First division - day 9
Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the table to two points after a 3-1 victory over Deportivo. Bernd Schuster's side went behind with just over a minute on the clock when Xisco took advantage of a sleepy defence to beat Casillas, but they were back level five minutes later when Van Nistelrooy converted a penalty after Guardado brought him down. Raúl came on though in the second half to combine with Guti and Van Nistelrooy to score his side's second, and Robinho rounded things off with an individualist goal in the last minute.
Barcelona are back up to second spot after beating Almería 2-0 later in the evening. They made hard work of it though, and chances were few and far between before Henry opened the scoring after Cobeño blocked an effort from Giovani close to half time. Referee Ayza Gámez turned down a penalty appeal by Negredo later in the second half, but soon afterwards he did award one to the home side after Giovani fell under Bruno's challenge, substitute Messi converting the kick.
Last week's second placed side Villarreal lost 4-1 to Zaragoza, a result which came as a relief for local coach Víctor Fernández. Oliveira headed them into the lead from Zapater's cross in the first half, and Oscar got a second after Bruno gave the ball away just four minutes after the restart. Milito made it three from the penalty spot after Sergio García was fouled by Senna, and Sergio García got a fourth before Pires scored a late consolation. Zaragoza ended with ten men after Pavón was sent off near the end.
Sevilla's new manager Manolo Jiménez got off to a good start with a 3-0 win over Valencia in the last game on Sunday. The B team coach took over after Juande Ramos resigned to join Spurs mid-week, and he saw Kanouté open the scoring in the ninth minute after Albiol could only turn Luis Fabiano's cross into his path. Poulsen fired home the second later in the second half following a corner, and Luis Fabiano wrapped things up with a third after a passing move with Daniel Alves and Renato.
Atlético Madrid are up to fifth, just a point behind Villarreal and Valencia, after a 0-1 win at bottom club Levante. Diego Forlán got the only goal midway through the first half after Agüero chested Zé Castro's long ball into his path, and although Riga did hit the bar a few minutes later the result was never in doubt. Levante are setting new records having only picked up one point in nine games, during which time they have only scored three times.
Racing Santander are in eighth spot after beating Getafe 2-0. Michael Laudrup's side were fresh from their triumph over Tottenham in the UEFA Cup, but they hardly troubled Toño all evening. Oscar Serrano put the Cantabrians ahead with a spectacular strike late in the first half, and Jorge lópez headed the second from a Munitis cross later on. Getafe stay in the drop zone as a result.
Osasuna came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Valladolid and stay three points above their opponents in the table. Alvaro Rubio headed the visitors into the lead ten minutes before half time, and Jonathan Sesma put them two up soon after the restart. But Dady scored twice in five minutes to save a point for his side, and they could have even gone on to win had Corrales not been sent off late on.
Murcia move safely up to mid-table after a 1-0 win over Recreativo. Regueiro headed the winner for Lucas Alcaraz's side from Pablo García's corner a couple of minutes in to the second half, leaving the Andalusians just two points above the relegation spots, without a point or even a goal in their last four games. (28.10.07)
Mallorca and Espanyol are battling for the European spots this season, and honours were shared as the two teams drew 2-2 on Saturday evening. Arango put the Balearic Islanders ahead in the second minute, but then headed into his own net from Luis García's free kick midway through the first half. The locals were left with ten men when Ballesteros was sent off for bringing down Tamudo in the area a few minutes later, Tamudo himself converting the spot kick to give the visitors the lead. But numbers were evened up when Clemente picked up a second booking early in the second half, and Güiza saved a point for his side with twenty minutes to go.
Later in the evening Athletic Bilbao and Betis played out a 0-0 draw which kept both in the lower reaches of the table. The best chances of the game fell to the Basque side before the break, Ricardo saving from a Gabilondo free kick and then tipping an Aduríz header on to the bar. The Andalusians hardly troubled Gorka Iraizoz all evening. (27.10.07)