Real Madrid CF defeated Albacete Balompié 2-1 on Sunday to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat by Sevilla FC and go top of the Spanish Primera División on goal difference.
Zinedine Zidane clinched a hard-earned victory for Madrid - who face Olympique de Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday - when he headed in a corner from Santiago Solari despite being surrounded by a clutch of defenders.
David Beckham had opened the scoring eight minutes before the break, firing in a fierce shot from just outside the area which left goalkeeper Carlos Roa with no chance. The lead was nevertheless short-lived because two minutes later the away side equalised, Libero Parri tapping in at the left-hand post after a cross from Carlos Aranda.
Two goals from Mista were not enough to secure victory for Valencia CF, who would have gone to the summit had they defeated Real Murcia CF on their travels but in the end had to be content with a 2-2 draw. Ricardo Richi had levelled for the home side and Míchel briefly gave them the lead in the 53rd minute.
The result also meant RC Deportivo La Coruña, opponents of AEK Athens FC in the Champions League on Tuesday, stayed in second place despite only managing a scoreless draw against Real Betis Balompié in torrential conditions in Seville on Saturday evening. Betis enjoyed the better of the match and forced a penalty in the 26th minute, which Fernando Fernández was unable to put away. The away side had another opportunity to take all three points late in the second period but Dani's effort was disallowed.
In a match between two UEFA Cup hopefuls, two players who have both represented FC Barcelona, Juan Riquelme - loaned out at the start of the season - and Sonny Anderson, engineered a deserved win for Villarreal CF in their 2-1 defeat of the Catalan team.
José Mari scored first when he stroked his effort just inside the post in the 41st minute after a corner from Riquelme. It remained 1-0 until Patrick Kluivert levelled with just under 20 minutes to go, following up after José Reina spilled a shot. But Anderson collected the winner in the final minute, directing a spectacular diving header into the far corner.
Also on Saturday, Real Sociedad de Fútbol - opponents of Olympiacos CFP in midweek - defeated RCD Mallorca 1-0 with a first-half goal from Samuel Eto'o. The Cameroonian international prevailed when he only had goalkeeper Sander Westerveld to beat.
RC Celta de Vigo's disappointing domestic season continued, with the Galician club going down 2-0 to Athletic Club Bilbao at home. Second-half goals from Jesús Lacruz and Andoni Iraola did the damage. Celta will look to put the defeat behind them before Wednesday's match in the Champions League against Club Brugge KV.
Real Zaragoza were delighted to collect three points on their travels in a 2-1 defeat of Real Racing Club Santander, Rubio Alvaro and Fernando Soriano cancelling out César Rebosio's own goal. Real Valladolid CF inflicted a first defeat in five games on Club Atlético de Madrid, winning 3-1. Kiki Musampa gave the away team a promising start but Ariza Makukula, Víctor Zapata and Francisco Sousa turned the match on its head.
Elsewhere, Cyril Domoraud's goal in the last moments of normal time ensured RCD Espanyol stole a narrow 1-0 win against Sevilla FC while Málaga CF and CA Osasuna could only manage a goalless draw.
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|Last updated: 04/07/2011 05:17 CET|
Adrián Colunga 49 (p)
|Venue: San Sebastian|
Luís Fabiano 88
Pereira 36, Webó 90
Caicedo 24, 27, Stuani 43
|Venue: La Coruna|