First division, day 4
Barcelona joined Valencia at the top of the table after coming from behind to beat Zaragoza 4-1 in the last match of day four. Injuries in the first ten minutes to Sylvinho and Gabri left the home side defence in disarray, and Víctor Muñoz's team took advantage when David Villa intercepted a bad back pass by Eto'o to open the scoring. Eto'o made up for his mistake though with a goal either side of half time to put the Catalans in front, and Xavi and Van Bronckhorst added two more later in the second half for the final scoreline. (23.09.04)
A magnificent display by Valencia, the league champions returning to the head up the league table after thrashing Deportivo 1-5 in the Riazor stadium. Ranieri's side were four up at the break with strikes from Corradi, Di Vaio, Vicente and Rufete, and Baraja added a fifth soon after the restart before Pandiani got a consolation goal a few minutes later. Last weekend's leaders Espanyol couldn't keep up the pace though, an Ibarra own goal giving Getafe a 1-0 win and their first ever points in the top flight.
There were some spectacular goals too at the Rosaleda stadium, where Málaga raced into a two goal lead against Numancia with fantastic strikes from Miguel Angel and Wanchope before going on to win 4-1. Amoroso got his first goal for his new club midway through the first half, and the visitors were left with ten men when Graff was shown a red card. Otxoa pulled one back though before Luque rounded things off in the last minute. Málaga join seven other teams on seven points, including Levante and Atlético Madrid after the Valencia based side beat César Ferrando's team 1-0 thanks to a Rivera penalty.
First wins too for Betis and Racing Santander, helping them move away from the drop zone to the detriment of their Basque opponents, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad respectively. A first half strike for Betis from Juanito was cancelled out a minute later by Athletic's Urzaiz, but Fernando headed home for a 2-1 result after the break. And a strike just before half time by Regueiro gave Racing a 0-1 win at Real Sociedad, despite playing all the second half with ten men after Pierini was sent off.
The other two games on Wednesday ended without goals. Villarreal were held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla, who were missing their two Brazilian stars Baptista and Renato. And Albacete got their first point of the season after a 1-1 tie with Mallorca, who have picked up their four points away from home. The last game of day four takes place tomorrow, with Barcelona and Zaragoza looking for a win which would take the victor up level with Valencia. (22.09.04)
A winning start for new manager Mariano García Remón, although once again Real Madrid did not look to be at their best and they struggled to beat a battling Osasuna by a single goal. The assistant coach took over only yesterday after Camacho threw in the towel, and he had little time to do anything but name the best line up he could muster. A stony defence kept the locals at bay though until around the half hour mark, when Raúl curled a shot against the upright. But fifteen minutes in to the second half David Beckham got the only goal of the match with his second match-winning free kick in successive home games to take his side top of the table pending the other midweek fixtures. (21.09.04)