Barcelona came out on top in the big "derby" match on Sunday, beating Real Madrid 1-0 to move two points ahead of their arch-rivals in the table. Pellegrini's team put in a good performance, and could have taken the lead in the first half when Cristiano Ronaldo forced a good save out of Víctor Valdés. But ten minutes after the restart second half substitute Ibrahimovic got on the end of a Dani Alves cross to fire a first time shot past Casillas. A few minutes later Guardiola's side were left with ten men when Sergio Busquets picked up a second booking, but they could still have increased the lead, Piqué and Abidal going close and Casillas having to save from Messi late on. Numbers were evened up at the end when Lass was also shown a second yellow card in injury time.
Earlier in the evening Deportivo moved up level with fourth placed Valencia after beating Racing Santander 0-1. Both sides had chances in the first half, but neither keeper was particularly troubled until a quarter of an hour from the end, when Lopo beat Toño from close up after Riki played on Guardado's cross. Colsa hit the post at the other end later on, but it was another home defeat for the Cantabrians, and they end the weekend down in the drop zone.
Athletic Bilbao are just a point outside of the European spots after a 1-4 win at Almería. The Basque side scored three of their goals from dead-ball kicks, Javi Martínez starting things off from Yeste's free kick and Ustaritz adding a second before the break following a corner. Llorente headed in another Yeste free kick after the restart and De Marcos made it four before Kalu Uche got one back from the penalty spot after Koikili fouled Ortíz.
Getafe are just two points behind Athletic after they thrashed Xerez 5-1. Aythami headed in an Armenteros cross to give the visitors the lead, their first away goal in the top flight. But Soldado added two in quick succession on the stroke of half time, the second from the penalty spot after David Prieto was sent off for a foul on Dani Parejo, and it was game over. Parejo made it three and Soldado completed his hat-trick before Casquero completed the scoring on the hour mark.
Xerez stay at the bottom of the table, now three points behind an Atlético Madrid side who climbed out of the relegation zone after beating Espanyol 4-0 in the last game of the weekend. Reyes hit the post before combining with Agüero to help Diego Forlán open the scoring midway through the first half. Agüero made it two with a well struck free kick on the hour mark, and the Catalans had Roncaglia sent off for a second bookable offence before Agüero and Maxi wrapped things up late on.
It was a high scoring weekend though, and nowhere more so than at Valladolid, where Tenerife came back from three goals down to draw 3-3. Diego Costa ran on to a long clearance to put the locals ahead, and before half time Canobbio added a second from the penalty spot. When Costa got his second of the evening soon after the restart it appeared to be over. But Nino pulled one back on a long charge, and Angel and Ayoze got two more to square the match with five minutes to go.
Both sides stay level on eleven points, one behind Zaragoza who were beaten 0-1 by Osasuna. The Iranian connection won it for Camacho's team, Nekounam heading home a free kick from his fellow countryman Masoud midway through the first half. Aguilar hit the post before the break and Lafita had several chances throughout, but the hosts were unable to find a way through a well ordered defence. (29.11.09)
With the big two meeting on Sunday, Sevilla came in to Saturday night's game against Málaga knowing that a big win would take them to the top of the table. However in the end they were grateful for a point after coming from two down to draw 2-2.The visitors started the weekend in bottom spot, but they went in at the break two goals ahead thanks to strikes from Fernando and Duda. Luis Fabiano headed one back soon after the restart though, and added a second a few minutes later to save a point for his side.
Sevilla stay a point ahead of Valencia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by sixth placed Mallorca earlier in the evening. Silva could have opened the scoring early on had David Villa not touched the ball in to the net from an offside position, but the striker made up for his mistake beating Aouate after Banega turned in a corner three minutes in to the second half. Joaquín hit the post in a spectacular move with Villa, but with five minutes to go Bruno climbed all over Chori Castro, and Borja Valero converted the resulting penalty.
Sporting Gijón are now only a point behind Mallorca after a 1-0 victory over Villarreal. The Asturians went ahead with just over a quarter of an hour to go after Gonzalo was sent off for bringing down Miguel, Diego López saving Rivera's penalty kick but Bilic scoring on the rebound. The locals were awarded a second penalty a few minutes later for a foul by Capdevila on Bilic, but once again Diego López saved, and this time the defence were able to clear the danger. (28.11.09)