Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 on Monday night in one of the most one-sided "clásicos" in recent history. With Mourinho's side unbeaten and topping the league a point ahead of their arch-rivals, everybody expected an even contest. But with only twenty minutes on the clock the locals were two up, and it could have been three had a chip from Messi not come back off the post early on. Xavi opened the scoring though a few minutes later after controlling Iniesta's pass with his heel before lifting a shot past Casillas, and Pedro made it two from close up after Villa had picked up Xavi's pass and crossed in from the left. Casillas had to save from Pedro soon afterwards, and only Cristiano Ronaldo had any reply, firing a free kick just wide and then having a penalty appeal turned down after he was felled by Valdés. The onslaught continued after the break, and Villa added two more in three minutes after picking up two assists from Messi. And with the game coming to an end substitutes Bojan and Jeffren combined for the latter to make it five. The game ended in disarray after a frustrated Sergio Ramos was sent off for hacking down Messi, players clashing on the pitch as the final whistle blew. Barcelona had shown their supremacy once again, although there is still a long, long way to go to the end of the season. (29.11.10)
Valencia beat Almería 2-1 in the last game on Sunday to stay a point behind fourth placed Espanyol. José Luis Oltra was in charge of the visitors for the first time after taking over from Lillo midweek, and he saw Corona hit the bar for his side with a well struck free kick with twenty minutes on the clock. That was about it though, and Diego Alves had to make a couple of saves before he was finally beaten by Soldado midway through the first half. The Spanish international striker got his second of the night a few minutes after the restart following a well-worked move between Joaquín and Mata, and Alves prevented Joaquín from scoring a third before substitute Ulloa headed a late consolation for the away side. The defeat leaves them still down in the relegation spots, although after the eight goal humiliation against Barcelona last weekend this was a marked improvement.
Earlier in the evening Mallorca won 2-0 against Málaga to move up to sixth in the table. Michael Laudrup's side started on the back foot though, Duda testing Aouate with a free kick and Weligton heading a corner against the post. Five minutes after the restart though Webó picked up Chori Castro's through ball to beat Rubén, and four minutes later the roles were reversed as Castro netted the second. The visitors had a chance to get one back in the dying minutes when Cendros gave away a penalty on Eliseu, but Aouate saved the spot kick from the Portuguese winger to leave the Andalusians still down in the bottom three.
Basque sides Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad are both two points outside of the European spots after respective wins, setting up an interesting derby game in San Sebastian next Sunday. Athletic Bilbao beat neighbours Osasuna 1-0 thanks to an injury time header from Gurpegui following a David López corner. Both sides had their chances before that, with Iraizoz saving an early header from Monreal, and Llorente replying with a header from a corner which Monreal cleared off the line. Things petered out after the break though, and a scoreless draw seemed the most likely result until Gurpegui's late strike.
Real Sociedad are ahead of their rivals on goal difference though after a 1-3 victory at Sporting Gijón. The home side were in need of points and they started well, Gregory heading in a De las Cuevas corner with only two minutes gone. But soon afterwards Xabi Prieto equalised after Llorente played on a long clearance from Bravo, and on the stroke of half time Zurutuza gave the visitors the lead when the ball came back to him after his first shot was blocked. The Asturians threw everything forward after the restart, but with the final whistle approaching Aranburu volleyed home from a Xabi Prieto cross to put the game beyond their reach.
Hércules moved up safely to mid-table after a 3-1 win over regional neighbours Levante in the Rico Pérez stadium. Birthday boy Nelson Valdez opened the scoring for the locals five minutes before the interval after Reina couldn't hold on to Thomert's header, but just a minute later substitute Rubén Suárez poked home the equaliser from Xisco Nadal's cross. Trézéguet restored the lead though with just over an hour on the clock after Reina pushed out an effort from Tiago Gomes, and five minutes after that Valdez headed in a cross from Tote for his second of the evening.
Racing Santander climb away from the danger zone as well after a1-0 home win against Deportivo, a relief for under pressure coach Miguel Angel Portugal. The Cantabrians dominated the first half, although the closest anyone came to scoring was when Adrián hit the post for the visitors in the opening minutes. Twenty minutes in to the second half though the locals got their reward when Rosenberg lashed in a volley from a Francis cross. And the Swedish striker had several chances after that to increase the lead, in particular with a penalty which he fired against the bar after Aythami had brought him down in the area. (28.11.10)
All three games on Saturday ended in away wins, with third placed Villarreal starting things off by beating bottom club Zaragoza 0-3. New coach Javier Aguirre was making his home debut, but he saw his side go behind in the eighth minute when Marcos Senna picked up a loose clearance from a local defender and fired a shot past Leo Franco from over 30 yards out. Less than ten minutes later the visitors went two up when Cazorla's long cross went over the head of the keeper and in off the far post, and the game was already lost. Diego López only had one real save to make, from Bertolo soon after the restart, and after Contini was sent off for a second bookable offence, Nilmar ran on to Cazorla's pass to round things off. A poor result for the Maños, and Aguirre has a lot of work to do if he is to turn things around.
Espanyol stay two points behind Villarreal in fourth place after a 2-3 victory at Atlético Madrid later in the evening. The Catalans took the lead three times in the match, the first somewhat against the run of play when Luis García converted a penalty after Reyes had blocked Callejón's free kick with his arms. Tiago equalised on the stroke of half time, beating Kameni at the third attempt following a corner after the keeper had saved his header and a shot from Godín. But after Kameni had kept out Agüero and Simao, Verdú restored the lead after De Gea failed to hold on to an angled shot from Osvaldo. The local keeper made an important save from Osvaldo minutes later, and Agüero levelled the scores once again after Forlán put him through. But with a quarter of an hour left to go Osvaldo thrashed home an impressive volley from Luis García's cross, and this time there was no way back.
Seventh placed Sevilla lost ground on the teams above them though after a 1-3 defeat against Getafe. Manu missed an early chance for the visitors, but with just under half an hour gone Romaric got round Cata Díaz to play the ball across goal, and Marcano could only turn it in to the path of Kanouté for him to open the scoring. After the restart though Michel's side transformed, Palop saving well from Manu, and Miku hitting the bar before Manu equalised from the penalty spot after Konko had blocked Marcano's header with his arm. Just two minutes later Miku pulled down a high cross from Gavilán to give his side the lead, and although Codina had to be at his best to keep out a Cáceres header, Pedro Ríos wrapped things up late on to take some of the pressure off his coach. (27.11.10)