Sporting Gijón and Zaragoza drew 1-1 in the last match of the midweek round of games. Diego Castro put the Asturians ahead on the half hour mark with a long shot which took a deflection off Pavón to wrong-foot Carrizo. But the visitors equalised when Abel Aguilar headed a Jorge López corner in to the net soon after the restart. It was a fair result given the share of play between the teams, and both move up safely to mid-table for the time being. (24.09.09)
La Liga is already looking like a two-horse race again after Real Madrid beat Villarreal 0-2 on Wednesday to stay level with Barcelona at the top of the table. Cristian Ronaldo kept up his personal battle with Leo Messi, opening the scoring in the second minute of the game with a long run which ended with a low shot wide of Diego López. And things got worse for the locals when Gonzalo was sent off for a second bookable offence with over half the game remaining. Kaká made it two from the penalty spot after Angel cut out Marcelo's cross with his arm midway through the second half, and there was no way back for Ernesto Valverde's side.
Up to now Athletic Bilbao were the only team to keep up the pace with the leaders, but they fell three points behind after losing 1-0 to Tenerife. Caparrós rested several of his key players and paid the price, the Canary Islanders all over their opponents throughout the game. Nino in particular was unlucky not to score on several occasions, but with the game seemingly heading for a draw Mikel Alonso headed in Alfaro's free kick to secure a valuable win for the hosts.
Valencia also lost ground on the top two after a 3-1 defeat at Getafe. David Villa put the visitors ahead midway through the first half after a quick passing move, but only a minute or so later Manu del Moral equalised after good work by Gavilán and Casquero down the left wing. Manu got his second of the night, heading in Pedro León's corner close to half time, and Pedro León made it three himself after the break with a free kick which would have made Cristian Ronaldo proud!
Atlético Madrid just can't get going this season, and Abel could be the first coach to pick up his "finiquito" in the new campaign after his side were held to a 2-2 draw by Almería. Piatti gave the visitors the lead with just under half an hour gone, turning Crusat's assist past Roberto, but Cléber equalised a couple of minutes later and Diego Forlán put Atleti ahead ten minutes in to the second half after Chico's clearance was blocked. Piatti got his second of the night though with two minutes to go to leave Atlético in next to bottom spot.
Only Xerez are below Abel's side, and they appear to be out of their depth at this level after losing 0-3 to Deportivo. Juca got the first for the Galicians with a well struck free kick, and although Aranzubia had to be at his best to keep out Bermejo, an inexplicable own goal from Gioda ended any hopes of a comeback. The central defender headed Sergio's corner in to his own net completely unmarked, and when Riki headed another corner past Renan it was all over.
Deportivo move on to six points, level with Espanyol who beat Málaga 2-1 to record their first ever league win in the new Cornellà stadium. Things didn't look so good for the Catalans at half time after Fernando's deflected shot had given the Andalusians the lead, but Sahar headed the equaliser from Coro's cross after the restart, and Iván Alonso picked up a pass from fellow substitute Nakamura to shoot past Munúa and ensure the victory.
Osasuna climb away from the danger zone after a 1-2 win at Valladolid. Pandiani started things off in the first half with a long, dipping volley which Jacobo should probably have dealt with, and the locals were left with ten men soon afterwards when Luis Prieto was sent off for a foul on Aranda. Half time substitute Diego Costa levelled the scores just minutes after coming on, but debutant youngster Jorge Galán won it for Camacho's side after the defence failed to cut out Flaño's long free kick. (23.09.09)
Barcelona opened the midweek round of games with a 1-4 victory over Racing Santander on Tuesday night. Three goals in a seven minute period midway through the first half were enough to kill the match as a contest, Ibrahimovic starting things off with his fourth in as many games after Xavi and Messi combined to set him up. Messi finished off a quick passing move with a well taken goal, and a clever back-heel pass by Ibrahimovic made the third for Piqué. Messi got his second of the night after the restart with another "house special" before being substituted to a standing ovation, and Oscar Serrano gave the home fans something to cheer about with a late consolation.
Earlier in the evening Sevilla beat Mallorca 2-0, a result which took them above the Islanders to third in the table. The goals came early on, with Squillaci heading the first following a Renato corner, and Perotti also scoring with a header after Jesús Navas crossed in from the right. Adriano and Squillaci could have increased the lead after the break, and the visitors only came close in the final minutes when Keita wasted a couple of chances. (22.09.09)