First division, day 2
Atlético Madrid joined Barcelona and Real Madrid on six points after beating Albacete 0-2 in the last match on Sunday night. Both goals came in the last five minutes, Fernando Torres scoring the first after a mistake by the defence and setting up the second for Ibagaza right at the end. Atlético have a chance to move clear at the top when they act as hosts to Barcelona next weekend.
A surprise result at the Riazor stadium though, where Deportivo La Coruña got off to their worst start in over ten years after losing 1-3 to Osasuna. Pandiani had given the Galicians a half time lead, but Aloisi equalised from the penalty spot before Izquierdo was sent off for a second bookable offence. But even with ten men the visitors went on to win, Milosevic beating Molina twice later on.
A hat-trick from Maxi Rodríguez helped Espanyol to a 1-4 win over a poor Betis side. Maxi and Dani put the Catalans two up by the break, and although Edu pulled one back, the Argentine youth international scored two more to complete the rout and take his side up into fourth spot in the table. Many local fans left with a quarter of the game still to go, but those that stayed gave their players a hard time at the end.
Newly promoted Levante celebrated their first top flight game in the Ciudad de Valencia stadium by coming from behind to beat Racing Santander 3-1. Manchev cancelled out Aganzo's first half strike two minutes after the restart, and Ettien did the rest, setting up Nacho for a second goal and getting the third himself near the final whistle.
Getafe were not so fortunate however, and their opening game at the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum was spoilt by a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Mallorca. Luis García and Arango got the goals for the visitors either side of half time, and Nano's late strike was scant consolation. Getafe, Albacete and Racing occupy the bottom three spots without a point between them.
The other two game on Sunday night ended without goals. Málaga were held to a 0-0 draw by Zaragoza, although the result would have been different had Juanito not hit the post in the home side's best chance of the match. And Villarreal and Real Sociedad also drew 0-0, Cazorla and Forlán unable to convert their chances in a game which the locals dominated. (12.09.04)
Barcelona and Real Madrid both won their second matches to share the lead at the top of the table after Saturday's games. Barcelona were once again without the injured Ronaldinho, but they ran out 2-0 winners against Sevilla on a rainy night in the Nou Camp. Giuly opened the scoring for Frank Rijkaard's team shortly before the break and Larsson added a second after the restart.
Real Madrid were expected to have an easy win against newly promoted Numancia, and when Beckham put them in front with a well struck free kick with only a quarter of an hour gone they seemed to be well on the way. But they were unable to add to their scoreline against a brave defence, and ended up running down the clock in the final minutes.
With Champions' League matches beginning midweek, Valencia also brought their game against Athletic Bilbao forward to Saturday. Manager Claudio Ranieri's decision to rest some of his key players appeared to backfire when an Urzaiz strike and an Iraola penalty put the Basque side two ahead with twenty minutes gone. But Di Vaio scored a controversial goal after the break after controlling the ball with his arm, and Angulo hit a second to save a point. (11.09.04)