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Gerard Piqué against Granada /PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ

Late free kick does for Madrid.. again!

For the second game on the run, Real Madrid conceded a late goal from a free kick and
dropped two points, when they drew 1-1 to Villarreal, whose new boss Migel Angel Lotina
made a successful debut. After Cristiano Ronaldo put the visitors ahead in the second half,
Madrid dominated, but were unable to find a killer blow and it was almost inevitable when
Marcos Senna fired home the equaliser from a free kick just outside the box. With tensions
high, Madrid had Sergio Ramos, Ozil and Mourinho red carded, whilst Lass saw a yellow in the
first half and will also miss the next game.

Nine-man Zaragoza shock Valencia

Zaragoza also ended up with 9 men at Mestalla, but amazingly they also took the points. After
20 minutes, Valencia were already one up and when Alvarez was shown a straight red, things
looked grim indeed for the bottom club, but they fought back with two goals from Apoño to
make it ten points from the last seven games – nearly half their total of 22 – and leave them
just two points behind Sporting and Racing, though still six behind Villarreal and safety. Racing
and Sporting both lost at home, with Clemente’s team going down 2-3 to Mallorca, whilst
Racing were soundly trounced 0-3 by Seviila – their tenth game on the run without a win.

Levante close in on third

Levante moved to within just three points of Valencia with a convincing 1-3 win against Real
Sociedad with another strike from Koune - his tenth in this season’s league campaign, whilst
Málaga kept up their challenge by beating Rayo 4-2, with two goals from their Venezuelan
striker Roldan to take him to nine for the season so far. Espanyol grabbed an injury time
equaliser through veteran Walter Pandiani at Betis, who’d gone ahead through a Ruben Castro
strike, and now sit in fifth, just ahead of Osasuna who were held to a goalless draw at home by
Getafe. Levante and Malaga are now on 44 points, with Espanyol and Osasuna on 40 ahead of
this weekend’s visit of Malaga to El Prat and Osasuna to the Ciutat de Valencia.

Atlético make up ground

Atlético Madrid made up ground on the leading pack and also dented the aspirations of
another challenger when they saw off Athletic Club 2-1 thanks to a couple of goals from
Falcao – who now leads the goal scoring table behind Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with 19
goals . The Basques have now lost their last three league games and slip to ninth on 37 points,
Atlético are eighth on 39.


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