Sevilla are back up to sixth in the table after a 3-2 win over Mallorca in the Monday night game. Both teams started the match level on points, and although the locals had the better of the opening few minutes, the islanders went ahead when Bigas got in front of Palop to turn in Giovani's cross. Four minutes later Negredo made it all square after Manu's cross fell kindly to him, but a minute after that Hemed restored the lead for the visitors, beating Palop with an angled shot after picking up a headed pass from Casadesús. Ten minutes in to the second half however Negredo headed his second of the night from a Jesús Navas cross, and Negredo and Navas went close a couple of times before Cicinho scored the winner with a long shot which deflected off a defender to wrong-foot keeper Aouate. (22.10.12)
Atlético Madrid are keeping up the pace with leaders Barcelona, and they moved on to 22 points from eight games after a last minute 0-1 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. Once again it was Falcao who got the only goal, this time with a direct free kick, to hand the Basque side their first home defeat in six months. It was hard going for Simeone's side at first though, with Courtois having to save from Carlos Vela and De la Bella, and even Falcao helping out in defence with a headed clearance when the keeper was beaten. The locals felt they should have a penalty when Gabi blocked a shot with his arm inside the area on the stroke of half time, and Griezmann and Vela both failed to convert chances after the restart. Atleti gradually got back in the game though, Miranda heading over from a corner and Falcao failing to hit the target after Zubikarai could only punch out an effort from Koke. The keeper had to make the save of the night a few minutes later when Mikel González headed the ball back towards his own goal, but the game appeared to be heading for a draw until Falcao struck to make it ten wins in a row for his side.
Levante moved up to fifth in the table pending the rest of the weekend's games after a late 0-1 victory at Getafe on Sunday lunchtime. The locals were the better of the two sides for much of the match though, with an active Pedro León causing many problems for the visiting defence. The ex Real Madrid midfielder brought an early save out of Munúa, and the Uruguayan keeper was tested again by Gavilán before the break, and Alcácer, León, Lacen and Alvaro Vázquez amongst others after the restart. Opposite number Moyà did have to keep out long shots from Barkero and Diop in the first half and Pedro Ríos after the interval, but he didn't have much to do until four minutes from the end, when substitute Michel caught him off his line with a long shot which sailed over the keeper's head in to the net.
Levante dropped to sixth though later in the day after Betis picked up a point in a 0-0 draw at Osasuna. Before the match local captain Puñal was presented with a trophy for his record 464th appearance for his club, but otherwise the home fans had little to cheer about. The Andalusians dominated the opening minutes, with Jorge Molina shooting just wide across goal and Paulao heading a long free kick past the post, and Rubén Castro felt himself unlucky to have been ruled marginally offside when he curled a shot past Andrés in to the back of the net with twenty minutes on the clock. The locals rallied later in the first half, with Lamah and Armenteros going close, and Lamah tested young keeper Adrián with a shot from wide on the right soon after the restart. Rubén Castro should have scored a few minutes later when he got free on goal only to chip a shot wide of the mark, but in the end both sides settled for a point.
Osasuna started that match at the bottom of the table after Espanyol beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2 a couple of hours earlier, Stuani heading an injury time winner for the Catalans from Sergio García's cross to give his new side their first victory of the season. Before that Rayo had taken the lead twice, Leo Baptistao opening the scoring in the tenth minute after Verdú gave the ball away to him. Cristian Alvarez did manage to save the Brazilian forwards first shot, but his follow up header crossed the line before Héctor Moreno got it away. Verdú made up for his mistake with the equaliser later in the first half after Víctor Sánchez put him clear, and although Leo restored the lead after a battling run by Chori Domínguez, Verdú made it all square again after a prolonged period of play in the visitors' goalmouth. Both teams ended with ten men after Labaka and Colotto were sent off later on.
