Whilst the top two both won at the weekend, all the five teams below them could only draw. Seville were unable to take advantage and get back into the top 10 and their boss Marcelino was later sacked and Malaga also dropped back with defeat at Granada
Puyol against Real Sociedad /PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ -FCB
Seville’s 1-2 defeat to Villarreal meant the end of the road for Marcelino, but the three points lifted the visitors out of the bottom three: Sporting and Racing both managed a point, whilst Zaragoza lost again and Betis dropped into the danger zone after their 1-0 defeat in Mallorca.
Madrid maintain winning ways
Real Madrid kept up their winning ways – they’ve won all six games since Barça beat them at the Bernabeu – with a 0-1 win over Getafe thanks to a first half goal from Sergio Ramos, but none of the five teams chasing Barça managed a win. Valencia will probably be happier with the point won in the goalless draw with Atletico Madrid than Levante with their 1-1 draw at home to Racing, whilst Bilbao and Espanyol shared a six goal thriller at San Mames and Osasuna took a point from their trip to Gijon.
Late Albin equaliser
An injury time strike from Juan Albin earned Espanyol a point in Bilbao after Fernando Llorente and Javi Marquez had put the Basques once two goals by Romaric and Weiss had cancelled out De Marcos’ opener for the hosts. Albin was out injured from mid-September to early January and he claimed his goal: “has given me the lift I needed. I gave it all I could and when the ball came to me a million things went through my head. I honestly thought it was going wide, but it touched the bar and went in”. The points leave Espanyol level with Levante on 32 points and Bilbao and Atletico Madrid behind them on 30.
Michel takes over from Marcelino
Villarreal built on last week’s point against Barça with a 1-2 win at the Sanchez Pijuan which proved the final straw for Seville, who gave boss Marcelino his marching orders following the defeat which leaves them six points adrift of the Champions League spots in 11th place. Despite the return of Kanoute alongside Negredo up front for Seville, Villarreal players got all three goals – Borja Valero and Camuñas at the right end and Bruno through his own net – which lifted them up to 16th place on 23 points. Michel was named new Seville boss late on Monday evening.
Point for Osasuna ahead of Barça game
Osasuna will go into next weekend’s game against Barça in 9th place on 23 points following their 1-1 draw against Sporting in Gijon, but their Catalan defender Marc Beltran is clear that next Saturday’s game will most likely be a tougher affair: “Barça are probably the best team in the world right now, All their players are spectacular and they can cause you problems all over the pitch”. The point didn’t do Sporting, under new boss Iñaki Tejado, much good, with Racing and Villarreal also getting positive results to leave the Gijon outfit next to bottom and four points off safety.
Gloom deepens for Zaragoza
Zaragoza’s gloom deepened with a 1-2 defeat at home to Rayo, with Diego Costa and Michu wiping out a first half opener from Postiga and leaving their hosts 10 points adrift of the third from bottom team and in serious trouble. Real Sociedad’s defeat at the Camp Nou leaves them just two points above the relegation places, whilst Betis are a point below them after a great goal from a free kick by Castro gave Mallorca a 1-0 win in a game which Betis also had two players - Ramis and Casedesus - sent off. Granada moved to 14th with Abel’s second win in charge – a 2-1 victory over Malaga on Monday night, in which the visitors lost Demichellis to a red card late on.