First division - day 26
It looks as if we are in for an interesting end to the season as none of the top four could win this weekend. Sevilla had a chance to outdistance Barcelona after their draw the night before, but once again the Andalusians lost to lower ranked opposition. Gimnàstic started the day 33 points below their rivals, but although Juande Ramos's side dominated for much of the match, the Catalans ran out 1-0 winners. Kanouté headed against the bar and then had a goal disallowed for offside, but Nàstic clocked up their second win in a row thanks to a Portillo header from Calvo's cross twenty minutes from the end.
Valencia too were unable to make any headway against the leaders after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna, although they must be thankful for coming away with a point after Morientes headed the equaliser from Miguel's cross with the game already in injury time. Ricardo saved from Villa and Angulo hit the post as the Chés started strongly, but Puñal gave the locals the lead from the penalty spot close to half time after Moretti fouled Raúl García.
Fifth placed Zaragoza also drew 1-1 at Betis, and they stay two points behind Real Madrid. Diego Milito put Víctor Fernández's side ahead on the half hour mark after picking up a poor clearance from Juanito, but the defender made up for his mistake winning a penalty off Juanfran on the stroke of half time which Marcos Assunçao converted. Both sides had chances to go ahead after the restart, but the locals ended with ten men after Nano was shown a red card for a foul on Lafita.
Atlético Madrid came out best of all the top six from the weekend's games, and they are now back level with Zaragoza in the table after beating Deportivo 2-0. Galletti had his name on the scoresheet with less than a minute on the clock after picking up a long ball from Antonio López to beat Dudu Aouate, but the second goal didn't come until six minutes from the end when Mista turned in a cross from Galletti on the far post.
This season's two revelation sides Getafe and Recreativo shared the points in another 1-1 draw, leaving both just outside the European spots. Uche opened the scoring for the visitors, turning in a cross on the far post in the fourth minute, but Güiza headed the equaliser close to the interval after Abbondanzieri had pushed a first time volley from Nacho against the bar.
Racing Santander and Espanyol both consolidated their mid-table positions after they too drew 1-1. Both goals came in the first ten minutes, Riera putting the Catalans ahead after De la Peña's free kick came back off a defender, and Garay equalising from the penalty spot after a foul on Munitis which was originally given by the referee outside of the area. The result ended the Cantabrians run of five home wins in a row.
The battle to avoid the relegation spots is also hotting up after the bottom two clubs both won. Real Sociedad recorded their first victory since the beginning of January after beating Mallorca 3-1. Savio opened the scoring for the San Sebastian based club midway through the first half, and although Ibagaza equalised, Kovacevic restored the lead just before the break with his first goal in almost 17 months. And Xabi Prieto wrapped things up in the last minute to give the long suffering fans something to cheer about at last.
Real's arch rivals Athletic Bilbao are still in the bottom three as well after drawing 1-1 at fellow strugglers Celta, who have not won a league match at home in five months. Angel headed the Galicians into the lead ten minutes before the break after Baiano headed a long cross back across goal, but after Pablo García got himself sent off for grabbing Amorebieta by the neck, Aduriz equalised with a glancing header from Yeste's free kick. (11.03.07)
Barcelona and Real Madrid put their Champions League defeats behind them with an exciting 3-3 draw in the big derby match. Three times Madrid took the lead and three times Messi pegged them back, the first with an angled shot in the eleventh minute after Van Nistelrooy had taken advantage of a poor clearance from Thuram to open the scoring. Van Nistelrooy got his second of the night from the penalty spot just two minutes later after Oleguer tripped Guti, but with just less than half an hour gone Messi equalised again after good work by Ronaldinho and Eto'o. Frank Rijkaard's plans were upset when Oleguer was sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half time, and Sergio Ramos appeared to have won it for Capello's side when he headed Guti's free kick past Valdés. But with the game in injury time Messi completed his hat-trick to save a point for the locals.
Villarreal beat local rivals Levante 0-2 earlier in the evening, a result which takes the visitors closer to the European spots and leaves the locals just outside the drop zone. Diego Forlán got the opener early on, and Salva had an equaliser ruled out for a dubious offside before Tomasson wrapped things up later on. (10.03.07)