First division - day 21
A surprising round of results this weekend, with none of the top three able to score a goal between them, and the bottom five clubs all picking up points. Barcelona stay in top spot despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Osasuna, only the second time they have failed to score in the league this season. Giuly had a goal disallowed and Saviola went close a couple of times, but with Ronaldinho missing the game through injury, probably the best news for the visitors was the return of Eto'o, who came on for the last five minutes.
Sevilla stay a point behind Barça after they too drew 0-0 with struggling Real Sociedad. Their best chance came midway through the second half when Kerzhakov headed against the bar, but the visitors carved out a couple of chances themselves after the break, and the Andalusians ended the match with ten men after substitute Duda was shown a second yellow card.
The white handkerchiefs were out at the Santiago Bernabeu after Real Madrid lost 0-1 to Levante. New signing Salva got the only goal from the penalty spot after Diarra brought down Tomassi in the tenth minute, taking the Valencia based side to the verge of escaping the drop zone. Madrid's best reply was a shot against the bar by young substitute Nieto later on, although Raúl went close a couple of times and Van Nistelrooy had a penalty appeal turned down as well.
Recreativo are back up to seventh after beating Villarreal 2-1. The first goal came from a dreadful mistake by visiting keeper Viera, Juanma's speculative long ball into the area bouncing over his head and in to the net. Sinama-Pongolle picked up a pass from Uche to make it two just a minute after the restart, and Tomasson got one back later on after an error by López Vallejo left him with an open goal.
Getafe faltered though after their recent good run, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Racing Santander leaving them back down in eighth spot. The only goal came in the seventh minute when Garay got above the defence to head a Munitis free kick past the league's leading keeper Pato Abbondanzieri, although it could have been more had Pato not kept out a couple more efforts later on.
Betis are starting to move clear of the danger zone under new coach Luis Fernández, and they added another three points after coming away from Fernández's ex club Athletic Bilbao with a 1-2 victory. Robert gave them the lead with his fourth goal in three games after Ilic set him up early on, and Pancraté made it two just a couple of minutes after coming on for his debut in the second half. Urzaiz got a late consolation from the penalty spot in the last minute.
Celta drop deeper into trouble though after they could only draw 1-1 with bottom club Gimnastic, and they are now just outside the relegation spots, level on points with Athletic Bilbao and Levante. Oubiña headed the Galicians in front from a Gustavo López centre soon after the restart, but Portillo headed the equaliser from Pinilla's cross later on. Fernando Vázquez's side have now gone ten games without a win. (04.02.07)
Valencia moved up to third pending Sunday's games after beating Atlético Madrid 3-1 on Saturday evening. Both sides started the match level on points, but Ayala headed the locals in front from David Villa's corner with only a quarter of an hour gone. Morientes added a second from Vicente's cross nine minutes in to the second half, and Mista gave the visitors hope with a low shot before Morientes wrapped things up from another Vicente cross later on.
Zaragoza consolidated sixth spot, moving up to within a point of Atlético, after winning 1-2 at Espanyol. Sergio García ran on to a long ball to give them the lead early in the second half. And although Luis García equalised after Edu Costa set him up five minutes from the end, Sergio García connected with Ewerthon's cross to fire home the winner just a minute later.
Deportivo moved safely up to midtable after beating Mallorca 1-0 in the Riazor stadium, a repeat of their cup success a couple of weeks ago. The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time, Estoyanoff converting the kick after Jordi had pulled down Arizmendi. Otherwise though there were few chances for either side. (03.02.07)