Real Madrid CF earned a goalless draw at RC Deportivo La Coruña while a Walter Pandiani hat-trick secured RCD Mallorca a 3-1 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Madrid's indifferent run of form continued in the Primera División as they got stuck in the mud at the Riazor stadium against fellow UEFA Champions League contenders Deportivo. Having lost 1-0 at home against AS Roma earlier in the week, the rain in Spain did Madrid few favours against Deportivo, whose 2-1 win against FC Bayern München on Tuesday ended the German side's European Champion Clubs' Cup hopes.
With the wet weather playing havoc with both sides' natural game, chances were at a premium in La Coruña and Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque felt compelled to substitute two of his most prestigious players after 58 minutes as Luis Figo and Ronaldo were replaced by Oscar Miñambres and Fernando Morientes. The big gamble did not pay off and the game remained goalless to leave both sides locked together on 13 points, four points behind league leaders Real Sociedad who travel to Villareal CF on Sunday.
Pandiani was in command in Valladolid despite an early setback for his side when defender Javier Olaizola turned an attempted clearance into his own net to give Valladolid a 25th-minute lead. The Uruguayan striker levelled the scores within two minutes and put his side ahead after 56 minutes as he found the target from close range from Álvaro Novo Ramírez's cross.
Valladolid pushed forward in search of an equaliser only to be caught on the break with 20 minutes to go, as defender David Cortés Caballero picked out Pandiani with a fine ball to allow the striker to complete his hat-trick with a headed finish. Victory gave Mallorca 15 points from eight matches and took them up to second, two points behind leaders Sociedad.
Joy for Atlético
Atlético, meanwhile, had little trouble getting past Rayo at the Vicente Calderón stadium. José Antonio García Calvo opened the scoring after just five minutes for the home side and their job was made even easier after 34 minutes as Rayo's Argentinian defender Patricio Graff was shown the red card. Atlético made good use of their numerical advantage to score a second goal through Fernando Torres after 54 minutes.
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|Last updated: 17/04/2012 19:32 CET|
|Real Sociedad||0-1||Real Madrid|
|Venue: San Sebastian|
Diego Castro 23