Monday night game: Málaga 2 - Villarreal 1.
Advance report. Levante are not going to give up fourth spot without a fight, and after two defeats in a row they bounced back with a 4-0 win over Sporting Gijón. Koné set up Barkero for the first before the break, and after Juanlu made it two, the ex Sevilla striker added two more for his own account to complete the scoring. Sevilla themselves moved up to fifth pending Málaga's game on Sunday thanks to a 0-1 victory at Zaragoza, Negredo getting the only goal from the penalty spot midway through the first half. And Osasuna are seventh after beating Espanyol 1-2, Lamah and Nekounam getting the goals either side of half time before Alvaro Vázquez headed one back. The Catalans slipped to ninth, level with Athletic Bilbao, whose eight match unbeaten record came to an end after they lost 0-1 to Granada, Iñigo López heading the winner for the Andalusians from a corner with half an hour on the clock. Granada's win takes them out of the bottom three, and Real Sociedad are also out of the drop zone after a thrilling 2-3 win at Betis earlier in the day. Iñigo Martínez got the winner with a shot from the halfway line in injury time, his second goal from that distance this season. Up to that point the locals felt they had done enough to save a point, two goals in the last ten minutes from Jonathan Pereira cancelling out earlier strikes from Agirretxe and Carlos Vela. All of that left Sporting and Zaragoza in the relegation spots, with Racing Santander at the foot of the pile after they were beaten 2-1 by Mallorca. A Torrejón own goal and a strike by Víctor were enough to give Caparrós his first win since taking over at the club, and Ariel's late goal was not enough to change the result. (27.11.11)
A major surprise in the league on Saturday, with Barcelona losing 1-0 at Getafe in the last game of the day. After the gruelling victory at Milan midweek, Guardiola made several changes, Iniesta staying at home and Fàbregas and Puyol watching from the stands. But without some of their most inspirational players they were unable to break down a packed defence, and their only real chances in the first half came from long free kicks by Messi and Villa, as well as a shot later on from Alexis which Moyà did well to keep out. The locals only got close to Valdés's goal close to half time when Dani Alves blocked a shot from Diego Costa, but midway through the first half they took the lead when Valera squeezed between a group of defenders to head Sarabia's corner down past the keeper. Guardiola brought on Pedro and Cuenca, and Moyà had to be on his toes to save from Pedro a couple of times. With the game coming to an end Messi had a strike ruled out for offside and then saw a shot come back off the post, Moyà making a last gasp save as Pedro fired in the rebound. A much needed win for Luis García's side, but perhaps more importantly a first defeat of the season for a tired looking Barcelona.
Real Madrid are now six points clear at the top of the table after they beat city neighbours Atlético Madrid 4-1 earlier in the evening. Adrián combined with Salvio to give the visitors the lead on the quarter hour mark, but a few minutes later keeper Courtois was sent off for giving away a penalty on Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the scores from the resulting spot kick. Ronaldo went close either side of half time as Madrid looked to take advantage of the extra man, and three minutes after the restart Di María got on the end of a Ronaldo assist to put the locals ahead. A quarter of an hour later substitute Higuaín made it three after charging down an attempted clearance by a slow Godín and taking the ball past Sergio Asenjo to score, and with ten minutes to go Madrid were awarded a second penalty after Higuaín was brought down by Godín. The defender was also shown a red card to leave his side with nine men, and Ronaldo stepped up to beat Asenjo for a second time. Once again Madrid had the edge over the rivals, and it is now 23 games since "Los Colchoneros" last beat their city neighbours.
Curiously all of today's games took place in Madrid, third placed Valencia kicking things off with a 1-2 victory at Rayo Vallecano. Jonas picked up a shot pass from Mathieu in the twentieth minute to open the scoring with a shot from outside of the area, but otherwise Rayo were on top, Diego Alves making important saves from Arribas and Delibasic either side of half time, and Delibasic pulled up for a non existent offside just before the break. However Tino Costa scored a second for the Ches ten minutes after the restart, picking up Feghouli's long cross which Mathieu had stepped over to beat Cobeño with an angled shot. And although Tamudo got one back late on after controlling Botelho's cross (the Valencia players claimed with his arm), Emery's side held on for three points which takes them to within a point of Barcelona in the table. (26.11.11)