First division - day 8
Valencia held on to top spot after drawing 1-1 at Recreativo tonight. Lucas Alcaraz's side took the lead when Javi Guerrero set up Camuñas to beat Renan early in the second half. But David Villa scrambled the equaliser past Riesgo a few minutes later after the keeper could only push out Mata's header to keep the Ches a point ahead of Barcelona.
Real Madrid moved up to third, level with Barça on points, after a 3-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Goals from Sneijder and Higuaín within the first half hour appeared to have set Bernd Schuster's team on the road to victory. But Exteberría got one back, and Iraloa levelled the scores with a hotly disputed penalty on the stroke of half time. Higuaín won it though with his second goal of the night after the break, leaving Athletic down in the relegation spots.
For the second time this week the fans at the Madrigal stadium saw a feast of goals after Villarreal and Atlético Madrid drew 4-4. Strikes from Simao and Forlán put the visitors two up with only a quarter of the game gone. But Banega was sent off before the interval, and the locals took advantage to score four in the first twenty three minutes of the second half, Senna, Llorente, Gonzalo and Rossi the authors of the goals. However Simao got his second of the night later on, and then floated in a long free kick for Raúl García to head the equaliser with five minutes to go.
Sevilla drop out of the Champions League spots though after losing 0-1 to neighbours Málaga, their first defeat of the season. Adrián got the only goal on the quarter hour mark, the first Palop has let in for nine games, and the home side's challenge ended when Adriano was sent off after the break. Málaga move up to sixth after a record fourth win in a row.
Getafe are up to seventh after a 1-0 victory over Valladolid, Cata Díaz heading the winner from Granero's free kick with half an hour gone. And Mallorca are a place behind them after beating Espanyol 3-0 in a San Moix stadium where the Catalans have not won now in nine years. All the goals came after the break, Aduríz heading the first two from Jurado assists and Varela netting the third.
Numancia moved off the bottom of the table after beating Racing Santander 2-1, their first victory since the opening day. Barkero put them ahead in the first half, and although the visitors equalised with a Tchité penalty in injury time, Cisma scored a minute later to tie up the three points. Sporting Gijón moved away from the danger zone though with a 0-3 win at Deportivo, a Barral penalty and goals from Carmelo and Diego Castro taking them level with their opponents in the table. (26.10.08) .
For the second time in four days Barcelona scored five early goals to wrap up a match. After the midweek win in Basel, this Saturday they beat Almería 5-0 to head up the table pending Sunday's games. All the goals this time came in the first half, with Eto'o opening the scoring in the fifth minute after Carlos García could only head Touré Yayá's pass up in to his path. Henry turned in the second from Messi's cross, and a rapid passing move between Iniesta and Xavi set up Eto'o for the third. Eto'o completed his hat-trick with a clever back-heel after a great run by Messi, and a frustrated Negredo got himself sent off for an aggressive tackle on Márquez before Dani Alvés drilled a long free kick past his namesake to wrap things up.
Earlier in the evening Betis won 0-2 at Osasuna, a result which left the Pamplona based side further down in the drop zone without a win to their name all season. Ezquerro could have given them the lead though in the first half had he not had a goal ruled out for a dubious offside, but a poor defensive wall let through a Mehmet Aurelio free kick to put the visitors ahead five minutes after the restart. And Pavone rubbed salt in the wound late on when he scrambled the ball in to the net after Ricardo had spilled Emaná's wide free kick, ensuring a victory which takes the Andalusians safely up to mid-table. (25.10.08)