First division - day 14
Real Madrid's slide down the table continues, and they drop out of the Champions League spots after a 3-4 defeat at the hands of Sevilla. Adriano put the visitors ahead in only the third minute, and although Raúl equalised a few minutes later, strikes by Romaric and Kanouté gave the Andalusians a two goal lead at the break. Bernd Schuster's team fought back to level the scores once again through Higuaín and Gago after the restart. But Robben was sent off for protesting a possible penalty on Higuaín, and Renato headed a late winner to take his side above their opponents in the table.
Seventh placed Deportivo are now just two points behind Madrid after a 2-0 victory over Málaga, their fifth win in six games in the league. Both keepers were called on to make important saves in the first hour of the match. But a mistake by Goitia following a set piece free kick midway through the second half allowed a long shot by Lafita in to the net. Four minutes later Weligton tripped half time substitute Omar Bravo in the area, and the Mexican striker stepped up to drill home the resulting penalty.
It was a record weekend for goals though, the 44 scored in the ten games the highest tally for ten years. Six came in Pamplona, where Valladolid emulated Villarreal from the day before, coming from three goals down to draw 3-3 at Osasuna. Dady and Nekounam put Camacho's side two up at the break, and when Dady scored again early in the second half it seemed to be over. But Pedro León fired in three crosses from the right wing in the last half hour which all resulted in goals, Goitom turning in the first, Miguel Flaño heading the second in to his own net and Ogbeche getting the third to save a point for the visitors.
Osasuna drop back to the bottom of the table after Recreativo won 2-3 at Mallorca. The locals took the lead twice, David Navarro heading past Riesgo to open the scoring with just over quarter of an hour gone. Marco Rubén equalised, and although Jurado restored the lead, Colunga made it all square once again shortly before the interval. And Javi Fuego surprised Lux after the restart with a shot which took an awkward bounce to give his team their first win since the first day of the season.
Mallorca are now just above the relegation spots, and their fans called for changes in management at the end of the game. Espanyol changed their coach last week, and Mané got off to a good start with a 1-1 draw at Betis. Both goals came after the break, Emaná scoring his fifth in as many games to put the home side in front ten minutes after the restart. Coro equalised a few minutes later, but with none of the bottom four losing they still find themselves down in the drop zone.
Athletic Bilbao stay above Espanyol on goal difference after a 1-1 draw at Racing Santander. They must be ruing not taking the three points though after keeper Iraizoz dropped a long cross by Colsa in to his own net near the end of the game. Earlier in the second half Yeste had given the Basque side the lead with a long free kick which took a deflection off a defender to wrong-foot Toño.
Numancia climbed out of the relegation zone though after a 2-1 victory over Almería. The locals hit the woodwork twice before Solari converted a penalty at the other end following a foul by Cisma on Carlos García. But Del Pino volleyed home the equaliser midway through the first half from Quero's cross, and Goiria got the winner in the sixth minute of the second half after Barkero (who was sent off later on) put him through. (07.12.08)
Barcelona are six points clear at the top of the table after a convincing 4-0 over third placed Valencia. With Eto'o suspended Henry provided the goals, the French striker running on to a long ball to lob the keeper in the twentieth minute and adding a second a few minutes later after Hleb set him up. Alves picked up Xavi's through ball to score the third immediately after the restart, and Henry completed his hat-trick later on after substitute Bojan laid the ball in from the right.
Second placed Villarreal drop further behind the leaders after they were held to a 3-3 draw by Getafe, although they have to be thankful for a point after trailing by three goals at the interval. Volleys by Granero and Gavilán and a third strike by Casquero seemed to have settled the match at the break. But Pires got one back with a lucky rebound, and Eguren and Rossi scored two more late on for the final result.
Atlético Madrid moved up to fifth pending Sevilla's game on Sunday after hammering Sporting Gijón 2-5. Bilic headed the Asturians in to the lead in the fourth minute, but Agüero equalised almost immediately with an overhead kick, and then put his side ahead shortly before the break. Forlán got a third after the interval, and although Barral got another one back, Maxi and Forlán scored twice more later on. (06.12.08)