News Archive

Match round-up - First Division, Day 31

Mallorca are well on track for a place in Europe after a 3-2 victory over third placed Valencia on Sunday night. Manzano's side went two up early on, Chori Castro beating César with a long shot and then setting up Webó for him to steer a low header past the keeper. Jordi Alba pulled one back a couple of minutes after the restart after Zigic set him up, but Mallorca restored the two goal lead when Manuel Fernandes turned Castro's cross in to his own net under pressure from Aduríz. Pablo Hernández scored a second for the visitors, but the Chés' challenge ended when the unfortunate Fernandes got himself sent off near the end for a foul on Aduríz.

Mallorca are level with fourth placed Sevilla and three points ahead of Athletic Bilbao, who returned to sixth spot after a comfortable 4-1 win over Almería. Javi Martínez headed the first from Gabilondo's corner, and Gabilondo himself fired home the second a few minutes later. Llorente could have made it three before half time when Diego Alves saved his penalty kick after Acasiete brought down Toquero, but soon after the restart Martínez got his second of the night "a la Messi" after leaving two defenders for dead before beating the keeper. Llorente finally got his name on the scoresheet after that, and Piatti netted a late consolation for the visitors.

Deportivo seem to be out of the running though for the European spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Racing Santander, their sixth game in a row without a win. Riki put the Galicians ahead with less than a minute on the clock after picking up a long clearance from Aranzubia, but Coltorti and the woodwork prevented the striker from adding to his tally before the interval. Munitis went close for the visitors after the break though, and with seven minutes to go Toni Moral headed in a Munitis cross to save a valuable point for his side.

Atlético Madrid's long season is taking it's toll, and they remain in mid-table after a 3-0 defeat at Espanyol. The Catalans have not been beaten at home since early December, and only a couple of great saves by De Gea prevented Osvaldo from opening the scoring before the break. Three minutes after the restart though Víctor Ruíz beat the keeper while lying on the ground after Luis García flicked on Callejón's cross, and a few minutes later Osvaldo headed in another Callejón cross to make it two. Kameni saved from second half substitute Agüero before Ujfalusi got himself sent off for a hard tackle on Forlín, and with the game coming to an end Iván Alonso completed the scoring, drilling the ball back in to the net after his first shot came back off the post.

Espanyol move up to within three points of Atlético, level with three teams including Osasuna, who now appear to be safe after beating Zaragoza 2-0. Aranda ran on to Sergio's long ball to lob Roberto and put Camacho's side ahead in only the second minute, but after that chances were few and far between. Roberto did have to make a couple of saves from Masoud and Aranda after the interval before Rúper was sent off for a foul on Gabi. The best was saved for last however, Vadócz scoring the goal of the night with a long shot over the head of the keeper in the final minute. (11.04.10)

Barcelona proved once again that they have the edge over Real Madrid after beating their arch-rivals 0-2 in the Bernabeu stadium. Messi opened the scoring with just over half an hour gone after controlling a return pass from Xavi, and Pedro got the second a few minutes after the restart, again from an assist by Xavi. Valdés did well to keep out Van der Vaart after that, but Messi could have scored a couple more had Casillas not been at his best. In the end though a comfortable victory for Barcelona, who set a new club record winning their fourth "clásico" in a row. Madrid's 100% home record this season comes to an end, and although there are still seven games to go, Guardiola's side are now strong favourites to take the league title again this year.

Earlier in the evening Sevilla consolidated fourth spot after coming from behind to beat neighbours Málaga 1-2. The locals went ahead with just over a quarter of an hour gone after Palop failed to hold on to Duda's cross, Caicedo on hand to bundle the ball in to the net. Midway through the second half though Munúa also dropped a long free kick from Renato enabling Cala to equalise from close to goal. The local keeper made up for it with spectacular saves from headers by Kanouté and Lolo, but he could do nothing to stop Lolo from winning it with six minutes to go after the ex Málaga defender headed Dragutinovic's long free kick down in to the bottom corner of the net.

Villarreal are up to sixth in the table pending Sunday's games after a 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijón. The Asturians caused some problems early on, Kike Mateo in particular bringing a good save out of Diego López, but soon afterwards the home side took the lead, Godín heading past Juan Pablo after the keeper could only push up a shot from Cani. And after that it was one-way traffic, Rossi hitting the post soon after the restart, and Pires testing the keeper a few minutes later. Pires then set up Nilmar for him to do likewise, and Rossi could have scored as well late on had Lora not blocked his shot with the keeper beaten.

Getafe are only two points behind Villarreal though after they beat bottom club Xerez 0-1. The Andalusians had been recovering recently under new coach Gorosito, and they took the advantage early on, Gioda bringing a good save out of Codina and Rafa almost turning an effort from Momo in to his own net. But Miku went close a couple of times before the break, and on the hour mark Rafa headed in the only goal after Boateng played a free kick back across the area. Pedro León was sent off with three minutes to go for a foul on Alustiza, but Michel's side held on for an important win.

Tenerife and Valladolid are the current favourites to join Xerez in the second division next year, and they are both a step closer to the drop after cancelling each other out in a 0-0 draw. The visitors had brought in veteran coach Javier Clemente to save them after Onésimo was fired midweek, but even he couldn't prevent a fourth game in a row without a goal. A promising start came to nothing, and the Canary Islanders felt themselves unlucky not to take the three points, Ricardo having a goal disallowed for offside and Culebras and Dinei coming up against keeper Jacobo, who substituted the injured Justo Villar at the break. (10.04.10)