First division, day 27
Espanyol moved back up to third in the table after coming from behind to beat Levante 2-1. Ex Barcelona striker Sergio García gave Bernd Schuster's side the lead midway through the first half after Ettien set him up, but five minutes later Amavisca equalised after Mora could only push out a shot from Jonathan Soriano, who was standing in for the injured Tamudo. And twenty minutes in to the second half a mis-kicked clearance from Culebras fell to Maxi for him to control the ball and fire the winner past the keeper from the edge of the area. Lotina's side are still however nine points behind second placed Real Madrid.
Villarreal drop a place to fourth after they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Numancia in a frozen Pajaritos stadium. Riquelme put Pellegrini's side ahead shortly before the half hour mark, connecting with José Marí's cross to fire a shot past Juanma, and José Marí and Arruabarrena came close to increasing the lead when they both hit the woodwork in one attack later in the first half. But Merino turned in Miguel Pérez's cross to level the scores after the restart, and Tevenet could have won it for the locals when he rattled the bar from a free kick a few minutes later.
Betis failed to take advantage of slips by the teams above them when they were held to a 2-2 draw by a battling Getafe, although it could have been worse had it not been for a couple of mistakes by the Madrid based side's keeper Sergio Aragoneses. Vivar Dorado fired the visitors into an early lead before Aragoneses hesitated coming out to a Joaquín free kick, allowing Rivas to head home an equaliser. Pernía put Getafe back in front three minutes after the break with a spectacular volley from outside of the area, but the visiting keeper allowed a Marcos Assunçao free kick to slip through his hands just a few minutes later.
Deportivo La Coruña recorded a second home win in a row for only the first time this season after beating Málaga 1-0. Either side could have scored before the Galicians were awarded a hotly disputed penalty when Scaloni fell under Duda's challenge on the stroke of half time, Diego Tristán converting the spot kick. And Munúa had to keep out a dangerous Duda free kick after the break to hold on to the three points. The visitors ended the match with ten men after César Navas was sent off near the end, and they fall to their first defeat in seven games.
Depor move up to ninth, just four points away from the UEFA spots and one above Athletic Bilbao, who came from behind to beat struggling Albacete 3-1. Rubén Castro opened the scoring in the twelfth minute for the visitors, but Ezquerro equalised before the interval and Lacruz put the Basque side ahead in the second half after Prieto headed on a corner. And Julen Guerrero added a third from a well struck free kick in injury time, his 100th goal in the league for his club.
A 1-0 victory for Zaragoza against Racing Santander takes them safely up to mid-table. Both sides were missing players through suspension, and Víctor Muñoz gave a first start to B team defender Capi. And the youngster staked a claim for a more regular place in the side scoring the only goal of the match from close range in the second half. Otherwise though it was a dull match, and the Cantabrians ended the weekend only a place above the drop zone.
Excitement at the San Moix stadium though, where Mallorca came from behind twice to win 3-2 against Real Sociedad. The first four goals came within twenty minutes of kick off, Aranburu blasting the Basque side into the lead and Romeo picking up Arango's headed pass to score his first goal for his new club. Gari Uranga restored the lead after a dreadful mistake by Moyà, who tried to stop the ball going out for a corner and only succeeded in gifting it to the striker, but Luis García equalised again and Romeo fired home the winner after the break to keep his side's hope of survival alive. (06.03.05)
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the table after a 0-1 victory over Osasuna. The only goal of the game came shortly before half time when Eto'o picked up a pass from Deco to shoot across the keeper and in off the post. Before the goal Iniesta had hit the bar, Eto'o had brought a good save out of Elía and Márquez had shot just wide, but the locals had their chances as well, and only first class saves by Víctor Valdés from Ortíz, Morales and Delporte ensured the three points for Frank Rijkaard's team.
Later in the evening second placed Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Antonio López's new look Valencia. Pablo Aimar confirmed his return to form with the opening goal on the quarter hour mark, but Ronaldo equalised fifteen minutes later after Guti put him through, his first goal in almost two months. Both keepers were in action after the restart, Casillas saving from Mista and Cañizares keeping out Ronaldo, and Aimar almost won it for the locals with a looping header which hit the bar in injury time.
Atlético Madrid kept their hopes of European football alive with a 3-0 win over Sevilla, who drop below Valencia as a result. All the goals came in the first half, Salva starting things off throwing himself forward to head home Antonio López's cross early on. Fernando Torres added a second following an Antonio López free kick, and López got the third himself with an acrobatic overhead kick just before the interval. Salva got himself sent off twelve minutes from the end after picking up two bookings in a minute, but by then it was all over. (05.03.05)