Valencia moved back above Deportivo to fourth after beating Osasuna 1-3 in the last match on Sunday. Villa started things off after touching Marchena's high pass past Ricardo with ten minutes gone, and Albelda lobbed the keeper for a second a few minutes later. Marchena himself made it three with an impressive shot in off the bar after the break, and although Pandiani was sent off for a second bookable offence a few minutes later, Masoud headed one back after that. Osasuna ended with nine men after Flaño was also sent off in injury time.
Mallorca stay in sixth place after a 3-1 victory over Almeria earlier in the evening, their sixth home win in a row. Soriano missed a couple of chances for the visitors before the break, but just three minutes after the restart Castro thumped a shot wide of Diego Alves after Valero's free kick came back out to him. Substitute David Rodríguez equalised after good work by Piatti, but Castro set up Víctor for a second with two minutes to go, and then wrapped things up himself a minute later after a spectacular run.
Getafe and Espanyol met again in Barcelona just a few days after the cup tie between the two sides, and once again the visitors came out on top after a 0-2 win. Having only scored eight goals in eleven league games, Pochettino brought back the out of favour Tamudo in an attacking line up. But even he could make no inroads, and Michel's team took the lead early in the second half through Casquero after Kameni could only block Soldado's shot. And Pedro Ríos headed a second in injury time to take his side back above their opponents to ninth.
Villarreal seem to have their season back on track, and they ended the weekend in eleventh place after beating Valladolid 3-1. Even Nilmar has returned to club form, the Brazilian striker heading down Escudero's cross to open the scoring early on, and adding a second after getting in front of Villar to head Godín's long clearance in to the net at the start of the second half. Rossi added a third soon afterwards, and Diego Costa took advantage of a bad back pass to get a consolation goal for the visitors later on.
Sporting Gijón are consolidating their position in the top flight again, and they are still only three points off the European spots after drawing 0-0 at Xerez. Despite the result there was plenty of action, Juan Pablo tipping a volley from Keita on to the bar early on and the Asturians replying with efforts against the post from José Angel and De las Cuevas. Antoñito hit the post again after the restart and Juan Pablo did well to keep out a couple of efforts from Keita, but in the end a point apiece.
Xerez stay in next to bottom spot, still a point above Málaga after the Andalusians could only draw -1 with Zaragoza. The two sides had already drawn twice in their recent cup ties, and tensions from those games spilled over in to this. Ewerthon gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot after Lafita fell under a challenge from Munúa at the start of the second half, and both sides were left with ten men after Paredes and then Weligton were both sent off. Debutant Iván González saved a point though for the locals with a header from Luque's corner a quarter of an hour from the end. (22.11.09)
Real Madrid will go in to next weekend's big clash with Barcelona a point ahead of their rivals after a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander. Xabi Alonso hit the post and Kaká brought a great save out of Toño before Higuaín opened the scoring midway through the first half. But after that they created few chances, and new coach Miguel Angel Portugal felt his side were unlucky to go home empty handed after Canales had a strike ruled out for a non-existent offside later on.
Barcelona themselves could only draw 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao later in the evening, and although the result maintained their unbeaten league record, it was not enough to keep them at the top of the table. Both the goals came after the break, Dani Alves giving Guardiola's side the lead after Xavi set him up, and Toquero equalising after Llorente headed on Gorka's long clearance. To add to Barça's woes in such an important week, Messi limped off injured later in the second half.
Sevilla meanwhile go from strength to strength, and they are now only two points behind the Catalans after a 1-2 win at Tenerife. Jesús Navas celebrated his long awaited debut for Spain setting up Argentina's own debutant Perotti for the opening goal on the half hour mark, and Renato blasted in the second soon after the restart. Nino got one back with a quarter of an hour to go with a first time volley from Juanlu's cross, but it was too late to change the result.
Deportivo are quietly consolidating their position in the table, and they moved back to fourth pending Sunday's games after beating a struggling Atlético Madrid 2-1. Agüero won the ball off a sleepy Lopo to put the visitors ahead in only the third minute, but Colotto headed the equaliser a few minutes later after Juan Rodríguez headed on Guardado's corner. And with the game in the fifth minute of injury time Guardado converted a hotly disputed penalty to leave the visitors further down in the drop zone. (21.11.09)