First division - day 32
Reigning champions Real Madrid are closing in on another league title after they beat Murcia 1-0 to open up a nine point gap at the top. Bernd Schuster's side were left with a man short when Miguel Torres was sent off for a foul on Dani Aquino in only the twentieth minute. But with an hour on the clock Sneijder picked up the ball after Raúl headed on a long throw and curled a shot wide of Carini to win the match. It was a blow for Javier Clemente's team, who now find themselves eight points away from safety.
Villarreal stay in third spot after they lost 1-0 to Almería later in the evening. The turning point of the match came on the quarter hour mark when keeper Diego López was sent off for bringing down Crusat in the area. Negredo fired his spot kick over the top of the goal, but with a few minutes to go Acasiete bundled the ball into the net after debutant keeper could only push out Paunovic's header.
Atlético Madrid stay in fourth place despite a 1-1 draw at Valladolid. Maxi appeared to have given Javier Aguirre's side a narrow win when he fired a shot past Asenjo after Forlán's effort was blocked midway through the second half, but with the game in injury time substitute Ogbeche got on the end of an Oscar Sánchez cross to save a vital point for the hosts.
Sevilla have Atlético and Racing in their sights though after a 2-3 victory at Mallorca. Renato got the first after Moyà dropped the ball at his feet shortly before the break, and although Güiza equalised just a minute after the restart following a corner, half time substitute Kanouté restored the lead with a header from a Dani Alves free kick. Alves made it three himself with a left foot shot from outside of the area, and Webó headed one back near the end.
Espanyol are quickly dropping out of the race for the European spots, and they are now six points adrift after losing 0-1 to Osasuna, their fourth defeat in a row. Astudillo got the only goal of the game after Kameni could only push out a Puñal free kick on the half hour mark, giving the visitors three points which takes them six clear of the drop zone.
The seventh placed side could still make it to the UEFA Cup next season by way of the Intertoto, and several clubs are in contention including Deportivo, who moved level with Athletic Bilbao after beating the Basque side 3-0. A heading move between the three centre backs ended with Coloccini opening the scoring on the half hour mark, and Sergio made it two from the penalty spot before Filipe wrapped things up late on.
Bottom club Levante appear to be doomed this season, but they continued to put up a spirited fight-back with a 0-1 victory at Betis. Courtois thought he had given his side the lead when his shot bounced off the bar over the line before the break, but referee Delgado Ferreiro didn't see it. However justice was done when Pedro León picked up long pass and turned cleverly past his marker before scoring the winner.
The third relegation spot is still wide open though, and any one of ten sides could go down. Zaragoza are the current incumbents, and they are now three points off safety after drawing 0-0 at Getafe. The locals were given a hero's welcome after their epic game against Bayern Munich, and even though Laudrup rested players for next Wednesday's cup final they did enough to save a point. Zaragoza's game against Recreativo next weekend is a must-win for them. (13.04.08)
Barcelona's possibilities of winning the league this season are rapidly disappearing, and they are still six points behind leaders Real Madrid after drawing 2-2 with Recreativo on Saturday evening. With less than a minute on the clock Eto'o got on the end of Giovani's cross to head past Sorrentino, but with the first half coming to an end referee Clos Gómez awarded a controversial goal to the locals after Valdés stopped a header from Marco Rubén on the line. Just one minute after the restart Eto'o restored the lead with a spectacular shot from outside of the area, but once again Recre equalised, Rubén heading a Camuñas cross over Valdés on the far post after the keeper lost his footing.
Earlier in the evening Racing Santander kept up their push for a Champions League spot with a 1-2 victory at Valencia. All the goals came in the last half hour, Colsa giving the visitors the lead after Hildebrand could only push out his earlier header. Villa equalised from the penalty spot four minutes later after Morientes was fouled by Duscher, but Tchité got on the end of a Pablo Alvarez to win the game with four minutes to go. Valencia stay four points above the drop zone pending Sunday's games, and there are rumours that Ronald Koeman could be out even before next Wednesday's cup final against Getafe. (12.04.08)