Real Sociedad and Valencia CF suffered setbacks to allow Real Madrid CF to end the weekend as outright leaders.
Real Sociedad and Valencia CF both suffered setbacks to allow Real Madrid CF to end the weekend as outright leaders of the Primera División, with the top four separated by just three points.
A 3-0 defeat by lowly Real Valladolid meant that Real's long run at the top of the division is over. They had conceded the lead for the second time in a week with Madrid's 5-1 win at Deportivo Alavés on Saturday, but unlike last Sunday, Real could not regain pole position as Valladolid moved up six places to eleventh with victory. Óscar Sánchez crossed for Nicolas Olivera to put Valladolid a goal up in the opening 60 seconds, and by the 20-minute mark it was 3-0 as the same two players combined again for the second and Óscar Gonzalez scored the third after a corner.
Valencia CF could have moved level with Madrid but instead remain in third, a point behind Real and two off the leaders, after being held 1-1 by RC Celta de Vigo. John Carew put Valencia ahead in the seventh minute, but on the ten-minute mark Edu equalised and his side held on to retain fifth place.
Deportivo in touch
RC Deportivo La Coruña are now within a point of Valencia following a 2-1 win against Real Racing Club Santander. Roy Makaay scored his 19th league goal of the season in the third minute to give Deportivo the lead. However, Racing president-coach Dimitri Piterman introduced Rodolfo Bodipo at half-time, and within a minute he had equalised. But Deportivo clinched the game ten minutes from the end through Albert Luque, himself on as a substitute.
FC Barcelona's revival under Radomir Antic was checked as they were held 2-2 by struggling Club Atlético Osasuna, who levelled the scored in added time. Javier Saviola put Barcelona ahead just after the hour, only for Iván Rosado to equalise eleven minutes from the end. But when substitute Luis Enrique restored Barcelona's lead on 85 minutes it seemed the three points were there's only for Gerardo Rivero to deny them.
Sevilla derby triumph
Real Betis Balompié remain in sixth place after losing to a late goal at home to local rivals Sevilla FC. Marcos Vales was on target 14 minutes from the end to move Sevilla up to eighth place, overtaking Barcelona.
In the hunt
Club Atlético de Madrid remain in the hunt for a European place following a 2-1 win against UEFA Cup quarter-finalists Málaga CF, but Rayo Vallecano remain deep in relegation trouble as Villarreal CF secured three valuable points with a 2-1 victory, their new Mexican striker Antonio de Negris deciding the game in the 88th minute.