First division - day 12
Leaders Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Getafe, ending a run of nine victories in a row in the league. The absence of Leo Messi, rested by Guardiola to allow him time to recover from an injury, proved vital as the Catalans dropped points for the first time since the second weekend of the season. Manu del Moral gave the visitors the lead in the twentieth minute with a shot from outside of the area. And although Eto'o hit the bar before the break, it was not until midway through the second half that Keita headed the equaliser from a Dani Alves cross.
With only Real Madrid winning out of the top five, sixth placed Atlético Madrid had a chance to close the gap. However they could do more than draw 1-1 at Numancia thanks to a last second penalty by the home side. Diego Forlán opened the scoring after Simao put him through with just over half an hour gone. But after hitting the woodwork three times, the locals got their reward when Perea fouled Brit in the area, Barkero converting the spot kick to save his team a point.
Deportivo moved up level with Atlético on points after beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the last game of the weekend. Ze Castro gave the Galicians the lead after Iraizoz could only push out Verdú's free kick, and ex Athletic keeper Aranzubia saved an Iraola penalty before Verdú converted a second spot kick at the other end close to half time. Javi Martínez headed one back after the restart, but Guardado made sure of victory in injury time.
Betis moved up to eighth spot after coming from behind to beat Sporting Gijón 1-2. Diego Castro put the Asturians ahead after Casto spilled a shot from Barral midway through the first half. But Monzón crashed a shot past Cuéllar following a short free kick early in the second half, and six minutes later Emaná drilled home what was to prove the winner after Capi set him up.
Racing Santander moved up to the top half of the table as well after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Espanyol. Marcano turned in the first in the tenth minute after Kameni could only push out a Munitis free kick, and Oscar Serrano got the second later in the first half after the defence failed to clear Munitis's cross. The veteran forward also had a hand in the third goal, Jonathan Pereira picking up his free kick to leave Kameni for dead before scoring in to an empty net.
The defeat leaves Espanyol just three points clear of the drop zone, a point below Mallorca, who could only draw 2-2 against Málaga. The visitors went ahead twice, the first time when Ramis turned Duda's cross in to his own net in the twelfth minute. Josemi equalised with an impressive shot just six minutes later, but Baha restored the lead soon afterwards after picking up a pass from Duda. Webó levelled the scores again though after the break.
Good news at last for Osasuna, who beat Almería 3-1 to clock up their first league win of the season. The Pamplona based side had only scored three times in the current campaign, and they went behind to an early Negredo penalty after Azpilicueta fouled Pellerano. The visitors were left with ten men though after Guilherme was sent off, and Pandiani headed the equaliser a few minutes later. A Pellarano own goal and a Vadócz strike after the restart were enough after that to give them the three points. (23.11.08)
Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Recreativo, although it was not enough to convince the home fans who whistled their players off at the end. Sneijder had a goal disallowed before opening the scoring a few minutes before half time, his shot taking a deflection off Beto to fly over the head of Riesgo and in to the net. Raúl missed a couple of chances and the visiting keeper saved from Guti and Saviola late on, but the result was in doubt right up to the final whistle. The defeat leaves Recre further down in the drop zone after eleven games without a win.
Madrid move up to second though after Villarreal were surprisingly beaten 0-3 by Valladolid, their first league defeat of the season. With Manchester United due at the Madrigal stadium on Tuesday, Pellegrini's side took their eye off the ball. And they found themselves three down at the break, with Jonathan Sesma starting things off after Diego López could only push out Víctor's shot midway through the first half. Sesma lobbed the keeper for his second of the evening close to half time, and Luis Prieto made it three a couple of minutes later from Pedro León's cross.
The league of the top sides started today though, with the top five all due to play each other over the next seven weekends. Sevilla and Valencia started things off on Saturday night, and there was nothing to choose between them as the game ended 0-0. Both sides stay level on points in fifth and fourth spots respectively. (22.11.08)