First division, day 12
Sevilla moved back up to the third in the table after beating Espanyol 1-0 on Sunday evening. The Andalusians were by far the better team in the first half, with Kameni saving from Baptista and Jesuli, Javi Navarro heading against the post and Ibarra clearing off the line from Sergio Ramos before Baptista charged through to open the scoring. The visitors were missing Tamudo and Maxi, but they felt hard done by after the break when the referee turned down a possible penalty by Ramos on Amavisca, and then gave one the other way for a dubious hand ball by Pochettino. Kameni guessed right though and saved Baptista's spot kick, but the three points still stayed at home.
Espanyol are still in fourth spot though, a point ahead of four teams including Atlético Madrid, who beat Numancia 2-0 later in the evening to move up to sixth. Both goals came after the break from Antonio López assists, the first a header by Pablo from a cross by the left back, and the second a volley by Fernando Torres on the far post from his long free kick. López was sent off however near the end for a second bookable offence. The result leaves Numancia back at the bottom of the table.
Levante drop out of the European spots on goal difference though after losing 1-2 at home to Betis. The Valencia based side got off to a good start, Rivera putting them ahead from the penalty spot in only the fifth minute after Sergio García was tripped in the area. But the visitors equalised later in the first half when Oliveira was pulled down in the area by Manchev, the Brazilian striker converting the resulting penalty himself. And although the locals had most of the play after that, Betis got the winner after the break when Capi sent Edu away for him to shoot under Mora.
Zaragoza also drop down the table after losing 0-1 to Mallorca, their first home defeat of the season after five straight wins in the Romareda stadium. Luis García got the only goal for Héctor Cúper's side midway through the first half, beating his namesake in the local goal after picking up a pass from Perera. The Balearic side are unbeaten in the league since the new manager took over three games ago, and they move off the bottom of the table as a result.
Racing Santander and Osasuna shared the points in a 1-1 draw, leaving both clubs where they were in mid-table. The Pamplona based side opened the scoring in the twentieth minute, Morales getting on the end of Valdo's cross to head past Aouate, but the Cantabrians equalised early in the second half, Josetxo deflecting the ball into his own net from Morán's hard cross under pressure from Javi Guerrero.
A thrilling game at Anoeta, where Real Sociedad came back from two goals down to beat their Basque neighbours Athletic Bilbao 3-2. Ezquerro and Urzaiz put the visitors ahead with two goals in the space of three minutes late in the first half. But Nihat pulled one back, and Athletic were left a man short when keeper Aranzubia was sent off for a foul on Kovacevic outside of the area. Young keeper Pampín came on to make his debut, but could do nothing to stop strikes from Nihat and Gabilondo a few minutes later which took the home side above their rivals in the table.
Albacete recovered in part from their thrashing by Real Madrid last week, picking up another point in a 1-1 draw with Getafe. The Manchegans had Pacheco sent off for a second bookable offence late in the first half, but took the lead after the restart through Buades following a corner. Gaspar followed Pacheco into the changing rooms later on though, also for a second yellow card, leaving his side with nine men, and local manager José González was also shown a red card for coming on the pitch to protest. And five minutes from the end Gabi beat Gaspercic with a long shot to save a point for the Madrid based side. (21.11.04)
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the first division to seven points after a resounding 3-0 win over their arch-rivals Real Madrid on Saturday evening. As usual there was a massive build up to the game, with Madrid's thrashing of Albacete and Barça's defeat at Betis the weekend before casting doubt on the Catalans dominance of the league so far. But Frank Rijkaard's side were in command right from the start, and could have scored a couple of times before they got the opening goal, Eto'o taking advantage of indecision between Casillas and Roberto Carlos to nip between the two and run the ball into the net on the half hour mark. Van Bronckhorst added a second before the break after a good team move, and Ronaldinho made it three from the penalty spot in the second half after Eto'o was brought down by Samuel and Guti.
Valencia moved back into the Champions' League spots for 24 hours at least after they beat Málaga 0-2, their first win in eleven games. Ranieri switched his side around, with Marchena playing in midfield and Angulo swapping to the right wing, and it seemed to work, Angulo coming close to scoring a couple of times in the first half. Both goals came either side of half time, Corradi scrambling home the first after the defence failed to clear a corner (the referee waving away appeals for a foul on the keeper) and Xisco getting the second on a quick breakaway after Angulo set him up. The defeat leaves Málaga just two points above the relegation spots, having not won now in seven games.
Deportivo La Coruña also recorded a much needed 0-2 victory at Villarreal, taking them back up to the UEFA cup spots. Diego Tristán gave them the lead with just over half an hour gone after picking up a pass from Valerón, the first goal that Reina had let in all season at the Madrigal stadium. And Luque made it two in the second half with a chip over the head of the keeper, again after Valerón had put him through. Juan Pablo Sorín made his debut for the locals, who ended the match with ten men after Arruabarrena was shown a second yellow card twenty minutes from the end. (20.11.04)