First division, day 14
A surprise result in Santander on Thursday night, where Racing were beaten 0-4 by a Sevilla side inspired once again by Reyes and also by Baptista, returning to the starting line up after an injury. The Cantabrians started the day in sixth place after the results the day before, heading a group of seven sides on twenty points. However they found themselves behind early on when Baptista beat Ricardo with a well struck free kick, and Darío Silva made it two midway through the first half from Martí's pass. Baptista and Reyes scored two more a minute either side of half time to complete the scoreline, a flattering result given that Racing had more shots at goal than their opponents but were unable to find the net.
Athletic Bilbao take over that sixth spot after they drew 2-2 at Zaragoza. Gurpegui returned to Valverde's line up after a judge put his ban on hold, and the manager also included Yeste in his line up after he and Del Horno had been left out of the squad for a couple of games for disciplinary reasons. Yeste celebrated his return scoring the first goal with a free kick, and Tiko put the visitors two ahead a few minutes later. But David Villa pulled one back only two minutes later, and headed the equaliser a minute after the restart to save a point for his side. (04.12.03)
Real Madrid moved back to the top of the table after a 2-0 win over Atlético in the Madrid derby. Ronaldo started things off with the fastest goal in the league to date, picking up a Roberto Carlos pass and running on to beat Burgos with only thirteen seconds on the clock. And Raúl headed a second twenty minutes later from Beckham's long cross. Atlético put up little resistance after that and Madrid were able to conserve their energy for Saturday's game in Barcelona.
Talking of Barcelona, the Catalans were thrashed 5-1 by Málaga, who hadn't beaten them once in 27 years before tonight. The hero of the match was Salva, who scored twice in the first quarter of an hour and completed his hat-trick in the second half with an excellent chip over the keeper. He was replaced by Diego Alonso with twenty minutes to go, and the substitute made it four within a minute of coming on. Barça got one back when Fernando Sanz turned Xavi's free kick into his own net, but another substitute Canabal scored Málaga's fifth late on.
Third placed Deportivo La Coruña were held to a 1-1 draw by Valladolid, and stay behind Real Madrid and Valencia. Both goals came in the second half, with the Galicians taking the lead when young defender Jonathan headed Héctor's cross into his own net. A quarter of an hour later though Oscar González saved a point with another header after Makukula won the ball in a challenge.
Atlético's defeat means that Osasuna move back up to fourth place. They beat bottom club Espanyol 0-1 despite playing all the second half with ten men after Antonio López was sent off for a second booking. The only goal came from substitute Webó three minutes from the end, and Espanyol's Lopo got himself sent off for the third time this season in the last minute after elbowing an opponent.
Mallorca picked up a good 0-2 win in Villarreal, their fourth victory in a row under new manager Luis Aragonés. Eto'o started things off early in the second half with his eleventh goal of the season, and Campano added a second five minutes later, his fourth goal in a week. This was Villarreal's first home defeat of the new campaign.
Celta's bad season continues, and they were held to a 2-2 draw in Balaidos by struggling Albacete. José Ignacio put them in front early in the first half, but goals either side of half time by Pacheco and Aranda turned the scoreline around. Contreras saved the day with a headed goal later on.
Betis are also having problems, and coach Víctor Fernández may soon be on his way if things don't pick up. They appeared to be on their way to a much needed victory against Murcia after half time substitute Ismael gave them the lead, but an injury time penalty from Luis García made it 1-1 in the end. The visitors had Roteta sent off in only the second minute, but numbers were evened up when Luis Fernández got his marching orders early in the second half. (03.12.03)
Leaders Valencia were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Sociedad in the opening match of day 14. Despite the result it was an exciting game, and could have finished with several goals had circumstances been different. The locals had two goals disallowed by referee Puentes Leira in the first half, the first a borderline offside by Karpin and the second a supposed hand ball by Kovacevic, and the official also turned down a possible penalty by Ayala on Kovacevic. Substitute Nihat also hit the bar in the second half, but probably the best chance of the match fell to Rufete late on, the Valencia winger rounding the keeper on a rapid breakaway but shooting into the side netting with the goal at his mercy. Real have now gone eight games without a win, and they received bad news as well in their Champions League campaign, the win by Galatasaray over Juventus earlier in the evening meaning that they have still not qualified for the last sixteen. (02.12.03)