Valencia CF were in devastating form as they dispatched bottom club RCD Espanyol 4-0 at the Mestalla on Sunday to record their sixth consecutive win and return to the top of the Primera División.
Rafael Benítez's side were gifted an early lead when striker Mista guided the ball into the empty net after a deflected clearance ended up at his feet on the edge of the area. They effectively made sure of the points before the break when Rubén Baraja doubled the advantage.
Mista collected his second after he slotted in at the far post following good work from Pablo Aimar then Vicente Rodríguez rounded off a masterful team performance when his crisp finish made it 4-0 after 79 minutes.
Camp Nou woe
Valencia have conceded just one goal in seven matches and sit at the top of the table on 19 points, one ahead of RC Deportivo La Coruña, who defeated Barcelona FC 2-0 at the Camp Nou on Saturday. Albert Luque and Sergio González scored in each half to give the well-organised Galician team - who face AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday - a valuable away win against the Catalan side. Barça have yet to manage a home victory in the league this season.
Luque tapped in a fine curling pass from defender Joan Capdevila to put Depor ahead in the 41st minute and Sergio made sure of the win when he drilled in from the edge of the area with 20 minutes to go after Juan Valerón had opened up the opposition defence.
Third-placed Real Madrid CF - who meet FK Partizan in Europe on Wednesday - won at the Balaídos stadium for the third year in a row, defeating RC Celta de Vigo 2-0. Ronaldo opened the scoring with a typically efficient finish midway through the first half after a slick counterattack involving Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo. Celta, who have a Champions League encounter of their own next week against AFC Ajax - threatened to get back into the game after the break, but it was all over when Roberto Carlos rifled in from close range after cutting inside right-back Juan Velasco on 65 minutes.
Three goals in 12 second-half minutes gave lowly Albacete Balompié a surprise 3-1 win over last season's runners-up Real Sociedad de Fútbol at the Carlos Belmonte ground. French forward Ludovic Delporte put the home team in front with a fine near-post header after 67 minutes, but the Basque team levelled five minutes later when Nihat Kahveci volleyed in from 12 metres. David Sánchez Rodríguez and Carlos Aranda turned the match on its head in the second half.
Real Racing Club Santander continued their impressive start to the season with an entertaining 4-2 defeat of Málaga CF. Athletic Club Bilbao curtailed Villarreal CF’s early season form thanks to a 2-0 win at home and Real Zaragoza edged out Real Valladolid 1-0 by virtue of Brazilian playmaker Sávio Bortolini's solitary goal.
Elsewhere, Club Atlético de Madrid finally managed a victory, defeating RCD Mallorca 2-1 thanks to a last-gasp winner from Jorge Larena after Samuel Eto’o had levelled following an opener from Fernando Torres. Ibrahim Bakayoko scored twice for CA Osasuna in their 2-1 defeat of Real Murcia CF.
The Andalucian derby between Sevilla FC and Real Betis Balompié was a a traditionally hard-fought affair, finishing all square at 2-2. José Reyes edged his side into the lead in the second half but Denilson levelled two minutes later for the visitors. Tote put then put the away team ahead but Antoñito saved the hosts from what would have been a painful defeat in the 81st minute.
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|Last updated: 04/07/2011 05:45 CET|
|Venue: La Coruna|
Luis García 32 (p)
|Venue: Palma de Mallorca|