First division - day 28
Barcelona stay two points above Sevilla at the top of the table after the Andalusians were held to a 0-0 draw at Osasuna in the last match on Sunday evening. With UEFA Cup quarter finals coming up midweek, managers Cuco Ziganda and Juande Ramos put out much changed line ups. Keepers Ricardo and Cobeño were not given much work to do though, the former saving from Jesús Navas and Luis Fabiano before the break, and the latter keeping out Webó and Raúl García either side of half time.
Real Madrid moved back up to third after beating Celta 1-2 earlier in the evening. Van Nistelrooy gave Capello's side the lead from the penalty spot midway through the first half after he was brought down by Pinto, and the the Dutch striker hit the post soon afterwards. But Angel picked up a clever pass from Nené to equalise on the stroke of half time, and Casillas had to make some important saves before Robinho headed the winner after Pinto could only push Higuaín's cross into his path. Madrid ended with ten men after Guti was sent off for protesting.
Zaragoza stay in fifth spot after drawing 2-2 at Getafe, although they will be ruing the loss of two points after going in to a two goal lead in the first half hour. Sergio García opened the scoring with a shot on the turn after Aimar headed on a long throw, and D'Alessandro added the second with a long free kick with bounced past Abbondanzieri into the net. Manu headed one back though from a Paredes cross on the stroke of half time, and Casquero struck a spectacular equaliser after the break.
Sixth placed Atlético Madrid failed to take advantage after they could only draw 1-1 with Mallorca. Fernando Torres put them ahead on the quarter hour mark after Jurado set him up, but after that they were unable to find the route to goal. And Arango levelled the scores early in the second half after collecting a cross from Víctor to beat Leo Franco. Atlético are now six points away from the Champions League spots, and their frustrations became apparent when Luccin was shown a red card for insulting the referee at the end of the game.
Racing Santander continue their good recent form, and they are now seventh after an incredible 5-4 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Luis Prieto put the Basque side ahead early on with a free kick which Pinillos deflected into his own net, and it was not until shortly before the hour mark that Cristian Fernández equalised from a corner. Seven goals followed in the next half hour though, Etxeberría restoring the lead before a Garay penalty, a Zigic header and a Murillo own goal turned the scoreline around. Strikes from Etxeberría and Iraola appeared to have saved a much needed point for Athletic, but Zigic struck again two minutes from time to keep the visitors in the drop zone.
Racing move up to within a point of Atlético, and they overtake Recreativo who drew 1-1 at Gimnàstic. Sinama-Pongolle gave the Andalusians an early lead after combining with Uche, but Portillo drilled home the equaliser soon afterwards following a short free kick. The Catalans were left with ten men though when Campano was sent off for a tackle on an opponent shortly before the interval, and in the end they settled for a point which takes them level with Real Sociedad at the bottom of the table. (01.04.07)
Barcelona moved three points clear of Sevilla pending their game on Sunday after beating Deportivo 2-1 on Saturday evening. Messi opened the scoring for Frank Rijkaard's side on the stroke of half time, controlling Ronaldinho's lofted pass on his chest before drilling a shot past Aouate. And Eto'o made it two soon after the restart, beating the keeper after a quick passing move involving Ronaldinho and Iniesta ended with Andrade deflecting the ball into the forward's path. Substitute Adrián López got one back for the Galicians though after a mistake by Van Bronckhorst, and there were some nervous moments for the home fans before the referee blew the final whistle.
Valencia moved up to third, still six points behind the leaders after a 3-2 win over Espanyol. David Villa got on the end of Joaquín's cross to volley his side into the lead in the twelfth minute, but a defence splitting pass from De la Peña set up Riera to equalise just two minutes later. Vicente put the Chés back in front midway through the first half though after picking up a return pass from Villa, and Joaquín and Villa combined for Angulo to make it three soon after the restart. Luis García scored again though for the visitors with a shot which Cañizares could only push away from over the line, and Pandiani wasted a chance to save a point in injury time.
Villarreal are level with Espanyol in midtable after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Betis at the Cartuja stadium earlier in the evening. Pellegrini's side took the lead three times, the first when Diego Forlán beat Doblas with less than a minute on the clock. Fernando headed an equaliser ten minutes later, but Forlán put the visitors back in front just two minutes after the restart. Edu levelled the scores once again with another header, but Pires appeared to have won it before Juanito scrambled a shot past Viera following a last minute corner to save a point for the Andalusians.
Real Sociedad moved off the bottom of the table, for 24 hours at least, after beating Levante 1-0, Ansotegi heading the only goal of the game seven minutes before the interval from Savio's free kick. The Basque side were given a helping hand though by referee Fernández Borbolán, who sent off Riga a few minutes after the restart for a second bookable offence (apparently for wearing a gold chain!) and then disallowed a last minute goal by Tomassi for what he considered to be a hand ball by Salva. (31.03.07)