First division, day 14
Zaragoza won 0-2 against a depleted Racing Santander side to move back up to fourth in the table. The Cantabrians were missing their two top strikers through suspension, and they went behind on the hour mark when Diego Milito picked up Aimar's pass to beat Toño. Substitute Lafita ran through to make it two with ten minutes to go, and Diego Milito missed out on the chance to head up the Pichichi chart when Toño saved his penalty kick near the end.
Atlético Madrid drop out of the Champions League spots after losing 1-2 at home to an improving Espanyol. Tamudo put the Catalans ahead in only the seventh minute after De la Peña and Luis García combined to set him up, but Fernando Torres headed the equaliser ten minutes after the restart. Luis García got the winner though from a set piece free kick to take Espanyol's unbeaten run to nine games.
Getafe's 1-1 draw with Betis was enough to take Bernd Schuster's side back to the UEFA cup spots, but couldn't prevent the Andalusians from dropping in to the bottom three. The Madrid based team went ahead when Güiza ran on to Celestini's through ball to clip a shot past Contreras. But they were left with ten men for the last few minutes after Belenguer picked up a second booking, and Juanito took advantage to head Assunçao's corner past the hitherto unbeaten Abbondanzieri, a goal which might just save the head of Irureta for a few more days.
Athletic Bilbao jumped over Betis in the table after beating Recreativo 4-2, a first win of the season for new coach Mané. The Basque side were three up at the break, Bautista heading past his own keeper trying to pass back a long clearance, and Urzaiz scoring with a spectacular strike "a la Johann Cruyff" and then heading a third past López Vallejo. Uche headed one back after the restart, but Garmendia made it four before Sarriegui headed Viqueira's free kick in to his own net.
Valencia finally got back to winning ways with a 4-0 victory over Deportivo, their first win in six weeks. Angulo fired in Vicente's cross to open the scoring early on, but the turning point came when David Villa fell under a challenge from Juanma in the area close to half time, referee Delgado Ferreira awarding a penalty and showing the defender a second yellow card. Villa converted the kick and added another goal later in the second half, and Vicente wrapped things up near the end.
Osasuna kept up their recent good form with a 3-0 win against Mallorca, taking them above their opponents in the table. All the goals came in the second half, with Milosevic turning in Soldado's cross to open the scoring, and Javier Flaño adding the second with an angled shot And Puñal made it three from the penalty spot after Ballesteros fouled Romeo, giving the Pamplona based side their fourth win in a row.
Gimnàstic finally got their first win at home in the first division since March 1950 after coming from behind to beat Levante 2-1. Riga fired a long shot past Rubén Pérez to put the visitors ahead, but shortly before half time David García curled a free kick past Molina to make it all square. And the club's latest signing Rubén Castro came on to get his second goal for the club and give his new manager Paco Flores a first victory which takes them above Real Sociedad and off the bottom of the table.
Finally the game between Celta and Villarreal finished 1-1, a result which leaves both safely in the upper half of the table. Baiano headed the Galicians into the lead from a Gustavo López cross on the quarter hour mark, but Diego Forlán saved a point for his side with a long shot into the roof of the net just ten minutes after the restart. (10.12.06)
Barcelona beat struggling Real Sociedad 1-0 on Saturday evening to hold on to top spot, although it was not one of their better performances and they were clearly suffering a hang-over from their midweek Champions League game. Gudjohnsen and Xavi both had goals disallowed for borderline offsides before the break, and Ronaldinho went close with an acrobatic free kick. But the Basque side held on until the hour mark, when Ronaldinho connected with Giuly's cross to beat Bravo with a low shot. Frank Rijkaard's side couldn't add to their lead though, and Víctor Valdés had to be at his best to keep out a shot from Kovacevic and a Mikel González header near the end. Barça ended the match with ten men after Sylvinho was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Sevilla move up to second place, just two points behind the leaders, after coming from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1. David Beckham gave the visitors the lead with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock when he caught out Palop with a long free kick, but four minutes later Kanouté equalised, controlling the ball on his chest to beat Casillas after a shot from Luis Fabiano came back off the bar. Both sides had chances after that, but substitute Chevantón got the winner with a spectacular overhead kick late in the second half after an Alves free kick was headed on. It was Madrid's first defeat in eight games, and they drop below their opponents to third as a result. (09.12.06)