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01.03.2010 18:32

Spanish league Roundup: Week 24

The unpredictable Atletico Madrid dented Valencia's ambitions with a 4-1 victory in the Calderon while Real Madrid laid a few ghosts to rest with a 1-5 thrashing of Tenerife.

Two goals and another excellent performance from Argentine forward Higuain were enough to hand Real Madrid the three points in the Canary Islands and maintain the pressure on Barça at the top of the league table. Although players such as Messi, Rooney and Villa have scored more goals, Higuain has the best scoring rate in the major European leagues (one goal every 77 minutes).

Valencia crash to defeat

Meanwhile, in the big clash between Atletico Madrid and Valencia in the Calderon, the visitors took an early lead but then conceded four to slip to just three points ahead of fourth placed Sevilla. Controversial referee Perez Burrell was afterwards the focus of a fair amount of criticism for some of his decisions.

It was a disappointing day for Sevilla, who have recently pulled themselves back into the top four and will have been looking for a victory against another potential challenger for a European finish, Athletic Bilbao. The match ended in a goalless draw on a suitably grey rainy day in Seville. However, to some extent, a point apiece suits both clubs with Sevilla still three points clear of Mallorca in fifth place. For their part Bilbao are seventh, a point behind Deportivo in sixth place but a full five points ahead of Villarreal in eighth place. It is only their second point in their last six away matches and a relief after being demolished 4-0 by Anderlecht in the Europa league

Mallorca and Deportivo - two of the teams battling it out for a place in next season’s Europa League and possibly a place in the Champions League – had mixed fortunes this weekend. Mallorca took a 1-2 win away from hapless Valladolid despite conceding the first goal while Deportivo slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Villarreal.

Gap opens above bottom three

Valladolid, Tenerife and Jerez all remain firmly rooted to the foot of the table and a four-point gap has now opened up between them and Zaragoza, who occupy the last place of safety. With Valladolid and Tenerife both losing at home, Jerez can take some small comfort from their 1-1 home draw against Espanyol.

However, Zaragoza did themselves a huge favour by beating Getafe 0-2 on the road, a result which leaves Getafe six points adrift of the last Europa League place.

Finally, Sporting beat Osasuna 3-2 to leapfrog the Basques into 10th place while Almeria – the team that Barça face this coming Saturday – dismantled a fragile Racing side 0-2 and promised to do a bit more than just survive in the top flight.
Spanish league Roundup: Week 24

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