Mascherano vs Granada / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Sevilla into top four

Two goals in the last quarter of an hour from Negredo and Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla their second win on the run ahead of the visit of Barça at the weekend and also inflicted Deportivo’s first defeat of the season. Málaga’s fortunes have improved so much over the last couple of years that many fans might see the 0-0 draw at San Mames as a point dropped rather than one taken, but boss Manuel Pellegrini insisted after Saturday’s game that a draw was “fair – it’s not a bad result against a tough team like Bilbao”.

Mallorca see off Valencia

Mallorca are the other team on 11 points after an important 2-0 win over Valencia thanks to goals from Victor and Arizmendi, but midfielder Javi Marquez suffered a broken ankle in the game and could be out for a couple of months. Radamel Falcao made it five goals in four league games with Atlético Madrid’s second goal on the stroke of half time and his penalty looked like it might set up another second half goalfest for La Liga’s second highest goal scorers, but Valladolid fought back well after the break and penned the hosts back 2-1 at the end. The win leaves Atlético fifth on ten points.

Betis deepen Espanyol gloom

Betis host Atlético on Wednesday in their re-arranged game and a win would see them move up to second with 12 points, echoing last season’s great start to the campaign. On Saturday evening they beat Espanyol 1-0 with a goal from the Brazilian defender Paulao, who then had to be carried off with a twisted ankle that will see him miss the next three games. Espanyol are still without a win, with just one point – the same number as Osasuna, who went down 3-1 at Zaragoza, with Granada a point ahead, third from bottom.

Lights out in Madrid

Real Madrid were due to play at city neighbours Rayo Vallecano on Sunday evening, but vandals cut through the stadium floodlight wires and the game had to be postponed for 24 hours. Mourinho’s  team made no mistake on Monday, winning 0-2 with goals from Benzema and Ronaldo to leave them on seventh, level on seven points with Rayo and Levante –who beat Real Sociedad 2-1, Obafemi Martins getting the winner after two Levante players fainted from the heat and a home supporter suffered a fatal heart attack at the end of the match.

In the weekend’s other game, Celta beat Getafe 2-1 for their second win of the season.

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