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Match round-up - First Division, Day 9

Valencia held on to fourth spot after beating bottom club Málaga 0-1 on Sunday evening. The only goal came midway through the second half, David Navarro heading in to an empty net after Munúa misjudged a long cross from Pablo Hernández. Up to that point the keeper had had a good game, but it was his opposite number César who had to ensure the three points with a couple of important saves from Obinna near the end.

Mallorca kept up their 100% record in the San Moix stadium with a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander, a result which took them momentarily up to fourth prior to Valencia's game. Webó latched on to Borja Valero's lifted pass in the eighteenth minute to score what was to prove the only goal, although Víctor could have added to the lead with a bit more luck after the restart, especially when he had a goal disallowed for a borderline offside.

Deportivo stay in sixth position after drawing 1-1 with Sporting Gijón in the last match on Sunday. Riki hit the crossbar with a spectacular shot before Lassad opened the scoring four minutes short of half time, running in to beat Juan Pablo after Juan Rodríguez's header came back off the bar. But Diego Castro delighted the 8,000 travelling fans after the interval with the equaliser which took his side up to seventh in the table.

Espanyol are up to eighth after a 1-1 draw with Valladolid, although they will rue the fact that the equalising goal didn't come until the ninetieth minute. The Catalans had dominated the first forty five minutes, and Luis García had put them ahead six minutes in to the second half after Marqués set him up. But Medunjanin came on to hit the bar with a free kick, and in the last minute he picked up Bueno's chested pass to beat Kameni.

Zaragoza bounced back from their heavy defeat at Barcelona last weekend, beating Almería 2-1 to move above their opponents in the table. Visiting keeper Diego Alves had to make a couple of top class saves from Ayala before Lafita finally beat him on the half hour mark. Pulido made it two after Ayala headed a corner back in to the penalty area, and Juanma Ortíz's strike a few minutes later was not enough to change the result.

Further down the table Villarreal moved out of the relegation spots after an impressive 5-0 victory over Tenerife. Llorente gave Valverde's side the lead with quarter of an hour gone, and Pires connected with Rossi's cross to make it two just a minute after the restart. Rossi himself made it three soon afterwards, and Llorente netted his second of the night just a minute later. And Cani wrapped things up at the end to take the pressure off his coach at last. (01.11.09)

Leaders Barcelona dropped two vital points in the last minute after a 1-1 draw against a battling Osasuna. Keita connected with a cross from Puyol to give Guardiola's side the lead with twenty minutes to go, and Ricardo had to be at his best to keep out Ibrahimovic and Messi after that. But with the game in the last minute of injury time Camuñas squeezed past an indecisive Márquez to lay the ball across goal, and Piqué and Valdés could only deflect it in to their own net.

Earlier in the evening Real Madrid recovered from their recent bad form to beat neighbours Getafe 2-0. Things appeared to be going against them when Raúl Albiol was sent off for pulling back Soldado with just under half an hour on the clock. But Higuaín saved the day for his side with two goals in three minutes soon after the restart, the first after controlling a cross from Marcelo and the second after an assist from Benzema. Pellegrini's side are now only a point behind Barça in the table.

Sevilla kept up their push for the title with a 0-2 win over their Andalusian neighbours Xerez. The goals came at the ends of the first and second halves, Negredo opening the scoring after running on to Fernando Navarro's long punt and lifting the ball up to head over Renan. The result was in doubt though until the last minute, when Jesús Navas slipped the ball through for Luis Fabiano to beat the keeper from a wide angle.

Athletic Bilbao got their first league win in six games after beating Atlético Madrid 1-0 in the last match on Saturday evening. Javi Martínez headed the only goal from Orbaiz's free kick midway through the first half, but the visitors felt themselves unlucky not to have at least saved a point after hitting the woodwork three times. It was a first defeat for new coach Quique Flores, who took over from Abel Resino this week. (31.10.09)