drew 0-0 in the only game played on Saturday night. Both sides really needed a win to further their particular objectives, the home side to try and get out of the bottom three and the visitors to close back up on the European spots. It was all one-way traffic in favour of Atlético in the first half, with Segura saving from Jorge and Fernando Torres and José Marí putting efforts wide, and only a Quevedo header on the stroke of half time caused any problems for Esteban. Rayo got back in the game after the break though, with Michel seeing his shot cleared off the line by Contra with the keeper beaten and Bolo hitting the bar later in the half, although Atlético could have won it themselves when Fernando Torres hit the underside of the bar, and they felt hard done by when the referee failed to spot a hand ball in the area by Mario. In the end a point apiece, which left both managers feeling they could have done better. (22.03.03)