UEFA Champions League hopefuls Villarreal CF and Club Atlético de Madrid shared eight goals at El Madrigal where the home side recovered from two goals down to take a 4-2 lead against ten men, only for the visitors to restore parity late on.
Atlético had lost their previous three games, but flew out of the blocks atgainst a Villarreal team who had only conceded three goals all season before the capital club's visit. Simão gave Los Colchoneros a first-minute lead, smashing in from the edge of the area and Villarreal old boy Diego Forlán added a second midway through the first period.
However, Atlético's Éver Banega picked up a second yellow card before the break and the Yellow Submarine took advantage, scoring three goals in ten minutes after half-time through Marcos Senna, Joseba Llorente and Gonzalo Rodríguez. Giuseppe Rossi added a fourth in the 68th minute to seemingly wrap up the three points but Simão struck again with seven minutes left and then Raúl García headed in a free-kick to earn his side a point.
Valencia CF replaced FC Barcelona at the Liga summit but they needed a 62nd-minute David Villa goal to rescue a point at RC Recreativo de Huelva who had struck just after half-time, Javier Camuñas the scorer. Real Madrid CF are third after winning 3-2 at home against Athletic Club Bilbao, Gonzalo Higuaín getting two of the home side's goals. Sevilla FC slipped off the pace, however, Adrián's 16th-minute effort giving Málaga CF a 1-0 win at their Andalusian rivals, who lost for the first time this season.
Málaga's fellow promoted side, Real Sporting de Gijón, also won away from home but in a far-more comprehensive fashion, defeating UEFA Cup hopefuls RC Deportivo La Coruña 3-0. David Barral and Carmelo struck within four minutes of each other midway through the first half and Diego Castro added a late third. Getafe CF beat Real Valladolid CF 1-0 and CD Numancia jumped off the bottom of the table thanks to their 2-1 win over Real Racing Club. RCD Mallorca also picked up a home success, overcoming RCD Espanyol 3-0.
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