First division, day 5
Atlético Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Barcelona, who ended the game with nine men after Cocu and then Motta were sent off in the second half for second bookable offences by an overzealous referee. This was the first time in 67 years that the fixture has ended without goals, and Atlético ended the weekend only a point above the bottom three having only scored once this season.
Barcelona are now in sixth place, just behind Villarreal on goal average. Benito Floro's side extended their unbeaten run in all competitions this season to 12 games after beating Racing Santander 0-2. The home side may feel hard done by though after missing a penalty, having a man sent off and a goal disallowed before Sonny Anderson and Riquelme scored the goals.
Both Sevilla based sides recorded late single goal victories to consolidate their positions in the top half of the table. Betis beat Zaragoza 0-1 thanks to a long free kick from Marcos Assunçao ten minutes from the end, and Sevilla won 1-0 against Real Murcia after Antoñito scrambled home the winner in the 94th minute.
Albacete moved off the bottom of the table after beating Mallorca 2-0, their first win (and their first points) of the season. Espanyol replace them in last place after they were beaten 1-2 by fellow strugglers Málaga. Salva hit the winner near the end of the game. (28.09.03)
Valencia moved to the top of the first division after beating rivals Real Madrid 2-0 in the last game on Saturday evening. Rafa Benítez decided to play Mista in the striker's role after his good display the week before, and within four minutes he had turned Jorge López's cross past Casillas to put his side in front. Oliveira came on for the injured Aimar though and lashed in a second goal after the break.
Elsewhere leaders Deportivo were surprised by an Osasuna side who raced into a three goal lead in the first half hour of the game. The Galicians pulled two back later on though for a 3-2 final result. Osasuna move up to fourth pending Sunday's matches.
The same result at Balaidos, although the story was the other way round. Visitors Valladolid went two up with strikes by Makukula early in each half, but Celta came back with three after the break to win 3-2.
A goal ten minutes from the end by Tiko was enough to give Athletic Bilbao a 1-0 win over neighbours Real Sociedad. It was a typical Basque derby, with eleven yellow cards in all. (27.09.03)