First division - day 27
Sevilla kept themselves level with Barcelona at the top of the table after beating Celta 2-0 on Sunday evening. The first goal didn't come though until early in the second half, when the league's top scorer Kanouté converted a penalty after Gustavo López handled in the area. And although the Galicians were left with ten men after Canobbio was sent off, the locals were not sure of victory until Kerzhakov beat Pinto with the game already in injury time.
Real Madrid stay five points behind the top two after a 2-0 win over Gimnàstic, although they too had more problems than expected despite the fact that César Navas was sent off for a foul on Van Nistelrooy with the game only five minutes old. Half time substitute Robinho put Capello's side ahead though after turning in a wayward Van Nistelrooy shot ten minutes after the restart, and David García put through his own net a few minutes later trying to clear Raúl's header.
Zaragoza move to within a point of fourth placed Valencia after beating their closest rivals Atlético Madrid 1-0. The Maños were celebrating their 75th anniversary, and Diego Milito gave the home fans something to shout about when he ran on to a long D'Alessandro pass to beat Leo Franco twenty minutes in to the game. Local keeper César did the rest.
Deportivo closed to within two points of ninth placed Getafe after beating Bernd Schuster's side 1-0. The visitors had the best chances early on though, and they appeared to be on the way to a win when Arizmendi was sent off before the break for elbowing Paredes. But a long shot from Barragán with ten minutes to go caught out keeper Pato Abbondanzieri, and the locals took the three points.
Espanyol's midweek UEFA cup exertions took their toll, the Catalans being held to a 1-1 draw by Levante. Reggi took advantage of a mistake by Riera to give the visitors the lead with just under a quarter of an hour gone, but Luis García equalised soon afterwards after Riera set him up to make it three such results in a row for Ernesto Valverde's side.
A 1-1 scoreline as well between Villarreal and bottom club Real Sociedad, a result which leaves Lotina's side closer to relegation. Savio gave the Basque team hope with the opener following a long throw five minutes before the break, but Josico headed the equaliser from a second half corner to keep the locals in mid-table. (18.03.07)
Barcelona opened up a three point gap at the top of the table pending Sunday's games after beating Recreativo 0-4 on Saturday evening. Eto'o opened the scoring with only three minutes on the clock, his long shot curling away from López Vallejo. And by half time Frank Rijkaard's side were three up, Zambrotta finishing off a team passing move and Eto'o getting on the end of Sylvinho's cross to get his second of the night. Recre had a few chances in the second half as Barça relaxed, but Messi rounded things of with an individualist fourth goal near the end.
Third placed Valencia lost ground on the leaders though after a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Racing Santander. Munitis put the Cantabrians ahead midway through the first half with an acrobatic volley after Zigic headed back a Pinillos cross, and Oriol headed the second from a Munitis corner with just over an hour gone. The closest the Chés came to scoring was when Pinillos headed a Morientes shot away from under the bar late on.
Two goals from Ibagaza corners in the first two minutes of the game gave Mallorca a 2-0 victory over Betis. Pereyra headed home the first and Arango got the second after Doblas could only push out Víctor's header to make it four home wins in a row for the Balearic Islanders. The visitors had the better of the second half but could do nothing to prevent their first defeat in ten league games.
Athletic Bilbao drop further down into the relegation zone after losing 0-3 to local rivals Osasuna. Muñoz started things off from the penalty spot after Amorebieta fouled Soldado on the half hour mark, and David López picked up a poor clearance to score the second just two minutes after the restart. Izquierdo made it three after cutting past three defenders later in the second half, and many fans had left the ground before Aduríz was sent off for a second bookable offence in the last minute. (17.03.07)