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Match round-up - First Division, Day 8

Real Sociedad moved clear of the danger zone thanks to a 3-0 victory over Deportivo on Monday evening. The Basque side went ahead with just over a quarter of an hour gone when Llorente headed De la Bella's cross down past Aranzubia. The visitors hardly troubled Bravo in the first half, but the introduction of Riki at the break improved things, and the forward tested Bravo a couple of times. However with twenty minutes to go Griezmann headed a second from a Xabi Prieto cross, and Agirretxe combined with fellow substitute Sarpong to tie up the three points and leave the Galicians further down in the drop zone. (25.10.10)

Villarreal stay in second place, ahead of Barcelona on goal difference, after beating Atlético Madrid 2-0 in the last match on Sunday evening. Simao felt he should have had a penalty in the first minute, and Agüero had an early strike ruled out for a borderline offside, but soon afterwards Nilmar slipped the ball through for Cani to open the scoring. And after that the locals took control, Rossi and Nilmar going close before Rossi picked up a pass from Cani and held off three defenders before turning a shot inside De Gea's near post. The visiting keeper did well to save from Nilmar a few minutes later, but Atlético had another two penalty appeals turned down, and coach Quique Sánchez Flores was sent to the stands at the break for protesting.

Villarreal have won all their home games this season, and Espanyol kept up their 100% home record as well, beating Levante 2-1 to move up to fifth. With Osvaldo and Luis García suspended, Dátalo was given a start, and he took advantage to open the scoring after Verdú floated a cross over from the right. Callejón had a goal disallowed and Verdú fired a couple of long shots just wide, and a few minutes after the restart the visitors were left with ten men when Xisco Nadal was sent off for a tackle from behind on Dátolo. When Callejón drilled home a second minutes later it appeared to be all over, but Stuani caught Cristian Alvarez out of position with a near post header to set up an exciting finish.

Sevilla ended the weekend in sixth spot after a thrilling 4-3 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Luis Fabiano started things off with his first league goal of the season ten minutes before half time, and Kanouté converted a penalty after Luis Fabiano was sandwiched by two defenders on the stroke of half time. The Brazilian striker got his second of the night after the restart, but Fernando Navarro was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Llorente scored two in three minutes, the first a header and the second after Palop had saved his penalty following a hand ball by Konko. Referee Clos Gómez awarded a third penalty though in controversial circumstances with ten minutes to go which Kanouté fired home, and Gabilondo completed the scoring with an injury time header.

Getafe stay a point behind Sevilla in seventh spot after a 3-0 victory over Sporting Gijón. Boateng gave Michel's side the lead in the eighth minute with a first time volley from a Dani Parejo corner, but there were few chances after that before Sangoy went close immediately after the restart. A couple of minutes later though the locals were awarded a penalty when Gregory brought down Albín, and Colunga stepped up to score from the spot. And ten minutes after that Marcano wrapped things up with a shot in to the roof of the net after Manu and Cata Díaz played on a Víctor Sánchez free kick.

Osasuna also won 3-0 against Málaga to climb out of the relegation spots and up seven places to eleventh. The result was never in doubt as from the second minute when Nekounam fired in a penalty after Manu Torres brought down Juanfran. Soon afterwards Galatto had to save from Juanfran, and later in the first half Nekounam's fellow Iranian countryman Masoud turned in the second after Juanfran laid back Monreal's cross. Aranda made it three early in the second half after Masoud headed a Soriano corner goalwards, and it was already over.

Elsewhere Almería and Hércules drew 1-1, Ulloa probably saving manager Lillo's job with a late equaliser for the locals. Almería had been the better side for most of the first half, with Cortes blocking a shot by Kalu Uche on the line, and Calatayud having to save from Crusat, Uche and Piatti. But with eight minutes to go to the break Rufete played the ball across goal, and Valdez turned it in to the net from close up to open the scoring. The home side kept pushing forward after the restart, but it was not until seven minutes from the end that substitute Ulloa was able to beat the keeper at last. (24.10.10)

Real Madrid are going from strength to strength under José Mourinho, and they consolidated their place at the top of the table with an impressive 6-1 win over Racing Santander. Higuaín started things off, running on to Di María's long ball to fire a shot under Toño. But after that Cristiano Ronaldo took over to score four times, turning in crosses from Higuaín, Özil and Di María to complete a hat-trick either side of half time, and then converting a penalty after Özil was brought down by Cisma. Özil himself got the sixth after Xabi Alonso set him up, and Rosenberg got a late consolation for the Cantabrians without knowing too much about it, Diop's shot hitting him on the back and deflecting in to the net.

Madrid stay a point ahead of Barcelona, who maintained their 100% away record in the league with a 0-2 victory at bottom club Zaragoza. Once again Guardiola's side created many chances without too much success until David Villa found Messi with a reverse pass shortly before the break, the Argentinian forward running on to shoot low past Doblas. Early in the second half the locals were left with ten men after Ponzio was sent off in an off-the-ball incident with Dani Alves, and a few minutes later Messi got his second of the night, drilling the ball in to the net after Doblas had saved from Keita and Jarosik had blocked Iniesta's first follow up. Villa hit the post again after that, but the game was already won.

Valencia lost ground on the leaders though after a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Mallorca later in the evening. Chori Castro converted an early penalty after Webó fell under a challenge from Ricardo Costa, and then headed a second after Moyà could only push out a shot from Ratinho. Soldado got one back with a second penalty a few minutes before half time after Ratinho brought down Vicente just inside the area, but Castro almost completed his hat-trick when he shot wide just before the interval. Unai Emery brought on a second striker at the break, but apart from a shot by Vicente which Aouate pushed over the bar they hardly troubled a well organized defence throughout the second half. (23.10.10)