First division - day 13
Villarreal missed out on a chance to end the weekend in first place after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Almería. Nihat combined with Guille Franco to put Pellegrini's side ahead in the thirteenth minute, and for over half an hour or so they were ahead of Real Madrid in the table. But Negredo got on the end of a López Rekarte cross to equalise seven minutes after the restart, and Villarreal had to settle for second spot.
Espanyol's recent good form continued, and they are up to fourth after beating Osasuna 1-2. Valdo returned to the Reyno de Navarra stadium to set up Angel for the opening goal on the half hour mark, and then scored the second himself after a jinking run just three minutes later. Portillo headed one back after the restart, but it was not enough to prevent the Catalans from extending their unbeaten run to nine games.
Atlético Madrid are back up to fifth after a last minute 4-3 win over Valladolid, the third home game in a row which involved seven goals. Maniche's early strike was overturned by goals from Víctor and Sisi either side of half time, and although Maxi equalised, Llorente headed the visitors back in to the lead. Maxi levelled the scores again though, and despite having Valera sent off Atlético won it in injury time when Pedro López headed Forlán's cross into his own net.
Valencia drop out of the Champions League spots though down to sixth after a 1-0 defeat at Racing Santander. The Chés had lost their four previous matches at the Sardinero stadium, and they were beaten again thanks to a second half goal from ex Valencia midfielder Jorge López, who fired in a long shot which went through the hands of Cañizares.
Zaragoza and Getafe both stay in midtable after the two sides drew 1-1. Michael Laudrup's team seemed to be on their way to victory when Sousa turned in Granero's cross midway through the second half. But with visiting keeper Pato Abbondanzieri out of his goal arguing with the referee, D'Alessandro took advantage to fire a quick free kick into the empty net to save a point for the locals.
A 2-2 draw between Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo La Coruña left the two teams in the bottom half of the table, just a point or two above the relegation spots. The locals took the lead when Barragán headed Iraola's cross into his own net midway through the first half, and David López poked home a second soon after the restart. But Riki drove home a short free kick, and Taborda headed the equaliser with the game coming to an end.
It was the highest scoring weekend of the season though, and there were seven goals as well in Valencia, where bottom club Levante beat next to bottom side Betis 4-3. An Arzu volley and an Edu penalty put the visitors two up early on, but by half time scores were level after Tomassi and Riga both scored. Riga got his second of the night four minutes in to the second half, and although Pavone made it all square again two minutes later, Javi Fuego got the winner with ten minutes to go. (25.11.07)
Leaders Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at Murcia, and could be off the top of the table by the end of the weekend as a result. Robinho got on the end of Guti's cross to head them into the lead in the eighth minute, the referee waving away claims for offside. But De Lucas equalised just three minutes after the restart with a diving header from Abel's corner, and Madrid were left with ten men when Guti was sent off for kicking out at César Arzo in retaliation with a quarter of an hour to go. After that Schuster pulled his men back to defend, but Goitom could have won it for the locals had he been able to convert a couple of chances late on.
Barcelona moved up to second pending Villarreal's game on Sunday after beating Recreativo 3-0. It took them a long time to get going though, and it was only when Bojan Krkic came on in the second half that they made the breakthrough. Almost immediately Milito headed Xavi's corner past Sorrentino to open the scoring, and two minutes later Bojan picked up a pass from Henry and dummied past a defender before shooting wide of the keeper. Messi made it three from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Cáceres later on, and Frank Rijkaard's side move to within two points of their eternal rivals as a result.
Sevilla drop further down the table though after losing 1-2 at home to a Mallorca side who themselves are just two points off the European spots. Ibagaza fired the visitors into the lead early on after good work by Jonás, and Varela scored a spectacular second with a shot from way outside of the area close to half time. Kanouté headed one back soon after the restart and Mallorca were left with ten men after Varela picked up a second booking, but young keeper Lux did the rest. (24.11.07)