First division - day 11
Barcelona opened up a three point gap at the top of the first division after beating Recreativo 0-2 on Sunday evening. It took them a bit longer than usual to open the scoring though, Messi making the breakthrough six minutes in to the second half following a set-piece Xavi free kick. Henry rattled the woodwork a couple of times after that, but it wasn't until five minutes from the end that Keita made sure.
Villarreal were the only other side in the top four to pick up a point, a 2-2 draw at Málaga preserving their unbeaten record in the league this season. Pellegrini's team went ahead twice, Rossi opening the scoring in the seventh minute before Duda equalised with a well struck free kick. Llorente restored the lead soon after the restart, but Helder levelled it once again with a last minute header from Albert Luque's corner.
Sevilla made up ground on the top four with a 0-2 victory at Getafe, and they are now level with Real Madrid and Valencia on points. Luis Fabiano scored his fourth in as many days, picking up Romaric's pass to beat Pato shortly before the break. And substitute Tom De Mul wrapped things up in injury time, winning the ball off Belenguer before running on to shoot under the keeper.
Atlético Madrid are back up to the UEFA Cup spots after a convincing 4-1 win over Deportivo. Heitinga turned in Simao's corner midway through the first half for the first, and Forlán made it two after intercepting a bad pass from Lopo soon after the restart. Maxi got a third after Agüero set him up, and Forlán combined with Simao and Pernía for the fourth before Filipe Luis scored a late consolation for the Galicians.
Almería moved up level with Deportivo in eighth spot after beating Mallorca 2-1. Negredo had not been included in Del Bosque's squad for the upcoming friendly, but he sent a message to the coach with both of his side's goals. The striker hooked a shot past Lux on the stroke of half time and then converted a second half penalty after Castro handled, with Keita getting one back for the visitors late on.
Betis are up to the top half of the table as well after a 3-1 victory over Racing Santander. Sergio García was another who was left out of Spain's squad, but he proved to be the star of the match, scoring a goal in each half and setting up Emaná for another in between. Munitis got Racing's goal near the end.
Goals galore in Montjuic, where Numancia beat Espanyol 3-4 for their first away win of the season. Nagore and Goiria twice gave the visitors the lead, but Moisés and Jarque equalised both times. Tamudo put the Catalans ahead from the penalty spot, but late strikes from Barkero and Bellvis turned the scoreline around once again.
A tense local derby between Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, with the home side running out 2-0 winners. Both teams started the match in the bottom two spots in the table, but Fernando Llorente celebrated his call up for the national side by creating the first goal for Garmendia and then scoring the second himself with two minutes to go. (16.11.08)
Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Valladolid on Saturday evening, a defeat which puts in doubt Bernd Schuster's continuity at the club. After the midweek cup loss, the coach was under pressure to get a positive result. But three minutes in to the second half Canobbio picked up a cross from Pedro León and fired a shot past Casillas for what was to prove the only goal of the match. Local keeper Sergio Asenjo kept out Raúl and his colleagues after that, and Madrid's frustrations were clear when Heinze was sent off after picking up a second booking near the end.
That was not the only surprise of the night though, with third placed Valencia losing 2-3 at home to Sporting Gijón later in the evening. Luis Morán ran on to Michel's pass to open the scoring midway through the first half, and Barral left Moretti for dead before scoring the second early in the second half. David Villa pulled one back against his old side from the penalty spot, but Diego Castro juggled in a third before Mata completed the scoring late on. (15.11.08)