Valencia moved back in to the running for the Champions League spots with a 4-1 victory over Getafe on Sunday evening. A Mata strike and a Villa penalty midway through the first half set them on their way, and although Casquero got one back with another spot kick, a goal from Raúl Albiol and a third penalty from Villa made sure of the three points. Atlético Madrid lost ground on their closest rivals though after a 2-4 defeat at the hands of Osasuna. Pandiani scored twice for Camacho's team to take them two points clear of the relegation spots.
Deportivo failed to take advantage of Atlético's slip up, and they drop to eighth after losing 3-1 to bottom club Espanyol. Iván Alonso and De la Peña put the locals two up in the first half, with Lassad getting one back for the Galicians before the break. Lopo turned Rufete's shot past his own keeper in injury time though to keep alive the Catalans' chance of survival. With nine games to go any three of ten teams could go down, although Racing Santander distanced themselves from the relegation battle with a 0-2 win at Sporting Gijón later in the evening. (05.04.09)
With Easter week and the Champions League approaching, no less than six first division matches were brought forward to Saturday evening. And it was no change at the top of the table after the top three all won 0-1 away from home. Leaders Barcelona stay six points clear after beating Valladolid, with Eto'o picking up Xavi's return pass to score the only goal shortly before half time. Real Madrid stay in touch though after a 0-1 win at Málaga, Higuaín running through from the half-way line to get the winner early in the second half. And Sevilla also won 0-1 at neighbours Recreativo, a Kanouté penalty enough to take the three points.
Fourth placed Villarreal lost ground though after a 3-0 defeat at Almería, with goals from Negredo, Piatti and Mané wrapping things up by half time. To make matters worse, Cazorla was carried off with a broken leg in the second half. Further down the table Athletic Bilbao beat Mallorca 2-1 for their first win in eight games, Javi Martínez getting the winner after Jurado had cancelled out Yeste's third minute penalty. Betis and Numancia are in trouble though after they played out a 3-3 draw, three of the goals coming from the penalty spot. (04.04.09)