Barcelona moved seven points clear at the top of La Liga this weekend with a 3-0 win over rivals Real Madrid in the Catalonian derby.
Goals from Madrid old boy Samual Eto’o, Gianvanni Van Bronckhorst and a Ronaldinho penalty secured Barca’s stunning victory at the Nou Camp.
Elsewhere, Espanyol missed out on the opportunity to leapfrog Real Madrid into second spot. They went down one nil at Sevilla who now occupy third spot. Julio Baptista scored the only goal of the game.
The Basque derby proved to be a thriller as Real Sociedad fought back from two down at half time to beat Athletico Bilbao three-two. Santiago Ezquerro and Ismael Urzaiz, scoring his 100th goal for the club, had given Bilbao a seemingly comfortable lead.
But Nihat Kahveci ignited the game with Sociedad’s first after 56 minutes and Bilbao goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia was then sent off for pulling down Darko Kovacevic as he rounded him 25 yards from goal. Sociedad made the one-man advantage count with two further goals from Nihat again and Igor Gabilondo to complete a stunning 18-minute comeback.
At the foot of the table Mallorca achieved a surprise victory at mid-table Real Zaragoza. Luis Garcia scored the only goal of the game to lift them one place off the bottom.
Numancia replaced Mallorca at the bottom of the table, going down two nil at Athletico Madrid. Pablo and Torres scored the second half goals to keep Madrid in touch with second spot. Antonia Lopez was sent off for Athletico for violent conduct with five minutes remaining.
Also achieving a comfortable two nil over lowly opposition were Valencia who overcame Malaga. Corradi and Xisco scored either side of half time to keep them above Athletico Madrid on goal difference in fifth place and ease some of the pressure on manager Claudio Ranieri.
Albactete and Getafe fought out a one-all draw in a bottom of the table clash. The home team had both Antonio Pacheco and Gaspar Galvez sent off but incredibly looked like taking all three points through Miguel Buades 50th minute goal. Gabi levelled for Getafe though with just five minutes remaining.
Just three points now separate Real Madrid in second spot and Deportiva La Coruna who moved to eighth spot with a two-nil win at Villareal, Diego Tristran and Andreas Luque scoring the goals either side of half time. Arruabarrena was dismissed for Villareal after 71 minutes.
The battle of the mid-table teams Racing Santander and Ossasuna saw the points shared, Morales gave the visitors a 20th minute lead before Javi Guerrero levelled just after half time for Racing.
Other than Barcelona the team proving hardest to beat this season are Real Betis. They have only been defeated twice now in their opening 14 league games and they came from behind to win at high-flying Levante.
Alberto Rivero scored for the hosts with a penalty after just 6 minutes but Ricardo Oliveira then equalized, also from the spot, half way through the first half. LES Edu secured the win for Real Betis with just nine minutes remaining.