Karim Benzema rescued Real Madrid as they stayed in contact with La Liga leaders Barcelona with a 1-0 victory over Real Mallorca. Mallorca’s defence had done well to keep out the hosts until Benzema struck after 61 minutes with a well-taken goal to move Madrid to within four points of Barca.
Two goals from Giuseppe Rossi’s saw Villarreal come from behind against Real Sociedad to keep themselves ahead of Valencia in third place in the Primera Division after a 2-1 success. The striker notched his 10th and 11th goals of the season in a six-minute spell either side of half-time to earn his team victory.
Almeria continued their recent revival with a 3-2 victory over Osasuna to move off the foot of the table. Having drawn with Real Madrid last weekend and beaten Deportivo La Coruna in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals in midweek, Jose Luis Oltra’s men impressed again at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos. Carlos Garcia Badias and Leonardo Ulloa put them in control, before Carlos Aranda gave Osasuna hope, only for Ulloa to notch his second after the break.
Espanyol boosted their hopes of a place in next season’s Champions League as they came from a goal down to beat Getafe 3-1 in Madrid. The Barcelona-based side found themselves trailing to Miku’s early strike, but hit back seven minutes into the second half through Luis Garcia and wrapped up a third straight league win thanks to goals from Jose Callejon and Sergio Garcia.
Sporting Gijon put some ground between themselves and the relegation zone by defeating lacklustre Atletico Madrid 1-0 at El Molinon. David Barral scored the only goal of a grim encounter in which only Juan Valera’s injury-time header threatened to change matters.
Real Zaragoza beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 to secure a third successive win at La Romareda and move out of the relegation zone for the first time since the beginning of the season.
On Saturday, Barcelona swept aside Racing Santander 3-0 with consummate ease at the Nou Camp to secure a 14th successive Primera Division win. Goals from Pedro, after barely a minute of play, and Messi – from the penalty spot – gave the Catalans a 2-0 lead at the break. Andres Iniesta ensured all three points early in the second half for Barca, who made it 55 points from a possible 60 in the league this season and shook off the relative disappointment of losing 3-1 to Betis in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
Luis Fabiano scored a hat-trick as Sevilla continued their improved form with a convincing 4-1 victory over struggling Levante. Two goals from Fabiano and another from Julien Escude put Sevilla 3-0 up by half-time and, although Levante pulled a goal back through Xisco Munoz in the 58th minute, Fabiano completed his treble 10 minutes later to wrap up the scoring.
Aritz Aduriz’s late strike settled an amazing Primera Division encounter in Champions League-chasing Valencia’s favour 4-3 against a spirited nine-man Malaga side. Salomon Rondon opened the scoring for the visitors after 10 minutes and netted again 10 minutes before the break after Juan Mata had equalised from a penalty – an incident which had seen Malaga defender Martin Demichelis sent off. Half-time substitutes Roberto Soldado and Ever Banega had the desired effect with goals either side of Malaga’s second red card – this time for Demichelis’ central-defensive partner Helder Rosario.