First division, day 7
Real Madrid completed one of their best weeks in a long time with a 2-0 victory over arch rivals Barcelona. Within three minutes they were already a goal up, Raúl heading a Sergio Ramos cross past Víctor Valdés, and the team captain came close to making it two with another shot against the bar. Messi caused some problems for the local defence, but Van Nistelrooy connected with Robinho's cross to make it two after the restart, and the Dutch striker hit the post again before the end. Madrid move back up to fourth, just two points now behind Frank Rijkaard's side.
Barça stay in top spot, but they have been caught on points by Valencia, who beat Osasuna 1-0 earlier in the evening. David Villa followed up his Champions League brace with the opening goal on the quarter hour mark, thrashing the ball past Ricardo after Morientes headed back Hugo Viana's cross. Joaquín hit the bar with a free kick in the second half, but Quique Flores's side struggled after losing Albelda to an injury, and Valdo almost saved a point for the visitors when he hit the post late on.
Sevilla stay in third spot after beating Gimnàstic 2-1, although they too nearly got caught in the end. Kanouté scored twice in a five minute period midway through the first half, both times from Jesús Navas crosses. But Bizzarri saved a second half penalty from Maresca before David Cuéllar got one back, and a last minute effort from Ismael bounced down off the crossbar on to the line.
Only three points separate the top eight though, with Getafe getting back into the fray after a 1-2 win at Recreativo. Pachón put Bernd Schuster's side ahead with an individualist goal shortly before the interval, and although Sinama-Pongolle combined with Javi Guerrero to equalise, Manu Del Moral surprised Laquait with a long header twenty minutes from the end. The home side could still have saved a point though had Abbondanzieri not saved a last minute Javi Guerrero penalty.
Celta moved up to the top half of the table with a 0-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao, who have only picked up one point from their four home games and who ended the weekend just outside the bottom three. Baiano got the only goal of the game in the fifth minute, turning in a long free kick from Lequi, and Pinto did the rest with a string of first class saves, in particular from Yeste and Urzaiz.
Espanyol and Racing Santander are both one point above Athletic after sharing the points in a 2-2 draw. Munitis put the Cantabrians ahead after Zigic put him through in the first half, and although Tamudo equalised just before the break, the visitors restored the lead when Chica turned a Munitis cross in to his own net three minutes from the end. Tamudo saved a point though with an injury time penalty after Pinillos was sent off for bringing him down.
Bottom club Real Sociedad picked up their second point of the season in a 0-0 draw at Mallorca, a result which probably saves coach José Marí Bakero for a little while longer. The Basque side held on with ten men after Gerardo was sent off for a high tackle on Basinas in the second half, although Diego Tristán, Jankovic and Jordi all hit the woodwork for the home side in the last five minutes or so. (22.10.06) .
Deportivo La Coruña moved up to second spot pending Sunday's games with a 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid. The Galicians were lucky not to go behind in the first half though as their opponents dominated play, with Mista heading just wide and Dudu Aouate pushing a Luccin free kick against the post. The local keeper was in action again soon after the restart before Arizmendi got above the defence to head Verdú's free kick wide of Leo Franco for what was to be the only goal of the game. Arbeloa blocked another effort from Fernando Torres on the line, but Caparrós's side held on for their fourth straight home win.
Zaragoza are also in the Champions League spots after a 2-1 victory over Betis. Diego Milito got both goals for the home side in the opening half hour, the first after latching on to a loose ball and the second after a good run down the right by Aimar. The visitors were left with ten men when Edu was sent off just before the break after catching Juanfran with a flying elbow, but even so they got one back early in the second half with an individualist strike from Robert. The defeat leaves the Andalusians further down in the drop zone.
Villarreal and Levante drew 1-1 in their local derby, leaving both sides currently floating in mid-table. Camacho put the visitors ahead early in the second half after Viera could only push out Kapo's free kick, but Pellegrini brought on Jonathan Pereira for his first team debut and the young striker picked up a return pass from Marcos to score within a minute of coming on. Riquelme (playing his 100th game for his side) headed against the bar and Nino replied with a shot against the post, but in the end both teams had to settle for a point. (21.10.06)