Real Madrid CF remained top of the Primera División after edging a seven-goal thriller against RCD Mallorca before Villarreal CF moved into second by defeating Sevilla FC 3-2 on Sunday.
Spanish champions Madrid were handed the chance to extend their lead after FC Barcelona lost 2-0 at Getafe CF on Saturday and enjoyed the perfect start when Robinho put them in front after 12 minutes. Fernando Varela equalised just two minutes later before Robinho restored the home side's advantage with a third goal in five minutes. Mallorca stunned their opponents, though, when first Varela (37) hit a long-range effort in the top corner and then Daniel Güiza (59) gave them the lead. Madrid would not be denied an eighth home win in eight games this season, however, as Raúl González (63) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (73) struck to earn them maximum points.
Villarreal moved second after another pulsating game at El Madrigal. Guillermo Franco's 31st-minute opener met with Frédéric Kanouté's reply within three minutes. The visitors then went ahead through Luis Fabiano (50) before Franco (68) drew his side level, setting up a dramatic finale in which Matías Fernández held his nerve to score a penalty three minutes from time. Club Atlético de Madrid failed to put pressure on the top four after a goalless draw at UD Almería. They were replaced in fifth place by RCD Espanyol after the Barcelona-based side came from behind to beat Athletic Club Bilbao 2-1 - a last-minute own goal by defender Aitor Ocio completing a fine comeback.
Real Zaragoza also squandered a lead as they were beaten 2-1 by second-from-bottom Real Betis Balmopié, allowing Real Racing Club Santander to replace them in seventh thanks to a 1-0 win at RC Deportivo La Coruña. Elsewhere, there were also 1-0 triumphs for 18th-placed RC Recreativo de Huelva against CA Osasuna and Real Valladolid CF, who are 17th, against Levante UD.
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