RC Deportivo La Coruña seized first place in the Primera División at the weekend thanks to a 2-1 defeat of previous leaders Valencia CF at the Riazor.
Spanish international midfield player Juan Valerón opened the scoring for the home side in the highly-anticipated top-of-the table encounter, poking past the grasp of goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares.
Pablo Aimar, however, led a stirring reaction from the visitors, who finally equalised in the 71st minute when David Abelda crossed for Mista to slam in with his left foot. Valencia, now in third position, would have gladly taken a share of the points but Javier Irureta's side had other ideas and ten minutes later Diego Tristán won a free-kick from which he scored, although the ball took a deflection and Cañizares, who had not conceded a goal since the first day of the season previous to the match, could consider himself unfortunate.
Also on Saturday, Raúl González scored twice late on to ensure Real Madrid CF defeated in-form Real Racing Club Santander 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu and leapfrogged Valencia into second place. The visitors began the match commandingly, applying pressure from the outset and Yossi Benayoun struck first with an angled shot from inside the box in the 15th minute.
It was not until Zinedine Zidane levelled proceedings that the reigning champions got back into the game. He blended power and accuracy to irresistible effect, volleying into the net with his right foot after a left-wing cross from Ronaldo just before the half hour.
The home team went into the lead with eleven minutes to go when Raúl finished off a move initiated in his own half by Zidane. The Madrid captain collected the third in the 89th minute, tucking away a rebound from goalkeeper Ricardo López after a fierce shot from Santiago Solari. Málaga CF continued their resurgence by virtue of a 2-1 defeat of Real Zaragoza.
On Sunday, Real Sociedad de Fútbol recovered from their 4-2 defeat by Juventus FC in the UEFA Champions League last week thanks to a 1-0 win against CA Osasuna. Darko Kovacevic scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute to seal the club's first league win since 21 September.
There were also a spate of high-scoring matches. Peter Luccin, Savo Milosevic, Alexsandr Mostovoi and Jandro were all on target as RC Celta de Vigo, who went down 1-0 to AFC Ajax in midweek, brushed aside RCD Espanyol 4-0 away from home. Real Betis Balompié were 3-2 winners at home over Albacete Balompié. The visitors went ahead through Mikel Agirregomezkorta but were 2-1 down at the interval after goals from Tote and Fernando Fernández. Capi increased the lead five minutes into the second half before Libero Parri pulled one back.
Sevilla FC, the Andalucian rivals of Betis, battled out a 3-3 draw away to Villarreal CF. Former FC Barcelona striker Sonny Anderson was twice on target for the travelling team and Rodolfo Arruabarrena levelled at the death after goals from Francisco Casquero José Reyes and Carlitos. Real Valladolid, meanwhile, overcame Athletic Club Bilbao 2-0 courtesy of goals from José Chema and Ariza Makukula.
In Sunday's other games, Barcelona comfortably saw off struggling RCD Mallorca 3-1 away. Javier Saviola and Ronaldinho had virtually assured victory before half-time and Phillip Cocu extended the lead early in the second half before Fernando Correa restored a measure of pride.
Two for Torres
Finally, Real Murcia CF went down 3-1 at home to Club Atlético de Madrid. Fernando Torres twice found the net, once from the penalty spot, and Demis Nikoliadis was also on the scoresheet, as was David Karanka for the home side.
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|Last updated: 04/07/2011 05:32 CET|
|Venue: San Sebastian|
Soldado 36 (p)
Gonzalo Castro 7 (p), 28
Messi 42, 66