FC Barcelona survived a late attack of nerves to defeat RCD Mallorca 3-2 on Sunday, extending their winning sequence in the Primera División to seven matches.
Luis García struck the opener from distance and Luis Enrique, deployed as a makeshift forward in the absence of Patrick Kluivert and Javier Saviola, celebrated his return to the team by making it 2-0 in the 16th minute following an assist from Ronaldinho.
García rifled in his second in the 58th minute after Phillip Cocu's header was punched away by goalkeeper Miki. The forward then spurned three clear chances to collect a hat-trick before a 90th-minute chip from Samuel Eto'o and an Andrija Delibasic strike deep into added time gave Mallorca late hope.
Athletic Club Bilbao’s surprise 4-1 defeat at the hands of Real Valladolid means that Barça now have an eight-point cushion in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League qualification berth. Frank Rijkaard's side lie within a point of third-placed RC Deportivo La Coruña with eleven games to go.
Vicente Rodríguez scored twice on Saturday as Valencia CF made the most of Real Madrid CF's 1-1 draw at Real Racing Club Santander, defeating ten-man Deportivo 3-0. The Galician team were under pressure from the 22nd minute after the referee issued a straight red card to Brazilian midfield player Mauro Silva for a foul in the box on Pablo Aimar and Vicente stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
The floodgates stayed shut until Vicente, who was only given penalty-taking responsibilities because Rubén Baraja missed one early on, finished off a counterattack in the 90th minute. The winger capped a fine individual performance by feeding Juan Sánchez for the third.
Ronaldo tore a hamstring as Madrid, still six points ahead of Valencia at the top of the standings, were held at El Sardinero, meaning he misses Wednesday's Champions League encounter against FC Bayern München.
Santiago Solari gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead, tucking away an assist from Zinedine Zidane with his left foot. But the home side hit back almost immediately, Yossi Benayoun taking advantage of indecision by goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the 32nd minute. Madrid defender Álvaro Mejía was sent off for a second bookable offence late on.
Elsewhere, bottom team Real Murcia CF held Club Atlético de Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Vicente Calderón, Raúl Tamudo struck twice as RC Celta de Vigo's troubled season continued with a 5-1 capitulation at the hands of RCD Espanyol, and Darko Kovacevic rescued a point for Real Sociedad de Fútbol against CA Osasuna in a 1-1 draw. Albacete Balompié and Real Zaragoza enjoyed respective 1-0 home victories against Real Betis Balompié and Málaga CF while Sevilla FC overcame Villarreal CF 2-0.
|Last updated: 30/06/2011 05:26 CET|
Sergio Fernández 90+2
Ramis 31 (p)
Pablo Hernández 33, 56
|Venue: Palma de Mallorca|