First division, day 9
Barcelona's lead at the top was extended to six points after second placed Sevilla were beaten 3-0 by Zaragoza on Sunday night. Galletti started things off, catching the defence sleeping to head Toledo's cross past Esteban early on, and David Villa got the second from the penalty spot after Savio was brought down. Villa (who scored four in one match against the Andalusians last season) added a third goal after the break to take his side up to fourth in the table, just a point now behind their opponents.
Real Madrid move up to third, ahead of Zaragoza on goal difference, after a 2-0 victory against city rivals Getafe. It was the first time the two sides had met in the league, but at times it appeared that the visitors were the ones with all the experience as Casillas was called on to make several important saves throughout the match. Michael Owen put the Merengues ahead though with his fourth goal in as many games, and Ronaldo wrapped things up late on after Sánchez Broto could only get a hand to a shot from Raúl, who was celebrating his tenth anniversary at the club.
Levante moved up to fifth place, level on points with Madrid and Zaragoza and ahead of city rivals Valencia, after a 0-1 win at Osasuna. The only goal of the game came from Sergio García midway through the first half, the under 21 international catching out Sanzol with a long shot. Other than that though the keepers were on top, and Javier Aguirre's side fell to their first home defeat of the season.
Espanyol drop out of the European spots after being held to a 0-0 draw by Villarreal. Both sides were trying to shake off midweek cup defeats, but in the end it was a dull game with few scoring chances. Kameni had to make two important saves from Sa and Forlán in the first half, and the home side had two penalty appeals turned down after the restart.
A 0-0 draw as well between Deportivo and Albacete, not the best of preparations by the Coruña based side for their upcoming Champions' League clash with Liverpool. Irureta rested several of his key players, but even with Diego Tristán on the park in the second half they were unable to make any inroads. Albacete keeper Valbuena was carried off with a broken wrist early in the second half, and could be out for some time.
Betis and Málaga also shared the points in the last game of the evening, their local derby ending 1-1. Oliveira gave the home side an early lead after Edu's shot came back off the post, but Gerardo levelled the scores just before the break with a spectacular free kick. Both sides ended with ten men after Romero and then Oliveira were sent off.
Mallorca's poor start to the season continues, and they stay down in the bottom three after a last minute 1-2 defeat at the hands of Racing Santander. Pedro López put the visitors ahead in only the second minute, and although Jorge López equalised after the break, Benayoun got the winner for the Cantabrians in extra time. Mallorca announced before the match that Héctor Cúper will be returning to replace Benito Floro, and he will have his work cut out to turn things around.
Numancia stay in last place though after losing 0-2 at home to Real Sociedad. Both goals came in the second half, central defender Labaka opening the scoring on only his second outing for the first team, and Karpin wrapping things up after Nihat set him up. Things could have been different though if a free kick from Lee Chun Soo hadn't come back off the bar in between. (31.10.04)
An exciting match at the San Mamés stadium, where leaders Barcelona kept up their unbeaten league record with a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao. Frank Rijkaard's side were still smarting from their elimination from the Copa del Rey midweek, and they took the lead in the tenth minute when Murillo misjudged a long cross from young full back Damià, allowing Eto'o to collect the ball and beat Aranzubia. Only three minutes later though, Yeste levelled the scores with a spectacular volley after Urzaiz headed on a long throw. Both sides could have added to their score in a lively second half, but in the end they were happy to settle for a point each.
A 1-1 draw as well between Valencia and Atlético Madrid, a result which takes the visitors up into the top four pending Sunday's games. Ranieri's side needed a good result after going six matches without a win, but they lost Aimar to a serious injury with only five minutes on the clock. Angulo gave them the lead though midway through the second half after a disastrous mistake by Leo Franco let in Di Vaio, the Italian striker's shot being blocked on the line by Pablo but Angulo following up to drive the ball home. Atlético's challenge seemed to be over when Paunovic was sent off, but a few minutes later Fernando Torres burst through to save a point for his side. (30.10.04)