Real Madrid CF defeated FC Barcelona 2-1 at the weekend to record their first league victory for 20 years at the Camp Nou and ensure they remained at the top of the Primera División.
In one of the most keenly anticipated fixtures in the football calendar, Roberto Carlos gave Madrid the lead in the 37th minute when his shot following Zinedine Zidane's pass flew past goalkeeper Victor Valdés with the help of a deflection from Michael Reiziger.
The introduction of wingers Marc Overmars and Ricardo Quaresma in the second half galvanised Barça but the Catalan side, who now trail Madrid by 13 points, were undone by Ronaldo's 12th league goal of the season. The Brazilian striker dispatched a cross from compatriot Roberto Carlos in the 73rd minute.
With eight minutes left Patrick Kluivert headed only his second goal against Madrid to set up a nailbiting finish. Carlos Queiroz's side meet FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday having already qualified for the knockout stages from Group F.
Vicente Rodríguez proved the decisive influence in Valencia CF's 2-1 defeat of Athletic Club Bilbao, tucking away a centre from the right wing from Jorge López to open the scoring and re-establishing the lead with a left-foot shot in the 65th minute after Santiago Ezquerro had made matters even.
Both teams missed penalties in the final ten minutes and were reduced to ten men. Jesús Lacruz's foul on Vicente gave Francisco Rufete the chance to score from the spot and soon after Mauricio Pellegrino brought down Ismael Urzaiz, who was devastated to spurn the chance of a point.
RC Deportivo de La Coruña, opponents of PSV Eindhoven in midweek, edged past Málaga CF 1-0 for their first win in four outings. Joan Capdevila's 59th-minute effort separated the sides in a closely-contested encounter. Not including own goals, it was the first time Deportivo have disturbed the net in six games.
Joaquín Sánchez inspired Real Betis Balompié to a 4-0 defeat of struggling Real Sociedad de Fútbol, scoring once in each half. The Spanish international increased the lead following Capi's fourth-minute opener and sealed the points after Juanito's strike early in the second half. Real will hope to bounce back against Galatasaray SK on Wednesday in a Champions League match which determines whether they advance to the next round of the competition.
In another game on Saturday, in-form CA Osasuna prevailed 3-2 against RC Celta de Vigo. Australian striker John Aloisi was twice on target and Ibrahima Bakayoko also struck to cancel out goals from José Ignacio Sáenz and Catanha. Celta welcome AC Milan on Tuesday still in with a shout of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League.
On Sunday, lowly Albacete Balompié followed up last week's defeat of RCD Espanyol by pulling off a surprise 4-0 win against Real Racing Club Santander. Carlos Aranda opened the scoring in the first-half before Antonio Pacheco and Ludovic Delporte weighed in after the interval. Juanma's own goal only added to the visiting team's disappointment.
RCD Mallorca continued their revival under new coach Luis Aragonés with a 1-0 victory against Real Valladolid CF to collect their fifth consecutive league victory. Striker Fernando Correa drilled in a rebound after Albano Bizzarri spilled Nenê's shot in the 15th minute.
Elsewhere, Uruguayan midfield player Inti Podestá scored twice as Sevilla FC edged out Real Zaragoza 3-2 while Real Murcia CF were denied a home victory by Xisco Nadal's last-minute equaliser in a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Villarreal CF.
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|Last updated: 04/07/2011 05:02 CET|
|Venue: La Coruna|
|Venue: San Sebastian|
Luis García 70
Gabi 67 (p)
Cristiano Ronaldo 73, 87