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Barcelona cornered by plucky Almería

Published: Sunday 16 March 2008, 22.00CET
FC Barcelona conceded two equalisers from corners during their 2-2 draw at UD Almería but Villarreal CF defended better when overcoming Real Zaragoza 2-0.

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Published: Sunday 16 March 2008, 22.00CET

Barcelona cornered by plucky Almería

FC Barcelona conceded two equalisers from corners during their 2-2 draw at UD Almería but Villarreal CF defended better when overcoming Real Zaragoza 2-0.

FC Barcelona conceded two equalisers from corners as they were held to a 2-2 draw at UD Almería but Villarreal CF did not falter with a 2-0 home win against Real Zaragoza.

Early lead
Frank Rijkaard's side had the chance to close the gap on leaders Real Madrid CF to five points after the champions lost 1-0 to RC Deportivo La Coruña on Saturday and appeared on course to do so when Bojan Krkić tapped in from close range after Diego Alvez could only parry Andrés Iniesta's drive.

Corner confusion
Rúben Pulido was allowed a free header from Miguel Angel Corona's corner to level on 33 minutes but the introduction of Thierry Henry on 54 minutes turned the game back in Barcelona's favour as he surged to the byline and cut the ball back for Samuel Eto'o to sweep in. But Gabriel Milito was sent off (73) after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on José Ortiz and the visitors were made to pay as Kalu Uche nipped in ahead of Eric Abidal to head in another Corona corner with four minutes remaining to dent the Catalan club's title ambitions.

Espanyol comeback
Villarreal are now just two points behind Barça as goals from Nihat Kahveci (11) and a Giuseppe Rossi penalty (66) gave them three points against Zaragoza. Club Atlético de Madrid moved back into fourth as Diego Forlán scored twice in a 3-0 cruise against Levante UD while Luis García's double, from the penalty spot on 58 minutes then in the dying moments, helped RCD Espanyol come from a goal down to beat RCD Mallorca.

Gavilán double
A similar story unfolded in Getafe CF's 2-1 win at home to Real Racing Club Santander. Ebi Smolarek (54) gave the visitors an advantage but two goals in a ten-minute spell from Jaime Gavilán enabled the UEFA Cup quarter-finalists to triumph. Elsewhere, Real Valladolid CF and CA Osasuna failed produce a goal.

Last updated: 17/03/08 11.07CET

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