Sevilla moved back up to the European spots after an important 2-0 victory over direct rivals Valencia on Monday evening. Both keepers were in action early on, César saving from Luis Fabiano and Javi Varas stopping a shot from Mata. Midway through the first half though the visitors were left with ten men when Topal was rather harshly sent off after colliding with Cáceres, and at half time Unai Emery was forced to change his goalkeepers after César injured himself making a clearance. His replacement Guaita couldn't hold on to a long Cáceres shot though ten minutes after the restart, and Negredo (who had only come on a minute earlier) ran in to fire a shot under his legs to open the scoring. After that Luis Fabiano hit the bar and Negredo headed just wide, and with a quarter of an hour to go another substitute Alfaro got on the end of Dabo's cross to head the second. Diego Capel could have added to the scoreline when he hit the post late on, but Sevilla had already done enough for three valuable points which take them level with their opponents in the table. (08.11.10)
Real Madrid stay a point clear at the top of the table after beating neighbours Atlético Madrid 2-0 in the last match of the evening. Both goals came early on, Carvalho opening the scoring after Di María's pass was deflected in to his path, and Özil adding the second with a wide free kick which caught De Gea and his defence napping. That was not the end of the action though, and both sides could have scored several times after that. Before half time Casillas did well to punch clear a shot from Reyes, and soon after the restart Higuaín drove a spectacular volley inches wide of the post. Forlán drilled a shot against the foot of the post in reply, and Özil broke through only to be thwarted by Filipe Luis. And so it continued, Reyes curling a shot just wide, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso and Benzema bringing good saves out of De Gea, and Sergio Ramos heading wide with the goal at his mercy. Three points for Madrid though, and it is now 18 games since Atlético beat their city rivals.
Earlier in the evening Barcelona had temporarily moved above Real Madrid after a 1-3 win at Getafe. Guardiola's side dominated right from the start, Villa putting an early chance over the top and Messi, Xavi and Pedro all trying their luck before Messi finally broke the ice. Codina did well to keep out Villa and Messi had a goal disallowed for offside, and with just over half an hour gone Dani Alves and Messi combined to set up Villa for the second. There was still no sign of Getafe, and Messi could have added a couple more before he intercepted a sloppy pass from Codina to Cata Díaz, allowing Pedro to roll in the third. The locals finally got a bit of luck when Piqué blocked Miku's cross with his arm whilst on the ground in the area, Piqué sent off for a second booking and Manu converting the resulting penalty. Maxwell had to head off the line from Arizmendi after that, but Iniesta and Messi could have added to the lead, and when Boateng was also sent off for a second bookable offence it was all over.
Villarreal must not be ruled out of the race though, and they are just two points behind Barça after a convincing 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao. The Basque side took the lead in the sixth minute when Llorente headed Aurtenetxe's cross past Diego López. However after that the locals took command, Rossi going close a couple of times before Nilmar headed the equaliser from Borja Valero's long cross. Just before the break Villarreal took the lead with the silliest goal of the night, Iraizoz trying to pass to Ustaritz but only finding Cazorla, who played the ball back in to the net. After the restart Valero hit the outside of the post and Rossi missed a couple more chances, and with twelve minutes to go Athletic were left with ten men after Aurtenetxe picked up a second yellow card. Rossi finally got his reward a few minutes later after Valero put him though to turn a shot past Iraizoz, and Jefferson Montero wrapped things up in injury time after running on to a through ball from Bruno.
Mallorca missed out on a chance to move up in to the European spots after they were beaten 3-2 by bottom club Zaragoza. Webó put the Islanders ahead in the twentieth minute after running on to Nsue's headed pass, the referee turning down appeals for hand ball in the build up. Laudrup's side could have scored a second soon after the restart had De Guzmán chosen to pass to the unmarked Webó rather than try a shot himself, and soon afterwards Lafita equalised when the ball fell to him after Braulio was tackled. Four minutes later Pereira restored the lead for the visitors, but Gabi hit the post and Braulio and Ander both missed chances before Bertolo levelled the scores once again with a volley which took a deflection off Nunes. A draw appeared to be on the cards until Gabi's shot struck Martí on the arm, and the midfielder stepped up to convert the resulting penalty and give his side their first win of the season.
Osasuna moved up to a safe twelfth spot after a 3-0 victory over Hércules. Looking to bounce back after last weekend's big defeat at Racing, Camacho's side started strongly, with Nekounam firing a free kick against the bar and Juanfran bringing a good save out of Calatayud. Their first goal though came though thanks to a bad mistake by the visiting defence, Peña's high back pass forcing his own keeper to push the ball away with his hand. Indirect free kick inside the area, and Aranda rolled the ball to Monreal for him to blast a shot through the defensive wall. Ten minutes after the break Lolo got behind the defence to head in the second from Puñal's long free kick. And although substitute Cristian did rattle the crossbar with a free kick at the other end, Vadócz scrambled home a third goal following an injury time corner.
Hércules are now just a point above the relegation spots, level on points with Almería, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Gijón. The locals started well, Juan Pablo having to save from Piatti before Corona got on the end of Piatti's cross to volley home the opener in the fifteenth minute. Juanma almost caught out the keeper a few minutes later with a long shot, but after that the visitors started to get back in the game, with Barral going close a couple of times before the interval. Diego Alves had had little to do in the first half, but after the restart he had to be at his best to keep out Botía and Barral. He could do nothing though when Nacho Novo got on the end of a long corner to volley a first time shot in to the net. An important point for the Asturians, who stay just above their opponents in the table.
Deportivo moved out of the relegation spots after a 1-2 win at Levante, who themselves replace the Galicians in the bottom three. Riki was given the striker's role this week and he did his manager proud with the first goal, cutting past Nano and catching Reina out with a dipping shot inside the near post. Stuani caused some problems for Aranzubia before the break, but seven minutes in to the second half Riki slipped the ball through for Aythami to lose two defenders and curl a shot in to the top corner of the net. Juanlu headed one back for the locals after Stuani crossed in from the right, and they almost saved a point when Stuani had a strike ruled out for a borderline offside. A second win in a row though for Depor, and this one away from home. They haven't done that in almost a year! (07.11.10)
Espanyol made it five wins out of five at home this season after beating Málaga 1-0 on Saturday evening. The only goal of the game came with a minute on the clock, Javi Márquez picking up a pass from Callejón in midfield and running on to fire a spectacular shot over Arnau. Osvaldo had two or three more chances after that, but as half time approached the visitors could have scored themselves, Eliseu cutting in to shoot wide and Baha heading wide of the post when free in front of goal. With new coach Pellegrini watching from the stands, the Andalusians pushed for the equaliser after the restart, Sebas poking a shot over the top from close range and substitute Quincy drilling a long effort against the crossbar. Espanyol held on though for a win which takes them up to fourth pending Valencia's game on Monday, leaving the visitors still down in the relegation zone. Pellegrini has some work to do.
Earlier in the evening Real Sociedad beat Racing Santander 1-0 to move up to sixth in the table. Llorente scored the only goal in the seventh minute, running on to Xabi Prieto's lifted pass to beat Toño. And the Basque side could have further ahead at the break, Griezmann lobbing a shot over the bar and Zurutuza shooting in to the side netting. Racing's only effort in the first half was a shot from Ariel which Bravo dealt with comfortably, and only a brilliant reaction save from Toño prevented Griezmann from scoring a second on the hour mark. Rosenberg and Cisma did go close later on though, and the result was in doubt until the final whistle. (06.11.10)