Mallorca slipped into the bottom three with another defeat, losing 0-1 at home to Bilbao, whilst Granada, Osasuna and bottom team Deportivo all drew. Mallorca are at Betis next week with the other four at the bottom all playing each other.
Madrid drop more points
Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw by Espanyol, who went ahead with a Sergio Garcia opener and came back after Real scored twice through Cristiano Ronaldo and Coentrao with a late equaliser from Albin. After the draw, which leaves his team 13 points adrift of leaders Barça, Jose Mourinho claimed his team’s hopes of the title were virtually over: "it’s practically impossible – I’ve never been in a situation like this, having dropped so many points and having the team so far off our objectives”.
Malaga close the gap
Malaga closed to within five points of Madrid ahead of their clash next Saturday, with a 0-2 win at Seville, who had Fazio sent off in the second half and drop to 13th after just one win in their last eight games. That victory was in the Seville derby against Betis, but Pepe Mel’s team have shrugged off the defeat and their 0-1 win at Celta on Monday night – thanks to a late Jorge Molina strike - keeps them in fifth, level on points with Malaga. It was Betis’ fourth win in five since the derby debacle, with only Barça able to take any points off them since that game. Levante, a point behind Betis and Malaga, are on a similarly good run, with just one defeat in their last five – against Barça – following their 0-1 win against Zaragoza on Sunday.
Mallorca go down again
Mallorca were the only team at the bottom to lose, going down to an Arduriz goal – his 10th of the season -against Bilbao. Mallorca have now taken just 2 points from the last 11 league games and also suffered a 0-5 hiding from Seville in the Cup last week. The Basques seem to have steadied after their poor start and are now up to 12th after two straight wins and just one defeat in their last four - against Barça. Granada and Deportivo were involved in the weekend’s two goalless draws, the Andalucians against Real Sociedad and the Galicians at home to Valladolid, whilst Osasuna were denied the three points at Getafe (1-1) by a controversial late penalty after playing the last ten minutes with ten men following Armeteros’ red card.
Honeymoon over for Valverde
Finally, Ernesto Valverde’s honeymoon at Valencia – which saw him preside over three straight wins- came to an end as his team went down 0-1 on his home debut against Rayo, thanks to a late penalty from ex-Valencia man Dominguez.