First division - day 5
Real Madrid moved back to the top of the table after beating Betis 2-0 on Thursday night. Victories for Villarreal, Valencia and Barcelona the day before had dropped them down to fourth. But Raúl put them ahead from the penalty spot midway through the second half after Rivas brought him down, and substitute Baptista got the second with a spectacular overhead kick near the end. The visitors felt themselves unlucky to go away empty handed though after hitting the woodwork three times, and it was really not until Robben came on that Schuster's side started to fire. (27.09.07)
Villarreal moved to the top of the table for the first time in their history after a 0-2 win at Racing Santander on Wednesday night. The locals had the better of the game early on, with Munitis hitting a post, but Nihat latched on to Mati Fernández's long ball to force a shot past Toño close to half time. The Cantabrians were left with ten men though when Duscher was sent off after the restart, and Rossi finished things off, deflecting a Pires shot into the net to make it seven away wins in a row in the league.
Valencia are level with Villarreal though after beating Getafe 2-1. Young keeper Ustari made his debut for the visitors, and although he made a good early save from David Villa, he spilled a Morientes cross into the path of Silva a few minutes later for the winger to open the scoring. Villa got the second himself on the half hour mark, running on to Albelda's long pass to lob the keeper, and Braulio got a late consolation for Laudrup's side, who remain in the relegation spots.
Barcelona are in third place after thrashing Zaragoza 4-1, all the goals coming in the first half. Once again Messi was the star of the night, opening the scoring after a good run, and adding a second in the tenth minute immediately after Zapater had equalised. The youngster then combined with Deco to set up Iniesta for a third, and Márquez headed home the fourth on the stroke of half time after Deco's free kick came back off the post.
Atlético Madrid also posted their claim for a place in the title race with a 0-2 victory at Athletic Bilbao, a second win in a row which takes them up to fifth. Twin strikers Agüero and Forlán did the damage, the former leaving two defenders for dead before firing a low shot past Iraizoz in the eleventh minute, and the latter crashing home a shot from over thirty yards out in the second half.
Mallorca occupy the sixth European spot after coming from two goals down to beat Valladolid 4-2. Ogbeche put the visitors ahead early on, and then set up Víctor for a second before the break. But Nunes headed one back from a corner soon after the restart, and Arango levelled the scores a few minutes later. And with the game in the last ten minutes Víctor and Arango added two more for the final victory.
It was a high scoring round of games though, and there were five in Pamplona where Osasuna beat bottom club Levante 4-1. Pandiani powered in a header on the half hour mark, and although Ettien equalised before the interval, the Uruguayan striker restored the lead after the restart. And Juanfran and Javi García added two more for their side's first win of the season.
Recreativo made it two wins in a row after beating Deportivo 0-2, a result which leaves local coach Lotina under pressure to improve. Martins got the first goal for the Andalusians after a shot from Marquitos came back off the post, and Javi Guerrero wrapped things up with a second from a Marquitos cross just two minutes after the restart, his third goal in five days.
The battle between two of the newly promoted sides ended with a 0-1 win for Almería at Murcia. Felipe Melo headed the only goal from Mané's corner a few minutes before half time, and the home side's challenge ended when Gallardo and then Regueiro were both sent off for second bookable offences by referee Turienzo Alvarez after the restart. (26.09.07)
Sevilla's nightmare week continued, the Andalusians losing 2-3 to Espanyol for their third defeat in seven days. Angel and Luis García put the visitors two up with strikes either side of half time, but Jarque put through his own net and Kone headed in Capel's cross to level the scores midway through the second half. Tamudo picked up a pass from Angel though with three minutes to go to win the match and take revenge for being beaten in the UEFA Cup final at the end of last season. (25.09.07)