Barcelona thrashed Málaga 6-0 on Sunday evening to keep up their six point lead at the top of the table. By half time Guardiola's side were already four goals up, Xavi opening the scoring before Messi produced a "house special" for the second. Xavi set up Henry and then Eto'o to add two more, and after the restart Dani Alves and Eto'o finished things off.
Earlier in the evening Real Madrid had thrown down the gauntlet to the Catalans with a 3-0 win over Hugo Sánchez's Almería. Marcelo started things off with an impressive shot from outside of the area midway through the first half., and Huntelaar helped himself to two more after the break, taking his tally to eight since his winter signing.
The top four have opened up a five point gap over four clubs who are all vying for the European places. Atlético Madrid took a step backwards though after losing 2-0 at Mallorca, a disappointment after their recent good performances against the four leaders. Aduríz got the first from Arango's pass and substitute Castro wrapped things up in the last minute.
Valencia moved back up to sixth after a 0-1 victory at Racing Santander, ending a run of six games without a win. The Chés were up against it when Alexis was sent off a minute after the restart, but substitute Mata got the only goal later on, and Oscar Serrano fired a last minute penalty against the crossbar.
Deportivo were held to a 1-1 draw by Betis, leaving the Galicians down in seventh spot. Verdú gave Lotina's side the lead in the eighth minute, but Sergio García equalised later in the first half. The point was enough to keep the visitors out of the bottom three, although coach Paco Chaparro is still under pressure.
Getafe manager Víctor Muñoz is also under threat of losing his job, but he got some respite this weekend after his side came from behind to beat Recreativo 2-1. Maidana put the visitors ahead soon after the interval, but Soldado scored twice in four minutes to give his team their first win in two months.
The relegation battle is hotting up though, and Osasuna moved to a point of safety after a last minute 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Espanyol. Nekounam headed the only goal from Puñal's free kick in the 92nd minute. It was a blow for Pochettino's side though, who are now four points adrift at the foot of the table.
Numancia have not given up the fight either, and they stayed two points behind Osasuna after beating Sporting Gijón 2-1. Barkero opened the scoring from the penalty spot shortly before half time, and although Barral equalised soon after the interval, Goitia took advantage of a defensive mistake to score the winner. (22.03.09)
Sevilla kept up the pressure on the top two with a 4-1 victory over Valladolid on Saturday evening. Kanouté opened the scoring early on after picking up an assist from Romaric, and although Goitom headed an equaliser from Canobbio's free kick soon afterwards, the ex Tottenham striker volleyed home a Navas cross to restore the lead shortly before the break. Luis Fabiano added a third after the restart, and Kanouté completed his hat-trick to take the Andalusians to within six points of Real Madrid.
Villarreal stay in fourth spot, six points behind Sevilla, after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 earlier in the evening. Cazorla picked up a pass from Rossi and fired an angled shot past Iraizoz to start things off midway through the second half, and Athletic's challenge ended when Susaeta was sent off for a second booking later on. Substitute Mati Fernández made sure though with a second goal in injury time. (21.03.09)