First division - day 6
Valencia and Villarreal are still neck and neck at the top of the table after Valencia beat Valladolid 0-1 on Sunday evening. The locals were trying to preserve a 100% home record, and Renan had to tip a Pedro León free kick on to the post to keep the scores level at the break. But ten minutes in to the second half David Villa laid back a long cross from Joaquín, and Manuel Fernandes ran in to drill a low shot past Asenjo. It was enough to take the Ches past their local rivals on goal difference, and they have still only dropped two points all season.
Sevilla remain just two points behind the joint leaders though after a 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Jesús Navas set up Kanouté for the opening goal midway through the first half, and then crossed in for Renato to make it two before the break. Adriano got the third after a long run with a quarter of an hour to go, and Chevantón wrapped things up a few minutes later. The Andalusians have now gone eleven games in the league without defeat.
Real Madrid lost ground on their rivals after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Espanyol, and they ended the weekend in fifth spot. Tamudo opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the twentieth minute after he was brought down by Heinze, his first ever goal in the Bernabeu stadium. And although Raúl headed an equaliser soon afterwards from a Sergio Ramos cross, Luis García got on the end of Román's centre to restore the lead five minutes later. Raúl got his second of the night on the stroke of half time to make it all square again, but the visitors held on after that for a valuable point.
Almería hold on to sixth spot after coming from two down to draw 2-2 at Getafe. All the goals came in the last quarter of the match, Uche running through to put the locals ahead, and Casquero adding their second just a couple of minutes later. With three minutes to go though Negredo headed home a Julio Alvarez cross, and with the game in injury time Chico headed the equaliser after Negredo played the ball back in following a corner.
Deportivo followed up their epic midweek UEFA Cup tie with a 1-0 victory over Numancia which takes them up to the top half of the table. Both sides had not won in the league since the opening day of the season, but the Galicians took the three points thanks to Lafita's header from Sergio's free kick midway through the first half. Thursday's hero Aranzubia didn't have much work to do this time around.
Movements at the foot of the table, where bottom club Sporting Gijón picked up their first points of the season in a 0-2 win at Mallorca. Carmelo opened the scoring for the Asturians early on and Canella got the second soon after the restart. Bilic hit the bar after that, but it took some brave goalkeeping from Cuéllar and a penalty miss from Webó to keep the visitors' first clean sheet of the campaign.
Sporting move above Betis, and Recreativo are also in the relegation spots after they lost 0-4 to regional rivals Málaga. Antonio Tapia's side had only scored two all season, but Eliseu started things off in the first minute, and Baha headed the second before the break. And Eliseu set up Duda for the third and then got the fourth himself to take his team away from the danger zone.
Racing Santander climb out of the drop zone after a last minute 0-1 victory at Osasuna. The Cantabrians missed a chance to take the lead shortly before the interval when Ricardo saved Garay's penalty after Plasil had been sent off for handling in the area. The locals held on with ten men after that, but with the game coming to an end Valera got on the end of Marcano's cross to head the winner. (05.10.08)
Villarreal rounded off another great week, following up their Champions League victory with a 2-1 win over Betis which takes them back to the top of the table. They suffered at the start though, the visitors dominating the first half and going ahead when Damìa turned Mark González's cross past Diego López. Two goals in as many minutes after the break turned the scoreline around however, Gonzalo heading Ibagaza's long free kick over Casto, and Llorente finishing off after Pires played in another cross from Ibagaza.
Everybody was waiting for the second game of the evening between Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, a fixture which has a reputation for goals. Nobody imagined however that there would be six in the first half hour as Pep Guardiola's side ran out 6-1 winners in the end. Within eight minutes Barça were three up, a Márquez header from Xavi's corner, an Eto'o penalty after Ujfalusi fouled Messi, and a quickly taken Messi free kick which left the defence motionless. Maxi fired one back, but Eto'o and Gudjohnsen got two more within minutes. And Henry rounded things off with a sixth goal after the break to give his side their second "set" of the season. (04.10.08)