First division - day 7
Once again Valencia resisted the attack by Deportivo and Real Madrid, winning 4-0 against bottom club Espanyol to keep their one point lead at the top of the table. Rafa Benítez's side took the lead in the seventh minute when Mista took advantage of a failed clearance by Toni, and Baraja and Mista added two more on the stroke of half time after good work by Aimar and Marchena. Vicente got the fourth after the break to complete the rout, and Valencia have now gone six league games without letting in a goal.
Although it is already looking like a three horse race, Osasuna are not letting go and they held on to fourth spot with a 2-1 win over Real Murcia. Bakayoko got a goal in each half to give his side victory, with Luis García taking advantage of a mistake by debutant keeper Elía to score for the visitors in between. The result was overshadowed by a horrific injury to visiting midfielder Maciel, who broke his leg badly in a tackle, and Murcia ended with nine men after Carreras and Jensen were both sent off late on.
Racing Santander are now fifth after they came from behind to beat Málaga 4-2. Salva had put the visitors one up by the break, but Lucas Alcaraz brought on Afek and youngster Jonathan at the break and they helped turn the game around. Morán, Benayoun, Jonathan and Bodipo all found the net before Leko scored a late consolation.
Athletic Bilbao are also improving after a bad start, and they ended Villarreal's undefeated record with a 2-0 victory which takes them up to sixth. Both goals came in the second half, with Urzaiz heading home César's cross and then setting up Etxeberría for a second. Athletic keeper Aranzubia had to be at his best though to keep a clean sheet.
The Sevilla derby ended all square at 2-2 in the last match of the day. All four goals came after the break, with Reyes putting the locals in front before Denilson equalised two minutes later. Tote headed Betis into the lead soon afterwards, but substitute Antoñito saved a point for his side with a late goal.
Mallorca's new manager Luis Aragonés returned to Atlético Madrid for his first league game in charge, but his team were beaten 2-1 by Gregorio Manzano's side. Fernando Torres got his first goal of the season to open the scoring, and although Eto'o replied before the break, an injury time free kick from Jorge took Atlético above their opponents and out of the bottom three.
Zaragoza also stayed clear of the danger zone with a 1-0 win over Valladolid and they move up to twelfth spot, although they are still only a point above eighteenth placed Murcia. Savio got the only goal of the game on the quarter hour mark, and they held on despite playing the last half hour with ten men after Ponzio was sent off. (19.10.03)
Deportivo La Coruña moved back to the top of the table pending Valencia's result on Sunday after beating Barcelona 0-2. The locals were in a positive mood after their crushing win in the UEFA cup midweek, but they found it harder going against their opponent's well organised defence. And five minutes before the break Depor took the lead, Luque getting on the end of Capdevila's cross to touch the ball wide of Víctor Valdés. Luis García came close to equalising when he hit the post with a long shot after the break, but soon afterwards Valerón played the ball into space from right of goal and Sergio ran on to fire a low shot into the back of the net. Barcelona have now only picked up two points from four home games, equalling their worst ever start to the season in the Nou Camp.
Real Madrid kept up the pressure on the leaders with a comfortable 0-2 win at Celta Vigo. Fielding a full strength side, Carlos Quieroz saw his side take the lead midway through the first half when Ronaldo ran on to Figo's through ball to drill a shot low past Cavallero. Iván Helguera could have made it two when he headed Beckham's free kick against the bar just before the break, and the keeper did well to hold on to a fierce shot from Figo after the restart. But Roberto Carlos did get a seconf goal for Madrid later in the half with a rare right foot shot, and when Mostovoi shot straight at Casillas when free in front of goal near the end it was all over.
Real Sociedad were surprisingly beaten 3-1 by struggling Albacete, and lose ground on the top spots. All the action came in the last quarter of the game, with the locals opening the scoring when Delporte got ahead of the defence to head Parri's corner in on the near post. Nihat crashed a shot past Roa five minutes later, but almost immediately half time substitute David Sánchez ran through to catch Westerveld off his line with a clever lob to put the home side back in front. Xabi Alonso hit the post with a free kick at the other end, but debutant Aranda made it three for the locals and Lawal got another when he hit the woodwork late on. (18.10.03)