Goals at last for Deportivo fans to enjoy, although for the third time in a row they had to settle for a share of the points after a 2-2 draw with Getafe on Monday night. The game got off to a sluggish start, and another night without goals seemed on the cards until a wayward shot from Colunga hit Colotto on the ankle and rebounded in to the net. After that though things livened up, and Depor turned the scoreline around early in the second half with two Guardado penalties, the first after Marcano handled a shot from Desmarets, and the second after Boateng kicked Colotto in the face. A quarter of an hour later however Arizmendi levelled the scores again with a shot from a wide angle may have taken a deflection off a defender. And the action continued, Manu Del Moral rattling the crossbar, Mosquera getting himself sent off for a second bookable offence, and keepers Codina and Manu both having to make saves late on. An entertaining evening in the end for those who managed to sit it out for the first half hour. (20.09.10)
The match of the weekend was undoubtedly at the Calderón stadium, where last week's leaders Atlético Madrid were beaten 1-2 by Barcelona. The fixture lived up to it's reputation of action and goals, Villa hitting the post before Pedro put Messi through to open the scoring early on. Raúl García headed an equaliser from Simao's corner, but with just over half an hour gone Barça were back in the lead when Piqué controlled Messi's corner on his chest before smashing a shot past De Gea. The young keeper was the best man on the park in the second half, making a string of first class saves from Villa and Messi to keep his side in the game. Atlético themselves felt they should have had a penalty or two, and Reyes fired a shot just wide near the end. A win however for Guardiola's side, although the bad news for the coach was a late tackle by Ujfalusi which left Messi facing a three or four week lay-off with a bad ankle. The Czech defender was shown a red card for the foul.
Atlético's opponents next Wednesday will be Valencia, who currently top the table after beating regional neighbours Hércules 1-2. There was great expectation after the Alicante side's victory in the Nou Camp a week ago, but spirits were quickly dampened when Mata got on the end of a Pablo Hernández cross to volley a first time shot past Calatayud. Midway through the first half the visitors went further ahead, Pablo striking an impressive shot past the keeper from outside of the area. But then referee Ramírez Domínguez gave the locals a helping hand, awarding them a penalty just before the break when Trézéguet's cross hit David Navarro's elbow at point blank range (Trézéguet converted the kick), and then sending off Navarro for a second yellow card a few minutes later when it appeared the foul had gone the other way. After that though César and his defence held fast, the keeper in particular making good saves from Valdez and Trézéguet, who also steered a header against the post in the final minutes.
Sevilla are up to second in the table after coming from a goal down to beat fellow Andalusians Málaga 1-2. After their Europa League defeat midweek, Antonio Alvarez's side needed a good result. But Palop had to be on his toes to keep out an Eliseu free kick in the opening minutes, and with just under a quarter of an hour gone they fell behind following a corner when Rondón fired a shot back in to the net after the keeper could only push out a header from Kris Stadsgaard. Just five minutes later though Alfaro headed a Perotti cross past Galatto to level the scores, and with the first half coming to a close Martín Cáceres got above the defence to head Guarente's wide free kick on past the keeper. Jesualdo Ferreira threw on all his fire power after the break, but the visitors came closest to scoring again when Negredo lobbed a shot against the bar later on.
It was a day for local derbies though, and there was another in Valencia, where Levante were beaten 1-2 by Villarreal. The visitors went ahead against the run of play when Cazorla sent Nilmar away for him to stick out a foot and lift a shot over the advancing Munúa. Rodas and Del Horno both headed wide following a couple of corners at the other end, but three minutes before the break Nilmar ran on to a Rossi through ball to score his second of the evening. After the restart Rafa Jordà went close a couple of times, and substitute Caicedo headed against the bar with the keeper beaten. But Villarreal held on until the last minute, when Caicedo finally got one back from Del Horno's cross. The goal came too late though to prevent a third defeat in a row, leaving Levante firmly anchored at the bottom of the table.
Zaragoza also drop in to the bottom three after a 2-0 defeat at Racing Santander, who themselves had not picked up a point from their first two matches. The Cantabrians dominated the first half without creating any real clear-cut chances, although Ariel felt himself unlucky to have a strike ruled out for a previous foul soon after the restart. The visitors started to get back in the game, Jarosik heading over from a corner and Gabi having a spectacular volley also disallowed for what referee González González considered was a foul by Ander. Just four minutes later though Henrique opened the scoring with a well placed header from a Munitis corner, and although Ariel shot straight at Leo Franco when free on goal soon afterwards, he eventually got his name on the scoresheet when he turned in Arana's cross in the last minute. (19.09.10)
A Cristiano Ronaldo free kick was enough to give Real Madrid a 1-2 victory at Real Sociedad in the last game on Saturday evening. The Basque side almost went ahead early on when Griezmann headed wide, and although Xabi Alonso tested Bravo with a long shot in response, the locals could well have taken the lead before the break after Griezmann and Tamudo both went close. Just six minutes after the restart though Madrid opened the scoring, Di María cutting in from the left and curling an impressive shot over the keeper. Tamudo got on the end of Griezmann's long free kick to equalise soon afterwards, the first goal that Casillas has let in all season. But a few minutes later Ronaldo's free kick hit Pepe on the back and ballooned over Bravo in to the net, and although Griezmann almost caught out Casillas after that with a high lob, the visitors held on for a win which takes them to the top of the table pending Sunday's games.
Espanyol moved up to fourth after a 1-0 victory over Almería earlier in the evening, their second win in a row in the Cornellà stadium. There was little action until shortly before half time, when Diego Alves had to save from Iván Alonso and Callejón, and Bernadello brought a good save out of Kameni at the other end. Two minutes after the interval though Callejón ran in to drive a low first time shot through the hands of the keeper after Jakobsen headed out a cross from Javi Márquez, and Sergio García almost scored a second when he shot wide minutes later. The nearest the visitors came to scoring was when Víctor Ruíz almost turned Piatti's cross in to his own net, and Callejón and Dátalo could have increased the scoreline later on.
Mallorca recorded their first win of the season, beating Osasuna 2-0 to leave Camacho's side down in the bottom three without a goal to their name to date. Víctor headed wide and Chori Castro brought a first save out of Ricardo before the Islanders took the lead, Castro converting a penalty after Miguel Flaño blocked a wide free kick with his arm inside the area. Lekic missed an easy chance for the visitors after the restart, but Nelson had to clear a Ramis header off the line with the keeper beaten, and Ricardo saved again from Pereira before Jonathan De Guzmán wrapped things up in injury time.
Athletic Bilbao came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Sporting Gijón, a result which leaves both teams in mid-table on four points from their first three games. With twelve minutes gone Iraizoz dropped a cross from the right at the feet of De las Cuevas, who gratefully hooked the ball in to the empty net. Javi Martínez hit the post at the other end, but a few minutes later Sangoy pulled down Rivera's long ball to beat Iraizoz for the second time. Bilbao pulled one back though five minutes later, Gurpegui running in on the far post to head Igor Martínez's cross down past Juan Pablo, and soon after the restart Llorente headed the equaliser from Orbaiz's corner. (18.09.10)