Barcelona remain two points clear at the top of the table after Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 at José Antonio Camacho's Osasuna on Sunday evening. A victory would have taken Pellegrini's side ahead of their arch-rivals on goal difference, but the nearest they came to scoring against a well-organised defence was when Higuaín fired an easy chance wide and then brought a good save out of Ricardo after the restart.
Mallorca move up to fourth after a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao earlier in the evening, their eighth home win in a row. Julio Alvarez opened the scoring somewhat fortunately when his shot ballooned off Iraola in to the net soon after the restart, and Aduríz got the second against his old club after Borja Valero set him up later on. The goal was enough to take the Islanders just above Sevilla due to the higher number of goals scored.
It was a low scoring start to the new year though, the sixteen goals by far the lowest of the season to date. Zaragoza and Deportivo drew 0-0 as well, the point keeping the Galicians in the top six but not helping the locals move off next to bottom spot. At least new manager José Aurelio Gay was able to stop the flow of goals against his side, his changed defence only threatened briefly by central defender Lopo.
Getafe are only a point behind Deportivo after a late 1-0 win over Valladolid. A depleted visiting side were unable to convert several chances, and Nauzet and Bueno both had goals disallowed by Teixeira Vitienes. Justo Villar had some work to do after that, but with seven minutes to go he could nothing to stop substitute Casquero scoring what was to prove the only goal of the match.
A good start for Almería's new coach Juanma Lillo, his side running out late 1-0 winners over regional rivals Xerez. Abel was unable to beat keeper Diego Alves a couple of times early on, but after that the visitors ran out of steam. The game appeared to be heading for a draw though until club captain José Ortíz volleyed home a last minute winner, leaving Xerez further down at the bottom of the table.
Almería move three points clear of the drop zone, level with Racing Santander, who beat Tenerife 2-0. Colsa picked up a Munitis assist to score the first with twenty minutes to go, and substitute Xisco added a second just three minutes later to take the Cantabrians a point above their opponents in the table.
More goals at least in the match between Sporting Gijón and Málaga, points being shared in a 2-2 draw. Duda's early opened for the visitors was cancelled out by Gregory's header following a corner on the stroke of half time. Weligton restored the lead for Málaga on the hour mark, but canella levelled the scores again a few minutes later. (03.01.10)
Not the best of starts for Barcelona at the beginning of the new year, the defending champions dropping points at home for the first time this season after drawing 1-1 with Villarreal. There was a euphoric atmosphere at the Nou Camp as Guardiola's side paraded their six cups before the fans, and when Pedro opened the scoring in the seventh minute after Henry's volley came back off the bar, they seemed to be on their way to another win. But Fuster equalised for the visitors soon after the restart, and Valverde's side held on for a valuable point. The result means that Real Madrid could overtake Barcelona on goal difference if they can win at Osasuna tomorrow.
Later in the evening Atlético Madrid came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1, a result which took them well clear of the danger zone. Renato headed the visitors in to the lead from Perotti's corner a minute before the interval, but soon after the restart Atlético were level, Dragutinovic deflecting the ball in to his own net after Palop tried to clear ahead of Forlán. The visitors were left with ten men when Duscher picked up a second booking, and in the third minute of injury time Antonio López headed the winner from Simao's free kick.
Valencia moved up ahead of Sevilla to third after a last minute victory over Espanyol in the first match of the new year. Villa tested Kameni a couple of times and then headed against the post after the restart, with Luis García wasting a good chance at the other end in between. But the game appeared to be heading for a draw until substitute Zigic ran in to head Joaquín's cross past the keeper in the second minute of injury time. (02.01.10)