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01.02.2010 11:00

Spanish League Roundup: Round 20

This weekend’s results have left things pretty much as they were at the top and bottom of the La Liga table. Barça continue to lead the way with a five-point cushion over Real Madrid but there’s some comfort for Jerez, who secured their second win.

Real Madrid dominated their match away to Deportivo and despite a nervous moment when Deportivo scored from a spot kick late in the game, Benzema immediately hit his second of the match to make the final score 1-3.

Sevilla back in top four

Sevilla desperately needed to produce a good performance at home to Valencia in order to not to lose touch with the top four. In the end they did just enough to win 2-1 and with both Mallorca and Deportivo losing, they claimed back fourth place with 36 points. For Valencia it was a missed opportunity to put some pressure on Real Madrid but they remain third with 39 points.

Mallorca looked set to take the three points and keep hold of fourth place when they were awarded a penalty after 35 minutes of the first half of their match away to bottom club Jerez. The visitors were already leading 0-1 and a second may well have killed off the match. However, Jerez keeper Renan saved the spot kick and paved the way for Jerez to celebrate only their second win of the league season thanks to two excellent goals from Carlos Calvo in the second half. The team from the heart of the sherry region are still 7 points away from safety but this result will no doubt give the Andalus fans some hope.

Zaragoza on song in the Canary Islands

Meanwhile, Zaragoza came out on top in their relegation six-pointer away to Tenerife. The home side led thanks to a goal early in the second half but Zaragoza hit three in the final quarter of an hour to win 1-3. The teams are tied on 17 points with Valladolid (18 points), Almeria (19 points) and Malaga (20 points) all within touching distance.

The match between Valladolid and Almeria ended in a 1-1 draw, a result that will leave both sides dissatisfied. Almeria took the lead after just 12 minutes and when Valladolid had a played sent off early in the second half the visitors looked set to take the three points. However, Arzo got a deserved equalizer for Valladolid ten minutes from the final whistle to leave both teams nervously looking over their shoulders.

Inconsistent Atletico

Despite qualifying for the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup in midweek, Atletico Madrid slumped to a 0-2 home defeat against fellow strugglers Malaga. For the visitors it was their first away win of the current league season while for Atletico it was a disappointing end to a good month that had seen them lose just two of their previous eight matches.

Another Madrid-based team, Getafe, missed out on the chance to edge closer to the top six and had to settle for a goalless draw at home to Racing. Meanwhile, Villarreal slumped to a rather surprising 0-2 defeat at home to Osasuna, which leaves but teams on 26 points and with a lot of work to do if they want to put any pressure on the leading pack.

Finally, Espanyol scrapped a narrow 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao here in Barcelona and edge a little further away from the relegation zone.
Spanish League Roundup: Round 20

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