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22.03.2010 12:55

Spanish League Roundup: Week 27

The weekend’s action was dominated by Messi’s superb performance in Zaragoza. However, there were plenty of other highlights as Higuain scored his 20th for Real Madrid, Silva lifted a tired Valencia side and Mallorca shot past Sevilla into 4th place.

Real Madrid hang on to first place on the narrowest of goal differences after a 3-1 home win against Sporting. The visitors took the lead early in the second half but Van der Vaart, Alonso and, of course, Higuain scored in the last half hour to silence a tentative revolt by the Madrid fans, unhappy at the club’s exit from the Champions League.

Valencia show stamina

Meanwhile, a tired ands depleted Valencia side needed the talent and stamina of goalkeeper Cesar, midfielder Silva and forwards Mata and Villa to inflict only the second defeat on Almeria in manager Lillo’s 11-match reign. Coming so soon after Valencia’s heroic elimination of Werder Bremen from the Europa League in midweek, the result certifies Valencia’s intention to hold on to third place.

Sevilla had a terrible week which saw them eliminated from the Champions League by CSKA Moscow and then dismissed 2-0 by Espanyol in their brand new Cornella stadium in the south of Barcelona. Espanyol thus extend their unbeaten home run to seven matches while Sevilla continue the recent slide that has seen them collect just two points from a possible 12. Sevilla (44 points) slip down to fifth place and are overtaken by Mallorca (46 points), who thrashed Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the Ono Estadi.

Atletico Madrid were perhaps another side weakened by European action earlier in the week. Sergio Agüero scored twice against Sporting Clube de Portugal to take the Spanish team through to the Europa league quarterfinals on the away goal rule, where they will meet Valencia in an all-La Liga tie. Their defeat against high-flying Mallorca leaves them in 10th position, eight points off another Europa league finish.

Hope for Jerez?

Athletic Club Bilbao fought out a bad-tempered 2-2 draw with Getafe in San Mames (the referee handed out 7 yellow cards and 2 reds). However, the point is enough to push Bilbao into 6th place ahead of Deportivo on goal difference. The Galicians slipped up badly at the weekend, losing 0-2 at home to relegation strugglers Valladolid, who now move to within three points of Barca’s latest victims Zaragoza, who still occupy the last place of safety.

Turning now to the foot of the table, bottom club Jerez went 2-0 up against fellow relegation strugglers Tenerife in the opening 15 minutes and hung on to win 2-1 and feed hopes of a miracle escape – however, they’re still 8 points short of Zaragoza.

Meanwhile, Malaga continue their climb away from the drop zone with a 2-0 victory over Villarreal. Malaga have now opened up a 7 point gap over Valladolid in the last relegation place.

Finally, Osasuna – who visit the Camp Nou on Wednesday – crashed to a 1-3 home defeat against an improving Racing Santander outfit.
Spanish League Roundup: Week 27

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