Tenerife are just a point away from escaping the relegation spots after a 1-0 win over Mallorca. This was the first of the new Monday night games, and with the Canary Islands in the middle of the Carnival season the Heliodromo stadium was packed with a lively crowd. With just under a quarter of an hour gone they were rewarded when Nino ran on to Alfaro's through ball to open the scoring, the referee waving away strong appeals for offside. And Nino was a constant threat as the locals created the better chances throughout. Mario Suárez did have a couple efforts on goal either side of half time, but otherwise the visitors did not do merit to their high placing in the table this season. (15.02.10)
Barcelona's unbeaten league record has finally fallen after a 2-1 defeat at Atlético Madrid on Sunday night. Guardiola had to put out a makeshift defence against an Atlético side who were euphoric after qualifying for the cup final midweek, and within nine minutes they were behind when Forlán ran on to a Reyes through ball to beat Valdés. Agüero should have scored again before Simao made it two with a well struck free kick midway through the first half, but the visitors came back when Ibrahimovic turned the ball in on the far post following Xavi's corner. There were few chances for either side after that though in a scrappy second half, and Barça ended the weekend just two points above arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Sevilla moved up to fourth pending Mallorca's Monday night game at Tenerife after beating Osasuna 1-0 earlier in the evening. Masoud and Luis Fabiano had chances at either end before Luis Fabiano got on the end of Diego Capel's cross to head past Ricardo ten minutes before the break. Navas shot wide after the restart and Sergio and Puñal tested Palop at the other end, but after substitute Perotti brought a good save out of the visiting keeper, the game fizzled to an end.
Deportivo stay in sixth spot despite a 2-0 defeat at Espanyol, thanks largely to poor results by the sides immediately below them. Aranzubia had to produce a couple of good saves before he was finally beaten shortly before half time, Verdú sweeping Callejón's cross in to the roof of the net. Depor were left with ten men early in the second half when Antonio Tomás was sent off for an elbow on Chica, and Callejón curled a shot wide of the keeper for his side's second soon afterwards. Bodipo could have pulled one back when he shot straight at Kameni, and he, Iván Alonso and Osvaldo all had goals disallowed by the referee for borderline offsides.
A mistake by Codina in injury time cost Getafe two vital points against Almería, the keeper dropping the ball following a corner to allow Soriano to make it 2-2. Piatti had given the visitors the lead just a minute after the restart, beating Codina at the second attempt. But Casquero equalised after Soldado headed back Manu's cross a few minutes later, and Diego Alves had to make two or three top class saves before Soldado beat him for a second time from Pedro León's cross. Lower down the table,
Zaragoza stay two points ahead of Valladolid after drawing 1-1 with Onésimo's side in a freezing cold Zorrilla stadium. Diego Costa put the locals ahead midway through the first half after Carrizo dropped a cross at his feet, but Suazo poked home the equaliser shortly before the break. Costa came very close to a second in a triple chance which saw the keeper save his first effort, the post stopping the second and the third going wide. The visitors were left with ten men when Ander Herrera was sent off for a foul on Costa, but the locals couldn't find the goal to prevent a seventh game in a row without a win.
Málaga move away from the danger zone though after an impressive 0-3 win at Racing Santander. The midweek cup defeat had left the home side deflated, and they went behind when Weligton beat Coltorti following an eighth minute corner. Caicedo produced a good run to make it two before the interval, and Obinna scored the third less than a minute after coming on as substitute midway through the second half. Tchité got himself sent off for something he said to the referee near the end, and the Cantabrians are now only a point above their opponents in the table. (14.02.10)
Real Madrid moved up to within two points of leaders Barcelona pending their match on Sunday after beating bottom club Xerez 0-3. The locals held their own in the first half, with Momo wasting a couple of chances when free on goal. But Cristiano Ronaldo headed against the top of the bar shortly before half time, and twenty minutes in to the second half Kaká sent Arbeloa away for him to open the scoring. And in the next seven minutes Cristiano Ronaldo scored two more to wrap things up, the first a header from Kaká's cross, and the second after further good work from the Brazilian forward.
Third placed Valencia are now ten points behind Madrid after they could only draw 1-1 at Sporting Gijón. Diego Castro curled a shot over César from the corner of the area to put the Asturians ahead in the sixth minute. But after that the visitors dominated, Juan Pablo making some excellent saves, including one at point blank range from David Villa. Marchena headed against the post before the break and Villa also hit the outside of the upright after the restart, and with a quarter of an hour to go Banega slid the ball through for Mata to equalise.
Athletic Bilbao could have moved up in to the top six had they been able to win at Villarreal, but in the end they had to settle for seventh after falling to a 2-1 defeat. Capdevila picked up a return pass from Fuster to give Juan Carlos Garrido's side the lead early on. And although Gabilondo equalised with an impressive shot from outside of the area, Nilmar put the locals back in front after Cani set him up on the stroke of half time. Midway through the second half Diego López saved an Iraola penalty after Javi Venta had tripped Muniain, and the game ended in disarray after Godín, Javi Martínez, Caparrós and Orbaiz were all shown red cards. (13.02.10)