First division, day 10
Barcelona return to the top of the table after a 3-1 victory over Zaragoza. The visitors started the weekend just a point behind their opponents in third place, and they took a surprise lead when Gabi Milito turned in D'Alessandro's corner with just over a quarter of an hour gone. Ronaldinho headed home a Deco corner to level the scores before the break, and there was some fun and games when Motta was sent off at the instances of infamous linesman Rafa Guerrero, and Gabi Milito followed him down the tunnel a couple of minutes later. But Ronaldinho appeared again to curl a free kick past César five minutes from the end, and Saviola finished things off in injury time.
Real Madrid got their challenge back on track with a 1-4 win at Osasuna, all four goals coming from Ruud Van Nistelrooy. The Dutch striker notched up a hat-trick in the first half, opening the scoring after Robinho could only parry a shot from Robinho, and adding two more later on. Valdo headed one back against his old side following a second half corner, but Van Nistelrooy picked up a reverse pass from Emerson to complete the scoreline later on.
Madrid move back up to third, just two points now behind Sevilla, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Racing Santander. Despite putting out a side depleted by suspensions the Cantabrians dominated the match, and Zigic could have given them the lead early on if he had realized he was not offside. Sevilla's best man was their keeper Palop, and in the end they were thankful to come away with a point.
Getafe are proving once again to be the revelation side this season, and they moved back up to the UEFA spots with a 1-0 win over Mallorca. With Prats and Abbondanzieri heading up the Zamora table, a goal-less draw was on the cards. But an uncharacteristic mistake by Prats allowed Nacho to score what was to be the only goal of the game in the second half.
After beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last week, Celta were not expecting any problems with the visit of Recreativo Huelva. But the Andalusians ran out 1-2 winners thanks to goals by Sinama-Pongolle and Uche at the start of the second half. Guayre got one back late on, but when Tamas was sent off for a second bookable offence it was all over.
Deportivo stay just two points below the UEFA cup spots after drawing 0-0 at Gimnastic. The Catalans have yet to win at home since being promoted, and once again they were unable to find the target against a secure Dudu Aouate. Local keeper Rubén Pérez also had work to do though, especially from a couple of efforts from Arizmendi, before the final whistle.
Betis moved two points clear of Nàstic after a last minute 2-1 win over Levante, although Athletic's draw the night before means they are still in the relegation zone. Edu headed Irureta's side in to an early lead, but when Riga equalised on the hour mark it looked as if honours would be shared. However Capi fired home the winner in the last minute of normal time, and the visitors ended with ten men after Alvaro was sent off in injury time.
Real Sociedad stay at the bottom of the pack though after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Espanyol. Díaz de Cerio gave the Basque side hope of a first league victory after Uranga headed on a free kick on the half hour mark. But Luis García picked up a return pass from De la Peña to make it all square ten minutes in to the second half, causing more headaches for his old coach Miguel Angel Lotina. (12.11.06)
A last minute goal by Llorente in Valencia's Mestalla stadium earned a point for Athletic Bilbao and probably saved the head of coach Félix Sarriugarte. The Chés were leading thanks to a goal by Morientes shortly before half time, the striker latching on to a deflected centre by Miguel to curl a shot wide of Lafuente. However with the game coming to an end Llorente got on the end of Etxeberría's cross to head wide of Cañizares and make it 1-1. The point takes Quique Flores's side back up to the Champions League spots pending Sunday's games, but the disappointed fans whistled their players off the park at the end.
Atlético Madrid move up in to the top six after coming from behind to beat Villarreal 3-1. Fuentes headed the visitors in to the lead from Riquelme's free kick with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock, but Ze Castro deflected Pernía's free kick past Barbosa to level the scores ten minutes before the break. And on the stroke of half time Fernando Torres was brought down in the box by Cygan and converted the resulting penalty to put his side ahead. Torres picked up an injury in the incident and had to be substituted, but his strike partner Agüero put the result beyond doubt with a third goal after the restart, and the visitors ended with ten men after José Marí was sent off. (11.11.06)