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Muniain (Athletic Club)- Spanish League Round up

Real Madrid's 1-2 win in Mallorca was not without controversy, but in the end, second half goals from Higuain and Callejon were enough to wipe out Hemed's first half opener for Caparros' team and keep intact their five point lead at the top of the table. In contrast, Valencia slipped further behind the top two on Saturday when they went down 0-1 at home to Real Sociedad, with Emery's team perhaps paying the price for their Cup exertions and with Soldado and Jonas both rested ahead of the derby quarter final this week.

Bilbao up to fifth

Valencia are now seven points adrift of Barça, but stay four ahead of Llevant who were well beaten in Bilbao, where Fernando Llorente was back on the scoresheet with his seventh of the season in the 3-0 win. That win took Bilbao into fifth spot with 26 points, ahead of Osasuna on goal difference after the Pamplona team lost their unbeaten home record in the league on Sunday, going down 0-2 to Racing. The Santander team have not been beaten since Juanjo Gonzalez took over and their latest win means they've taken 11 points from their last 15 games and moved up to a relatively comfortable 15th spot, two above the drop zone.

Points shared at Sanchez Pijuan

Seville and Espanyol are a point behind the two Basque teams after their goalless draw on Saturday. Pochettino was probably the happier of the two managers after the game, with Seville's Marcelino lamenting: "we were infinitely superior and it's not normal that after that great first half, with 11 clear chances, we went in without scoring". Malaga are also on 25 points, though they looked to have grabbed a point in Gijon when Ruud Van Nistelrooy got an 88th minute equaliser, only for a spectacular volley from Oscar Trejo on 92 minutes to give Sporting the win.

Zaragoza and Villarreal in deep trouble

Those three points for Preciado's team aren't enough to take them out of the bottom three, though they are just a point behind Granada and Mallorca and have opened a two point gap over Villarreal, with Zaragoza a further five adrift on 11. Villarreal's miserable season continues, as a campaign that started with Champions League football has now degenerated into a serious relegation fight, with their latest defeat to Atletico Madrid leaving them without a win since November. Falcao got two of Atletico's goals on Simeone's home debut in charge to take his tally to 11 so far this season. Zaragoza are in an even worse spot and their 1-1 draw at home to Getafe means they've won just 2 games this season, with a measly 14 goals from their 18 games.

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