First division, day 9
Sevilla sit proudly at the top of the table after beating Osasuna 2-0. Visiting keeper Ricardo kept out the Andalusian forwards throughout the first half, but five minutes after the break Kanouté put them ahead from the penalty spot after Corrales fouled Renato. Ricardo was in action a couple of times again before Adriano got the second on a rapid counter-attack, and Alves almost increased the lead when he hit the post late on. Sevilla move a point above Barcelona to lead the table, and their opponents sink further down the table, without a win now in all competitions in nine games.
Zaragoza are just two points behind Sevilla though after a 3-1 victory over Getafe, a fourth win in a row for Víctor Fernández's side. The visitors were up against it when Pulido was sent off for a foul on Sergio García in the eleventh minute, and Diogo got on the end of a corner to open the scoring before the break. Manu Del Moral equalised from the penalty spot midway through the second half after Diego Milito fouled Belenguer, but the Argentinian striker made up for it with a strike a few minutes later to restore the lead, and substitute Ewerthon fired home a third near the end. Getafe stay in sixth place after the teams immediately behind them failed to win.
Real Madrid missed out on the chance to catch arch rivals Barcelona, and they find themselves down in fourth place after losing 1-2 to Celta. Fabio Capello finally included Ronaldo in his starting line up, and the striker tested Pinto a couple of times early on. But Nené put the visitors ahead on a breakaway ten minutes before half time, and although Emerson headed an equaliser from a corner just before the interval, substitute Jorge came on to fire home the winner late on. It was the second consecutive year that Celta have won in the Bernabeu, and it was a first home defeat for Capello this season.
Meanwhile Valencia could only draw 1-1 at Espanyol, a result which leaves them still in fifth place in the table. Riera put the home side ahead midway through the first half after Cañizares could only parry Tamudo's header from De la Peña's cross, but David Silva picked up a cross from Angulo to equalise on the stroke of half time. The hosts were left with ten men when Riera was shown a straight red after catching Curro Torres with an elbow, but even so the Chés couldn't find a way to take the three points.
Villarreal moved up to within a point of the European spots after a 3-2 win over struggling Betis, their seventh game in a row without defeat. Irureta's side were unlucky not to come away with something though after hitting the woodwork four times and taking the lead twice, the first when Edu headed past Viera early on and the second when Rivera did likewise soon after the restart. But Riquelme set up Forlán to cancel out the first goal and Cygan the second, and a minute after Cygan's goal Cani charged down Juanito's clearance for the winner.
The battle between the two newly promoted sides Recreativo and Gimnàstic ended in a 2-1 victory for the Andalusians after Mario headed the winner in injury time. Ismael gave the visitors the lead in the sixth minute, but Javi Guerrero and Cazorla combined to level the scores before the break. Nàstic had Llera sent off for a second bookable offence, but appeared to have held on until Mario struck from Viqueira's corner.
The result leaves the Catalans further down in the drop zone, but they are still only three points behind Athletic Bilbao, who have yet to win at home this season after drawing 0-0 with Racing Santander. The game was conditioned by the rigorous sending off of Gabilondo shortly before the break, leaving the Basque side a man short for all the second half. Even so the home side had the better chances, Aduriz, Yeste and Llorente going close, and both sides had a penalty appeal turned down after the restart. (05.11.06)
Leaders Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw at Deportivo La Coruña, and could be off the top of the table by the end of the weekend. Ronaldinho put Frank Rijkaard's side in front from the penalty spot after Saviola was fouled by Juanma shortly before half time, but the Galicians were awarded a penalty themselves after Edmilson brought down Verdú in the second half. Víctor Valdés saved Estoyanoff's spot kick, but Juan Rodríguez scored on the rebound to set up an exciting finish. It was the first time that Depor have dropped points at home this season.
Bottom club Real Sociedad confirmed their worst ever start to the season after losing 2-0 on a rainy night at Levante. Meyong Zé opened the scoring for the Valencia based side five minutes before half time after Bravo could only push out Ettien's header, and Courtois got the second near the end after Tommasi set him up. The result was a blow for new coach Miguel Angel Lotina, who was in charge for only the second time since taking over from Bakero.
Mallorca and Atlético Madrid drew 0-0 in the other match on Saturday evening. Most of the chances fell to the home side, with Arango shooting wide and Víctor hitting the post in the first half, and Diego Tristán going close later on. The visitors only troubled Prats a couple of times in the second half, and they have now gone three games without scoring a goal. (04.11.06)