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08.02.2010 13:02

Spanish League Roundup: Round 21

John Chaplin

The top three in La Liga all won this weekend while Mallorca took advantage of Sevilla’s defeat against Zaragoza to climb into fourth place. The three points take Zaragoza two points clear of the relegation zone.

With Barça, Real Madrid and Valencia all winning at the weekend the only change at the top of the table is the consolidation of Mallorca in fourth place instead of the faltering Sevilla.

Barça’s cross-town rivals Espanyol put up only feeble resistance to Real Madrid in the Bernabeu to lose 3-0, goals coming from Ramos, Kaka and Higuain.

Valencia made no mistake and cruised to a 2-0 victory over Valladolid in the Mestalla, including yet another goal from the prolific David Villa. Former Barça player Onesimo, in his first game as Valladolid manager, failed to stop his side slipping into the bottom three.

Mallorca notched up their 10th consecutive home win on Sunday, this time against another team with a new manager, Villarreal. Mallorca manager Gregorio Manzano is getting excellent results from his team, who are now serious contenders for a Champions League finish.

Meanwhile, Sevilla dropped out of the CL positions after losing 2-1 away to relegation strugglers Zaragoza. The team from Aragon invested heavily in the winter transfer market and it looks as if that may pay dividends, although it took an own goal from Sevilla’s Negredo – who was later sent off – to seal the three points in Zaragoza’s favour.

Llorente stakes claim for Spain place

Deportivo cling on to sixth place, two points ahead of Athletic Bilbao, despite a goalless draw away to Malaga, who are now three points clear of the drop zone and a similar distance from mid-table respectability. For their part, Athletic Club finally dismissed Jerez 3-2 in Bilbao thanks to two goals from Fernando Llorente (that makes 17 in all competitions this season), the kind of return that may well attract the attentions of Spain manager Vicente del Bosque ahead of the South Africa World Cup.

Osasuna beat Tenerife 1-0 to record their fourth win in a row and move within six points of the European places. However, the defeat leaves the Canary Islanders in penultimate position, three points adrift of safety.

Atletico Madrid continued to show the inconsistency that has dogged them all season and after beating Racing 4-0 in the Cup earlier in the week, then slumped to a 1-1 draw against the same opposition just a few days later. Finally, Almeria did themselves a big favour and beat Sporting 3-1 to move four points clear of the bottom three.
Spanish League Roundup: Round 21

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