First division, day 12
Sevilla hold on to second spot, just a point behind leaders Barcelona, after beating Athletic Bilbao 1-3 in the last match on Sunday. Juande Ramos's side were two up within the first ten minutes, Luis Fabiano heading Kanouté's cross past Lafuente and Martí catching the keeper way off his line with a free kick from out on the left wing. Aduriz got one back midway through the second half after Luis Prieto's header came back off the post, but Luis Fabiano wrapped things up with his second of the night on a quick breakaway in injury time. Athletic drop into the bottom three as a result, and coach Sarriugarte is expected to be relieved of his duties with immediate effect.
Real Madrid recorded an important 0-1 win at Valencia to stay within sight of the top two. Raúl got the only goal of the game six minutes after the break, turning a Roberto Carlos cross past his old team mate Cañizares. In the absence of the injured Villa (who had to leave the field after fifteen minutes) and Morientes (who never left the bench), Angulo was given the role up front, but the Spanish international missed a couple of easy chances to level the scores later in the second half. The Chés drop to eighth in the table having only picked up two points in their last four games.
Zaragoza stay in fourth spot after drawing 1-1 at Celta. Diego Milito got on the end of Aimar's cross to head Víctor Fernández's side in to the lead in only the seventh minute of the match. But Zapater was sent off a few minutes later after picking up a second booking, and the locals finally equalised in the second half, Baiano forving the ball in to the net after César failed to hold on to Canobbio's cross. Numbers were evened up towards the end though after Gustavo López was also shown a red card after the fourth official overhead him insulting the referee's mother.
Osasuna finally got their campaign under way after beating Deportivo 4-1, by far their best result of the season. Soldado started things off, running through to shoot past Aouate in the fifth minute, and Valdo headed the second midway through the first half. Juan Rodríguez pulled one back on the half hour mark, but Soldado restored the two goal cushion with a spectacular strike early in the second half, and Milosevic completed the scoreline with another shot from outside of the area in the last minute.
A thrilling match in Santander, where Racing moved away from the danger zone after a 4-3 win over Recreativo. Zigic was the match winner for the Cantabrians, the big man heading the opening goal from a Munitis free kick on the quarter hoyr mark. Beto equalised soon afterwards, but a Garay penalty and another strike by Colsa before the break gave the locals a convincing lead. Uche headed one back again, but Zigic got his second after the keeper blocked Scaloni's shot, and a late free kick from Jesús Vázquez came too late to change the result.
Recreativo's defeat means that Getafe return to the UEFA cup spot after the Madrid based side drew 0-0 with Levante. Neither Abbondanzieri nor Molina had much work to do, and the best chances fell to Pachón, who headed wide a couple of times after the restart. Local coach Bernd Schuster was suspended and had to watch from the stands, but he said afterwards that if he had recorded the game on video he would have burned the tapes!
A last minute goal from Pandiani saved a point for Espanyol in a 1-1 draw at Betis, taking their unbeaten run to eight games. Robert gave the Andalusians the lead from the penalty spot in the first half after Kameni brought him down, but once again super-sub Pandiani came to the rescue, driving a shot past Contreras in the fifth minute of injury time after the local defence failed to clear Luis García's cross.
Another managerial casualty this weekend, Gimnàstic's Luis César getting fired shortly after his side lost 2-3 to Mallorca. Campano had given the Catalans the lead five minutes before the interval, but second half strikes from Jankovic and Víctor turned the scoreline around. New signing Rubén Castro equalised again, just minutes after coming on, but Arango won it for the visitors with a late free kick sending his opponents to the bottom of the table. (26.11.06)
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the table pending Sunday's games after beating Villarreal 4-0 on Saturday evening. Frank Rijkaard's side took the lead ten minutes before the break after Cygan pulled down Gudjohnsen in the area, Ronaldinho firing home the spot kick for his 50th league goal in Spain. Iniesta set up Gudjohnsen in the second half for a second, and then volleyed home a third himself from Zambrotta's cross. And after Forlán hit the post at the other end, Ronaldinho completed the rout with a goal which was even special by his own standards, controlling Xavi's pass on his chest with his back to goal before firing an overhead kick past Barbosa.
Atlético Madrid missed out on a chance to move up into the Champions League spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Real Sociedad. The Basque side surprised their opponents, Uranga heading Jesuli's cross wide of Leo Franco midway through the first half. Visiting keeper Bravo pulled off spectacular saves from free kicks by Antonio López and Pernía either side of half time, and it looked as if Real were in line for their first league victory of the season before Ansotegui chested Galletti's long cross past his own keeper near the end. (25.11.06)