Elsewhere Zaragoza climbed away from the danger zone after a 1-2 win at Granada. The Maños took the lead in only the third minute when Helder Postiga headed in Víctor Rodríguez's wide free kick, and Víctor got the second himself later in the first half after connecting with a long centre from Abraham. Apoño and Zuculini could have increased the lead before the break, and it was not until after the restart that the locals got in to gear, with Iñigo López heading over and Siqueira testing Roberto for the first time. The locals were left with ten men when Iriney was shown a red card for a foul on Apoño, but even so El-Arabi headed in Orellana's corner with a quarter of an hour to go, and Borja almost scored a last minute equaliser with a shot from the half-way line which Roberto had to scramble back to clear for a corner. (21.10.12)
Victories for all four Champions League sides on Saturday evening, with leaders Barcelona beating Deportivo 4-5 in a thrilling last match of the evening. Vilanova's side seemed to have things wrapped up when Jordi Alba, Tello and Messi put them three up with only just over a quarter of an hour on the clock, Fàbregas setting up the first and the third, and Messi the second. And although a Pizzi penalty and a Bergantiños strike got the hosts back in the game, Messi restored the two goal cushion before the break after combing with Fàbregas to beat Aranzubia. Pizzi reduced the gap again though after the restart with a well struck free kick, and shortly afterwards Barça were left with ten men when Mascherano picked up a second booking for a foul on Riki. With twelve minutes to go however Messi produced a house-special to complete his hat-trick, and although Alba put through his own net soon afterwards, the Catalans held on for the win.
Earlier in the evening Real Madrid beat Celta 2-0 to stay eight points behind their eternal rivals. With three of his full backs injured, Mourinho had to put out a makeshift defence, with Ramos and Essien playing on the flanks. Ramos came forward early on to head a corner just wide of the post, but soon afterwards Higuaín opened the scoring with a shot from wide out on the right which curled over the head of Sergio Alvarez in to the far corner of the net. Ramos went close again, and either side of half time Cristiano Ronaldo headed wide a couple of times and fired a shot on to the crossbar. Midway through the second half though Ronaldo finally got his name on the scoresheet when he converted a penalty after Cabral brought down Özil in the area, and soon afterwards substitute Callejón just missed the target when through on goal. Celta finally woke up though, and Casillas had to be at his best to keep out a shot from De Lucas and a header from Park Chu Young near the end.
Málaga kicked off the weekend with a 2-1 victory over Valladolid, although they had to come from behind to do so. Manucho gave the visitors an early lead, beating Willy Caballero at the third attempt after the keeper had saved from Omar Ramos and Ebert's follow up shot had been blocked by a defender. Other than a couple of half-hearted penalty appeals there was little reaction from the the locals though until ten minutes before the break, when Eliseu laid the ball back for Isco to fire a shot inside Dani Hernández's near post. After the restart Caballero had to save from Manucho and Ebert, but the Andalusians replied with efforts from Isco, Joaquín and Santa Cruz. With ten minutes to go the visitors were left with ten men when Manucho picked up a second booking. And although Joaquín fired a penalty over the bar after Saviola was fouled by Marc Valiente, the ex Betis and Valencia winger made up for his mistake with the winning goal, dribbling the ball round Dani after the keeper had saved his initial volley.
Valencia left it late as well before beating Athletic Bilbao 3-2. The Ches started well, with Soldado hitting the post early on, but it was the visitors who went ahead first, Valencia old boy Aduríz beating Guaita after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area. Soldado made it all square from the penalty spot after Ekiza blocked Jonathan Viera's shot with his hand, but four minutes after that Aduríz got his second of the evening, turning the ball inside the near post from an Iñigo Pérez corner. Referee Undiano Mallenco turned down penalty claims for a possible hand ball by Víctor Ruíz and further appeals by Matieu and Soldado, but midway through the second half he did send off Ander Herrera for kicking Tino Costa from behind. It looked like the ten men were going to hold on though until three minutes from the end, when Tino Costa fired in the equaliser, and with the game coming to an end Valdez got on the end of Costa's long free kick to head home the winner. (20.10.12)