First division, day eleven

Some unexpected results this weekend, with Valencia and Real Madrid both missing out on the chance to go top of the table after defeats against Racing Santander and Sevilla respectively. Last week's leaders Valencia lost 1-2 to a Racing side who are having a good season and who ended the weekend up in eighth place. Bodipo opened the scoring for the visitors after Marchena failed to clear a long ball, and although Baraja made it all square with a clever back heel three minutes later, Bodipo popped up again early in the second half to hit the winner from Regueiro's cross.

A disastrous game by Real Madrid, who found themselves three goals down against Sevilla with less than twenty minutes on the clock. The first was a fluke own goal by Helguera when he got in the way of Rubén's headed clearance, and Darío Silva and Daniel Alves added two more soon afterwards against a makeshift defence missing both first choice full backs. Queiroz took off Rubén midway through the first half, but an excellent Reyes found Casquero for him to make it four before the break. Ronaldo did get one back in the second half for a 4-1 final scoreline, but Madrid ended the day down in third place. Guti and Darío Silva were both sent off later on by referee Tristante Oliva, who showed seventeen cards in all.

Barcelona moved up to the fourth Champions League spot after a 2-1 victory over Betis. Rijkaard once again left Kluivert on the bench, but he brought him on when Ronaldinho went off injured midway through the first half. And the Dutch striker was in the right place to score the opener when Contreras let Luis García's cross through his legs. Fernando took advantage of indecisive defending to equalize after the break, but Ito got himself sent off for the visitors and Márquez headed the winner from an Overmars corner near the end.

Atlético Madrid moved up to fifth spot with a 1-0 win over Villarreal, their fifth victory in a row. The last time they had a run like that they won the double, and Manzano has finally hit on the winning line up after a bad start to the season. For once Fernando Torres didn't score, even though he did go close a couple of times, but the winning goal came from Novo who combined with Nikolaidis after the break to beat Reina.

Osasuna finally drop out of the Champions' League spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valladolid. Fernando Sales and Sousa both returned to the visitors' side, and they combined for Sales to beat Sanzol on the half hour mark. Both teams were left with a man short after Moha and Jesús were sent off for fighting, and Valdo made it all square on the stroke of half time with a well placed header from Izquierdo's cross. Valladolid keeper Bizzarri saved the day for his side after the interval, and manager Vázquez also saw the red card for swearing at an official.

Mallorca climbed out of the relegation spots with a 4-1 win over Real Murcia. Colsa opened the scoring in the sixth minute, and although David Karanka levelled the scores later on, Correa scored twice before the break to give his side a two goal cushion. Bruggink came off the bench in the second half to set up Eto'o for a fourth, leaving their opponents down in next to bottom spot.

Albacete replace Mallorca in the drop zone after they lost 0-1 to Málaga. Salva got the only goal after the break from Duda's cross to take his side up to the top half of the table. Parri came close to saving a point when he hit the bar near the end, but the Spanish under 21 international got himself sent off in injury time for protesting. (09.11.03)

Deportivo bounced back from their midweek humiliation at Monaco to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 and move back to the top of the table. Irureta made several changes to his side, but even so they fell behind when Nihat crashed a shot past Molina midway through the first half. The Galicians drew level though when Capdevila's cross took a deflection into the net off Jauregi's ankle in the second half, and the unfortunate Real defender put through his own net a second time three minutes from the end when Pandiani headed a corner down onto his back.

Luis Fernández's return to Spanish football was not as successful as he had hoped as his new side Espanyol lost 1-0 against his old side Athletic Bilbao. The only goal came a quarter of an hour in to the game when Iraola got on the end of Etxeberría's cross to turn the ball into the net, his first goal for his club. It was the Basques fifth home win in a row, and takes them up to fifth pending Sunday's games. Espanyol stay firmly anchored at the bottom, and Fernández has some work to do.

Zaragoza and Celta drew 1-1 in the other game on Saturday night, a result which doesn't particularly help either side. Both goals came early on, with José Ignacio heading the visitors into the lead from a corner in the third minute, and Ponzio replying with a long shot in off the post five minutes later. (08.11.03)

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