Thiago against Real Sociedad. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Madrid back to winning ways

Real Madrid bounced back from last week’s two draws with a convincing 5-1 win over Real
Sociedad on Saturday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals leaving him level with Leo
Messi on 35 in the league so far. Benzema got two more and Higuain the opener, with Prieto
grabbing the Basques’ only goal. Valencia are just hanging on to third place after going down 3-
1 at Getafe for their second defeat in four days. Roberto Soldado opened the scoring with his
16th goal of the season after just 4 minutes, but within the half hour, Pedro Rios, Miku and an
own goal from Bruno had turned the result around.

Málaga pressing Valencia

Málaga’s win over Espanyol at El Prat took them level on 47 points with Valencia to round
off a successful week for Pellegrini’s team. Espanyol went in front with a Coutinho free kick,
but two goals in two minutes from Van Nistelrooy and Demichelis in the second half gave the
visitors the points. Espanyol are down in seventh on 40 points, three behind Osasuna, who
beat Levante, still a point ahead of them, 0-2 on Sunday. The Pamplona team are enjoying a
fine run of form, with just one defeat in nine and it looks like a good time for them to be taking
on Real Madrid next week. In contrast, Barça’s next opponents Athletic Club are moving in
the opposite direction right now and a late equaliser from Sporting meant they could only
take a point from the relegation strugglers and also that they drop out of the top ten with just
one point from their last four games.

Relegation fight hotting up

According to their boss Javier Clemente, that point for Sporting was “good, but it takes us
nowhere”, particularly since Racing also took a point at Racing and most surprisingly perhaps,
Zaragoza beat Atlético Madrid 1-0. That win, thanks to Apoño’s third goal in four days, means
that Zaragoza have won three of their last five and sets up what could be a season defining
game with Sporting next week. The bottom three - all on 25 points-are chasing Granada, who
were well beaten by Sevilla (0-3) on Monday night and are away to Racing at the weekend.
Villarreal got their first win under Lotina with a 0-2 win at Rayo and are now level on 31 points
with Granada and only ahead on goal difference.

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