First division - day 24
Barcelona moved two points clear at the top of the table after a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Samuel Eto'o returned to the starting line up and had a hand in the first two goals, an Amorebieta own goal and a strike by Xavi, before adding the third himself shortly before half time. Meanwhile last week's joint leaders Sevilla were held to a 0-0 scoreline at eighth placed Getafe in what was another low scoring weekend in which seven of the top eight teams drew their games.
Valencia's 1-1 result at bottom club Gimnàstic did enable them to move back above Real Madrid to third, although they will be disappointed not to win after Rubén Castro headed the equaliser in injury time after Joaquín had given the Chés the lead midway through the second half. Elsewhere there were scoreless draws between Levante and sixth placed Zaragoza, and between Betis and seventh placed Recreativo.
Espanyol took advantage to close up on the European spots with a 0-2 win at Osasuna, Corominas opening the scoring in the first half and Tamudo getting the second after the restart. Villarreal beat Mallorca 2-1, Fuentes getting a late winner after Tomasson had cancelled out an early goal by Pereyra. And Celta move out of the relegation spots to the detriment of Athletic after drawing 2-2 with Racing Santander, goals by Munitis and Cristian Alvarez saving a point after Baiano and Bamogo had put the locals two up at the break. (25.02.07)
The derby game between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid ended in a 1-1 draw, a result which keeps Capello's side in the top four. A victory would have taken the locals above their rivals, and they started well, with Fernando Torres beating Casillas with just over ten minutes gone. Referee Daudén Ibáñez disallowed a Perea goal a few minutes later for a non existent offside and turned down a penalty appeal in the same play. But early in the second half Higuaín picked up a pass from half time substitute Cassano to level the scores, and although Madrid ended with ten men after Cannavaro was sent off, a confident Casillas made sure they went home with a point.
Only one other game on Saturday, Deportivo beating Real Sociedad 0-1 to take the Basque side a step closer to ending their 40 year stay in the top flight. The Galicians have not lost in 2007, and they took the lead when Arizmendi finished off after Taborda had knocked on Sergio's free kick midway through the first half. Real have only scored once in their last seven games, and they were unable to find the way past Aouate after that. Angry fans turned on the directors' box after the game. (24.02.06)