First division - day 8
With the Champions League sides all kicking off on Saturday, the match between Atlético Madrid and Zaragoza was the pick of the day on Sunday. And Atlético proved that they are a force to be reckoned with this season after thrashing their opponents 4-0. Diego Forlán set up Luis García for the first goal in the tenth minute, and got the second himself a few minutes later after an excellent lifted pass from Maxi Rodríguez. Maxi made it three from the penalty spot midway through the second half after Sergio brought him down, and the Argentine midfielder got his second of the night right at the end after Luis García set him up.
Mallorca stay level with Atlético on points though after a 0-2 win at Recreativo earlier in the evening. Güiza got them off to the best possible start, picking up a pass from Borja to beat Sorrentino with just over a minute on the clock, and substitute Tuni fired home a second goal later in the second half. Recre had their chances though, Sinama-Pongolle rattling the crossbar with a free kick and Moyà doing well to keep out a Gerard header near the end.
Racing Santander are up to eighth spot after a late 1-1 draw at Betis. Xisco hit the post for the locals early on and went close a couple of times before he finally beat Toño after the break. Jorge López fired a penalty kick against the post a few minutes later after Juanito was given a second booking for a foul on Smolarek, but he made up for it with the equaliser with four minutes to go.
Almería are also in the top half of the table after a 2-0 win over Osasuna. The turning point of the game came five minutes in to the second half when visiting keeper Elía was sent off for pulling down Negredo, Felipe Melo converting the resulting penalty. And Negredo lobbed substitute keeper Andrés a few minutes later for the newly promoted side's first home win of the season.
Athletic Bilbao started their game at Valladolid knowing that a defeat would leave them in the relegation zone, but in the end they recorded a compfrtable 1-2 victory to leave their opponents in next to bottom spot. Aduríz was the man who did the damage against his old side, scoring twice in the first half hour to put the game beyond the opponents' reach. Víctor got one back though with a second half penalty, and brought a brilliant save out of Gorka with a free kick late on.
Getafe got their first league win of the season, beating Murcia 2-0 to take the pressure off coach Michael Laudrup. Half time substitute Kepa headed the Madrid based side into the lead ten minutes after the restart, and Casquero added a second five minutes later. But Kepa got himself sent off for kicking Mejía, and the locals had to play the last quarter of the match with ten men. (21.10.07)
Saturday night saw the first defeats for Real Madrid and Barcelona in the league this season. Real Madrid were beaten 2-1 by Espanyol, who in their previous three games had clocked up consecutive victories against Sevilla, Deportivo and Valencia. Spanish internationals Riera and Tamudo got the goals for the Catalans at the beginning of each half, the first a header from Luis García's corner and the second a delightful chip by Tamudo over the head of Casillas. Sergio Ramos poked one back from Guti's last minute corner for Bernd Schuster's side, but it came too late to change the result.
Madrid stay top of the table though after second placed Barcelona lost 3-1 to Villarreal. Frank Rijkaard's side had not been beaten in the league since their last visit to the Madrigal stadium almost six months ago. But they fell behind in only the third minute when Cazorla picked up a deft back heel pass from Guille Franco to beat Valdés, and before half time Marcos Senna had added two more from the penalty spot after Pires was brought down by Abidal and then Milito. In between 17 year old Bojan Krkic became the youngest Barça player to score in the league after Messi set him up, but that was the best they could do.
Villarreal move up to second, level on points with Valencia who beat Deportivo 2-4. Joaquín opened the scoring from the penalty spot early on after he was brought down by Coloccini, and Baraja scrambled home a second before Xisco took advantage of a mistake by Cañizares to get one back. But Morientes headed two more either side of half time from crosses by Joaquín and Silva, and a late goal from substitute Bodipo was scant consolation for Miguel Angel Lotina's side.
Sevilla got back to winning ways after beating bottom club Levante 0-2, putting an end to a run of four league defeats in a row. The game was over early on, with Luis Fabiano firing a shot past Storari on the turn to put his side ahead in the sixth minute, and then adding a second from the penalty spot after a defender handled in the area on the quarter hour mark. It was a bad start for Levante's new coach Gianni De Biasi, who took over from Abel Resino just a few days ago. (20.10.07)