Demichelis (Málaga). SPANISH LEAGUE ROUND-UP

Despite going down 2-1 at Granada on Sunday, Levante will spend the Christmas break in the fourth Champions League spot, with Osasuna – who beat Villarreal 2-1 – four points behind them in fifth. With Real Madrid and Valencia both winning, the league finishes its first phase with Mourinho's team on top, Barça three points behind and Valencia a further four points adrift in third.

Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick

Madrid exposed Seville's defensive weaknesses by putting six past them at the Sanchez Pijuan with Cristiano Ronaldo getting another hat trick. Madrid lost Pepe to a red card just before the break, but by then they had already scored three, through Cristiano (2) and Callejon. In the second half Ronaldo got his third and Di Maria and Altintop made it six, with Navas and Negredo getting two consolation strikes for the hosts, who also had Manu del Moral sent off with 20 minutes left to play. Valencia stay third after a 2-0 win over Malaga – with Soldado getting both goals to take him to 11 so far this season – a defeat that scuttled Malaga's hopes of getting up into the European spots over the break and leaves Pellegrini's team sitting in seventh on 24 points.

Osasuna show resilience

Osasuna's somewhat bizarre season continues to surprise after the 2-1 win over Villarreal in Pamplona on Sunday. Only bottom team Zaragoza have conceded more goals than the Basques this season and after the 8-0 and 7-1 beatings at the Camp Nou and the Bernabeu, many teams would have crumbled, but Jose Luis Mendilibar has lifted his team who are still unbeaten at home and haven't in fact been beaten since their thrashing in Madrid, having picked up points at both Espanyol and Malaga. Levante are four points clear of Osasuna, though they lost ground on their city neighbours Valencia when they went down 2-1 to Granada, who have themselves recovered from a poor start to now sit in 13th on 19 points.

Wins for Espanyol and Bilbao

Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao sit just behind Malaga after wins at the weekend. Espanyol beat Sporting 1-2 to move onto 23 points with  a late winner from Sergio Garcia, after David Barral had equalised for the hosts with his 7th goal of the campaign, whilst Bilbao sentenced Zaragoza to their 10th defeat of the season with a 2-1 win, thanks to a last gasp Toquero strike, which leaves them on 22 points. That defeat means Zaragoza are four points behind Racing, who shared a goalless draw in Santander with Real Sociedad for their third game on the run without a defeat, and a further point behind Sporting and Villarreal.

More misery for Manzano

Betis inflicted a first home defeat on Atletico Madrid with a 0-2 win that could well have dealt a real body blow to Manzano's project at the club. The Seville team are now level on points with Atletico, Granada and Getafe on 19 points after Luis Garcia's team beat Mallorca 1-2 on Saturday for their first win on the road so far this season.

Back to top