First division - day 26
After all the excitement of the day before, Sunday was fairly quiet. Villarreal consolidated third spot in the table, moving three points clear of Atlético Madrid after drawing 0-0 against Osasuna. It was a dull game though, and although both sides had their chances, keepers Diego López and Ricardo were hardly troubled. Villarreal have not won at home now in five matches.
Racing Santander moved back above Sevilla into the UEFA Cup spots after a late 0-1 victory over Valladolid. The Cantabrians put their midweek cup defeat behind them thanks to a goal by Duscher, who stuck out a foot to deflect Oscar Serrano's cross over the head of Sergio Asenjo with five minutes to go.
Almería have virtually achieved their pre-season objectives of another year in the top flight, although they lost ground on the European spots after a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao. Negredo gave the Andalusians the lead from the penalty spot after Yeste fouled José Ortíz on the hour mark, but Llorente headed the equaliser ten minutes later.
There were goals at least at the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum, where Getafe and Mallorca drew 3-3. Cotelo and Albín put the home side two up in the first ten minutes before Güiza got one back against his old club. When Scaloni was sent off and Ramis put through his own net it looked like the Balearic Islanders were down and out, but Arango scored with one direct free kick and dropped another on the head of Ramis a minute later to save a point.
Four more in Sevilla as well, where Betis ran out 4-0 winners over Murcia. The first two goals came before the break from Mark González crosses, César Arzo turning the first past his own keeper under pressure from Pavone, and Edu heading the second back past Notario. Pavone got the third after the break and Sobis made it four from the penalty spot. Murcia have only picked up one point from eight games, and coach Lucas Alcaraz is not expected to last out the week.
Zaragoza are also in trouble after they lost 2-1 to bottom club Levante, and they are only outside of the relegation spots thanks to a superior goal difference over Recreativo. Geijo headed the locals into the lead early on and Riga battled through to score the second after the restart before Oscar González got one back for Irureta's side. (02.03.08)
A thrilling night of football in La Liga, with all three Champions League sides kicking off on Saturday prior to their midweek commitments. Real Madrid ended the day five points clear at the top of the table after a 2-3 win over Recreativo. Robinho was the man who won the day for Bernd Schuster's side, coming on as substitute and scoring two late on to give his team their first victory in four games. Before the break Raúl had equalised an early strike from Cáceres, and after Beto, Sergio Ramos and Quique Alvarez were all sent off, Carlos Martins got Recre's second in injury time.
Meanwhile Madrid's closest rivals Barcelona lost 4-2 to fourth placed Atlético Madrid. Agüero it was who destroyed Frank Rijkaard's side after Ronaldinho had given them the lead with a spectacular over head kick, the Argentinian striker scoring the first before the break and the fourth later on, making the second goal for Maxi before the interval, and winning a penalty which Diego Forlán converted after the restart. Eto'o got a second goal for Barcelona towards the end, but by then it was already over.
Sevilla's push for a Champions League spot took a set-back though after they were beaten 2-1 by Deportivo. The Galicians went a goal down when Kanouté beat Aouate midway through the first half, but a Wilhelmsson penalty and a second half strike from Lafita following a set piece free kick allowed Lotina's side to take three vital points which lifts them out of the relegation zone.
Later in the evening Espanyol moved back above Sevilla to fifth after a 2-0 win over Valencia. Luis García got both goals for the Catalans, the first in the third minute after Jonathan Soriano headed on a long ball from Torrejón and the second from the penalty spot after Silva brought down Valdo soon after the restart. (01.03.08)