Relentless Real Madrid CF stayed seven points clear in Spain with a 2-0 win in their derby at Club Atlético de Madrid while Joseba Llorente scored the fastest ever Primera División goal for Real Valladolid CF against RCD Espanyol.
Bernd Schuster's side made a dream start at the Vicente Calderón Stadium when Robinho wriggled away from Pablo Ibáñez and crossed for Raúl González to finish clinically with barely 30 seconds on the clock. Atlético responded well with Thiago Motta's header and a drive from Sergio Agüero both hitting the bar but, within seconds of the latter effort, Madrid stretched their lead when Ruud van Nistelrooy volleyed in from a Wesley Sneijder corner.
FC Barcelona needed to respond to keep their title hopes alive and did so with a close-range header from Thierry Henry giving them a 1-0 win against Real Racing Club Santander. Espanyol had the chance to move third but fell behind to the quickest goal in Primera División history - Llorente scoring after just seven seconds. The same player doubled the lead on 34 minutes and, although Marc Torrejón (59) reduced the deficit, Valladolid held on for a 2-1 win.
New coach Ander Garitano oversaw an immediate upturn in Real Zaragoza's form in his first Primera División match in charge as the Aragon club ended a run of nine matches without a league win courtesy of a 3-1 win against Real Murcia CF. Ricardo Oliveira (34) and Diego Milito's second-half double ensured a much-needed win.
Two goals in as many minutes from Dady and Carlos Vela helped CA Osasuna move out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win against ten-man Athletic Club Bilbao while UD Almería edged past RC Deportivo La Coruña thanks to a last-gasp Rúben Pulido goal. Elsewhere, Real Betis Balompié drew 1-1 with RC Recreativo de Huelva while Levante UD and RCD Mallorca shared four goals.
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