First division, day 11
Barcelona are back on top after a 1-4 win at Mallorca on Sunday night. Frank Rijkaard's side were under pressure early on, but Gudjohnsen put them ahead shortly before the break after Deco and Ronaldinho combined to set him up. The Icelandic striker scored again a few minutes after the restart after Iniesta put him through, and although Víctor won the ball off Márquez to pull one back, Ronaldinho set up Iniesta and then substitute Ezquerro for two more goals late on. Mallora ended with ten men after Varela picked up a second booking.
Zaragoza consolidate fourth place with a 3-0 win over Gimnàstic. All the goals came in the second half, with Aimar running through to fire a long shot past Rubén Pérez to start things off. Oscar González soon made it two after connecting with Movilla's cross, and Pique made sure of the points with a third goal, sweeping the ball past the keeper after good work by Sergio García. Nàstic have now gone ten league games without a win, and they stay in next to bottom spot.
Atlético Madrid seem to have found the magic formula, and they are now fifth after beating Levante 0-3. The Valencia based side were missing their two central defenders through suspension, and their replacements made it easy for their opponents, Dehu giving away a first half penalty on Antonio López which Fernando Torres converted, and César getting himself sent off early in the second half for a foul on the Spanish international striker. Maniche added two more before the end.
Recreativo are proving to be the revelation side this season, and they moved back up to the UEFA cup spots after a 2-0 win over Osasuna. Javi Guerrero got the first on the stroke of half time, heading in on the far post after a great run by Cazorla, and Uche added the second after the restart, leaving his marker for dead before scoring from the tightest of angles. The result leaves the visitors in the drop zone.
Villarreal moved up in to the top half of the table with a 1-0 win over Getafe, who themselves drop out of the European spots to seventh. The only goal of the game came early in the second half following a corner, Abbondanzieri stopping Arruabarrena's header but then whipping the ball in to his own net trying to clear under pressure from Forlán. Getafe coach Bernd Schuster got himself sent off near the end for insulting the referee.
Deportivo lose ground on the teams above them after a 0-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Celta. The locals had the better chances early on, but Nené picked up a pass from Jonathan Aspas to roll the ball under keeper Ricardo with twenty minutes to go. Depor's challenge ended when Lopo was sent off after picking up a second booking near the end for diving in the area.
A last minute headed goal by Pandiani gave Espanyol a 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao, ending their run of six draws in a row. Yeste put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot early in the second half, but two goals from Tamudo turned the scoreline around. Aduriz made it all square soon afterwards though, and it looked as if the points would be shared before Pandiani struck.
Real Sociedad remain firmly anchored at the foot of the table after drawing 0-0 with Betis. The Basque side have yet to win a game in the league this season, and although Díaz de Cerio went close a couple of times, visiting keeper Contreras was hardly troubled. Bravo too had little work, although the Andalusians could have won it when Melli hit the post in the second half. (19.11.06)
Sevilla moved back to the top of the table after a 3-0 win over Valencia on Saturday evening. The match was influenced by the sending off of David Silva for a retaliatory foul on Daniel Alves with just over a quarter of an hour gone. And from the resulting short free kick, Escudé blasted a shot past Cañizares to open the scoring. Palop made two important saves from David Villa at the other end either side of half time, and Luis Fabiano extended the lead after picking up a pass from Alves and holding off two defenders to beat Cañizares soon afterwards. And Kanouté put the result beyond doubt with a third goal later on, leaving Quique Flores's side with only one win now in their last five matches.
Real Madrid recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory over Racing Santander on a night in which the club paid homage to the legendary Ferenç Puskas. Sergio Ramos headed Capello's side in to an early lead from a corner, but after that the visitors came close to equalising, with Casillas saving from Rubén, Serrano and Garay before the break. And the locals were lucky to be let off two penalties for hand ball either side of half time before Reyes put them further ahead after a good team move. Diarra made it three soon afterwards after Raúl set him up, but Garay got one back with a well struck free kick, and Madrid ended with ten men after Guti was sent off for a foul on Vitolo. The victory takes them level with second placed Barcelona pending their game on Sunday. (18.11.06)