Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Deportivo – the 14th point they’ve dropped on the road so far this season, and are now seven behind Barça. Valencia’s great win in San Mames leaves them a further 10 points off Madrid and Villarreal’s last gasp draw in Santander means they have now gone four games without a victory.
Madrid goalless in La Coruña
Despite dominating the game, particularly in the second half, the woodwork and Deportivo’s keeper Aranzubia kept Mourinho’s team out and they had to settle for a point in La Coruña, leaving them with just 18 goals on the road all season – the same as Seville and Real Sociedad and less than half of Barça’s total of 40. Behind them, Valencia took three very important points from San Mames ahead of their match up with Barça on Wednesday, after Mata and Jonas hit back following an early Llorente goal – his 14th of the season. That defeat for Bilbao meant that Espanyol leapfrogged them into fifth with their impressive 4-1 demolition of Real Sociedad on Saturday. There was no happy return for ex- Espanyol captain Tamudo, who saw Sergio Garcia, Callejon and Javi Marquez strike in the second half after Real’s Estrada had scored an own goal and then the equaliser within two minutes of each other in the first half.
Late Nilmar strike earns point for Villarreal
Nilmar grabbed an injury time equaliser for Villarreal against Racing in Santander to leave them seven points ahead of Espanyol, who can maybe again dream of Champions League football next year. Racing deserved more than a point from the game, which they dominated for long periods, and unbeaten in their last four games they now sit just two points behind Mallorca in mid-table. Seville and Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday, a result that probably does neither team’s European pretensions any great favours, with Seville still in seventh, three points behind Bilbao and Atletico a further point behind in eighth. For Seville’s Negredo, who scored his team’s first: “it’s a bitter sweet feeling – it’s a good point I suppose”, whilst Atletico’s Reyes, who got their second goal, reckoned: “we had our chances and we’ve dropped two important points”.
Llevant win lifts them up the table
With Malaga and Almeria playing on Monday night, the other teams at the bottom failed to take much advantage, with only Llevant winning, against Osasuna. Walter Pandiani put the Basques one up, but Ballesteros and Caicedo, with his 10th goal of the season, turned it round for Llevant, who are now up in 13th place, with 27, after winning their last three home games. Osasuna are in 16th, level on 25 points with Sporting who drew 0-0 with Zaragoza, a point and a place below them. Hercules also failed to score and could only draw 0-0 at home to Getafe, which leaves them on 26 points, sandwiched between Osasuna and Deportivo, who are level on points with Llevant.
photo credit: americanistadechiapas