First division - day 13
Villarreal moved up to second spot in the table, four points behind Barcelona, after beating bottom club Recreativo 1-2 on Sunday evening. Cazorla opened the scoring against his old club midway through the first half, his shot taking a deflection off a defender to wrong-foot Riesgo. And shortly before the interval Ibagaza made it two with a well struck free kick. Recre got one back from the penalty spot near the end, Adrián Colunga converting the kick after Cygan had fouled Marco Rubén, but too late to change the result.
Valencia stay a point behind Villarreal after a battling 3-2 win over Betis. Unai Emery's side appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory after Villa and Mata put them two up in the first twenty minutes. But Juanma scored for the visitors after the break, and a few minutes later the locals were left with ten men when Marchena was sent off after giving away a penalty on Sergio García. Emaná drilled home the spot kick to equalise, but Baraja headed the winner from a Manuel Fernandes free kick later on.
Atlético Madrid held on to sixth spot after beating Racing Santander in the last match of the weekend. Tchité gave the Cantabrians the lead from the penalty spot in the seventh minute after Heitinga had brought him down, but strikes from Simao and Agüero turned the scoreline around by the break. César Navas was sent off for a foul on Assunçao before Atleti's second goal, and Forlán added two more in a three minute period after the restart.
Deportivo are level with Alético on points after a 0-1 win at Almería. The locals were left with ten men early in the second half after Negredo was shown a red card for a foul on Lopo, and Verdú should have given the Galicians the lead when he fired a penalty at the bar after Riki was brought down by Carlos García. The midfielder made up for his mistake though scoring the winning goal from Guardado's cross with a quarter of an hour to go.
Valladolid's recent good form continued, and they moved up to eighth after a 3-0 victory over Mallorca. García Calvo opened the scoring with just under half an hour gone, and Vivar Dorado bundled in the second a few minutes after the break, referee Alvarez Izquierdo turning down appeals for hand ball. Ten minutes later Alvarez further upset the visitors after he ignored his linesman's offside flag to award a third goal to Goitom, scored with the defenders standing still waiting for a whistle which never came.
It was another high scoring weekend, with six coming in the second half of the match between Málaga and Osasuna, which the locals won 4-2. The Andalusians went two up with an Apoño penalty and a Baha header, but the visitors made it all square with headers from Nekounam and Miguel Flaño. Substitute Albert Luque restored the lead though, and Eliseu wrapped things up in injury time.
Osasuna stay in the relegation spots, but their neighbours Athletic Bilbao climbed out of the bottom three above Numancia, who they beat 2-0. New Spanish international Fernando Llorente got both the goals before the break, the first a header from Susaeta's cross and the second a shot from the edge of the area to take some pressure off manager Joaquín Caparrós.
One coach who didn't survive the weekend though was "Tintin" Márquez, who was fired shortly after Espanyol lost 0-1 to Sporting Gijón. Carmelo got the only goal with an impressive shot on the half hour mark to take the Asturians up to the top half of the table and leave their hosts just a point above the drop zone. Current favourites to take over from Márquez are Luis Fernández or Djukic. (30.11.08)
Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the table to six points after beating Sevilla 0-3, their tenth away win in a row. Eto'o only needed a half chance to open the scoring, latching on to a loose ball in the area to beat Palop in the twentieth minute. Kanouté hit the bar before the break, but the local keeper had to make several saves before Messi volleyed a shot past him with twelve minutes to go. The Andalusians were left with ten men when Luis Fabiano was sent off for elbowing Busquets, and Messi wrapped things up with a third goal in injury time.
Earlier in the evening second placed Real Madrid were beaten 3-1 by neighbours Getafe, a result which puts pressure once again on coach Bernd Schuster. Albín headed in Gavilán's cross with only three minutes on the clock, and then scored his second of the evening after Casquero put him through in the second minute of the second half. Saviola pulled one back after picking up a pass from Guti, but Uche got the third on a quick breakaway with ten minutes to go. (29.11.08)