First division, day 12
Celta moved back up to third in the table after beating Atlético Madrid 2-1 on Sunday evening. Despite missing key players the visitors had the better of the game, but local keeper Pinto was in great form and made several first class saves throughout. Baiano opened the scoring for the Galicians midway through the first half after some uncharacteristic slack defending, and Canobbio added a second soon after the restart with a well struck free kick. Antonio López headed one back from Ibagaza's corner a few minutes later, but Pinto was unbeatable after that.
Once again the league table is very tight, with only two points separating fourth from eighth. Deportivo edged into the last UEFA cup spot after a 0-3 win over Racing Santander in the last match of the evening, a result which also leaves the Cantabrians down in the bottom three. Diego Tristán started things off with just over a quarter of an hour gone, getting a touch to Capdevila's cross which then went in off Neru. Valerón headed the second from a Munitis free kick seven minutes in to the second half, again a Racing defender Moratón helping the ball in to the net, and substitute Taborda headed a third from Héctor's cross near the end.
A late goal gave Valencia a 0-1 win at Cádiz, taking Quique Flores's side up to eighth position in the table. The locals had the better chances, especially after their opponents were reduced to ten men when Marchena was sent off twenty minutes in to the second half. But Moretti cleared an effort off the line from Enrique with Cañizares beaten, and Pavoni hit the bar with the goal gaping in front of him, and numbers were evened up when Oli was shown a red card later on. And with the game seemingly heading for a draw, a long free kick from Vicente bounced past Armando and in to the net for the winning goal.
Málaga moved safely up to midtable after beating Real Sociedad 3-1 in the Rosaleda stadium. All the goals came in the last half hour, with César putting the Andalusians in front when he headed Gerardo's corner past Riesgo. Substitute Hidalgo added a second soon afterwards, and Edgar charged down a clearance from the keeper to make it three with a quarter of an hour still to go. Real were missing striker Kovacevic, who will be out for four months or so after undergoing an operation, but De Paula came on to get a late consolation near the end.
Espanyol climbed away from the relegation spots after a 2-0 win over Mallorca. Tamudo scored his first league goal of the season from the penalty spot after the referee ruled that Iuliano had fouled Luis García five minutes before the interval, and Luis García made it two just a couple of minutes later after De la Peña set him up. Cúper brought on extra forwards as the game progressed, but his side's challenge ended when Doni was sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes before the final whistle.
Alavés are also out of the drop zone, above Racing and Betis, after a first ever win in Athletic Bilbao's San Mamés stadium. Nené ran through to score the opening goal with only seven minutes gone, and crossed in for Bodipo to wrap things up in the last minute of the match. Javier Clemente's side had done their best to equalise in between, Urzaiz and Luis Prieto hitting the woodwork either side of half time and Yeste missing a second half penalty, but they fell to another defeat and are now firmly anchored to the bottom of the table. (20.11.05)
Barcelona put in a magnificent performance to beat Real Madrid 0-3 in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Saturday evening, a result which even had the home fans applauding their arch rivals. Eto'o ignored all the boos and put his side in front early on after taking a pass off Messi, who was the surprise inclusion in Frank Rijkaard's line up. And only two or three first class saves from Casillas prevented the visitors from extending their lead before the break. Ronaldinho took the Galacticos apart after the restart though, running from inside his own half to beat three defenders and score his side's second goal, and then getting another a few minutes later in similar style. The result takes the Blaugrana to the top of the table, and on this form they are likely to stay there.
Earlier in the evening last week's leaders Osasuna were held 0-0 at Getafe, another of the revelation teams this season. The Pamplona based side had Ricardo to thank for the point though, the ex Manchester United keeper making a string of fine saves to keep out the local forwards. Gavilán also hit the post and Riki had a couple of late penalty appeals turned down, and debutant keeper Calatayud had the easiest of nights at the other end. Osasuna manager Javier Aguirre couldn't hold his nerve though and was shown a red card by the referee in the first half.
A 0-0 scoreline as well in the match between Villarreal and Zaragoza, a result which keeps the home side in the Champions League spots pending Sunday's games and gives the visitors their eighth draw of the season. Local manager Pellegrini was missing the injured Diego Forlán and Riquelme, and rested other key players for the midweek match at Old Trafford. But even so there were chances at either end, with Figueroa, José Marí and Roger all going close for the hosts and Cani and Savio replying for Víctor Muñoz's side.
In the last match of the day, Sevilla beat city rivals Betis 1-0 despite ending the match with nine men. It was a typically tense derby, with referee González Vázquez showing fourteen yellow cards and two reds, including one for Sevilla's Javi Navarro for kicking out at Dani midway through the first half. The only goal came from the penalty spot soon after the interval, Maresca converting the kick after Joaquín handled from Martí's free kick. Maresca himself was sent off five minutes from the end, but Palop saved the day tipping Marcos Assunçao's free kick over the bar in the last minute. (19.11.05)