Madrid: Real Madrid maintained their ominous
form with a 2-0 derby victory over Atletico which keeps them
at the top of the Primera Liga.
Coach Jose Mourinho arrived at the Bernabeu yesterday
with the reputation as a defensive tactician but in their last
five games they have now scored 21 goals.
Atletico haven`t won away to Real for eleven years and
they were immediately under pressure from the surging runs of
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
But it was a defender, Ricardo Carvalho, who gave them
the lead though after a foray forward, finishing coolly in
front of goal.
Higuain missed an excellent chance with just keeper David
De Gea to beat but Real did extend their lead courtesy of some
poor defending. An Ozil free-kick was crossed in, missing
everyone, and creeping into the corner.
With a two-goal cushion in the opening quarter, Real
began to play more deeply and while Atletico had more
possession they created few chances.
The game was becoming more and more scrappy. Atletico
went closest when a Diego Forlan shot from the edge of the
area came back off the upright while Ozil could have given
Real a third when put through on goal but he finished tamely.
Barcelona played some of their best attacking football of
the season as they beat Getafe 3-1 to keep the pressure on
David Villa should have put Barga in the lead after just
four minutes but Messi, at the heart of the majority of their
best moves, put them on their way mid-way through the first
half, slotting home from a Villa pass.
Villa was flagged off-side in front of goal after a
delightful move involving Messi and Andres Iniesta but he did
get on the score sheet minutes later.
Getafe attacked more in the second-half but Cata Diaz was
caught in possession by Messi who set-up Pedro Rodriguez for
Barga`s third. Manu Del Moral pulled a goal back from the
penalty spot after Gerard Pique handled in the penalty area
and was given his marching orders for a second bookable
Both team`s missed further openings while Derek Boateng
was also dismissed after receiving a second yellow card.
"Generally the team played well although I think we could
have done better in the first half to finish off the game,"
said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
"Getafe showed their qualities and they have a lot. The
sending off (of Pique) changed the game but it is never easy
to come here and it was the same last year, we had a lot of
problems in the first half."
High-flying Villarreal came from behind to beat Athletic
Bilbao 4-1 and maintain their 100 per cent home record.
Villarreal had not even conceded a goal at El Madrigal
but went behind after just six minutes when Fernando Llorente
headed home a cross from Jon Aurtenetxe.
The home side took the game to Athletic and Giuseppe
Rossi had several chances to bring Villarreal level before
eventually Nilmar scored with keeper Gorka Iraizoz coming and
failing to reach a cross.
Santi Cazorla put Villarreal ahead before the break and
with Athletic reduced to ten following the expulsion of
Aurtenetxe, Rossi finally found the back of the net and
Jefferson Montero completed the scoring. Bottom side Zaragoza
picked up their first win of the season in a 3-2 victory over
Angel Lafita equalised Pierre Webo`s opener for Mallorca
and while Michael Pereira restored the visitor`s advantage,
Nicolas Bertolo and Gabi Fernandez, from the penalty spot,
earned Zaragoza the three points.
Deportivo la Coruna came out on top 2-1 in a relegation
battle with Levante. The Galician`s followed up their victory
against Espanyol last weekend with goals from Ivan Riki and
Ayathmi Artiles while Juanlu Gomez got Levante`s consolation.
Osasuna were comfortable 3-0 winners over Hercules with
goals from Nacho Monreal, Manuel Lolo and Krisztian Vadocz
while Sporting Gijon drew 1-1 with Almeria. Miguel Corona put
the Andalusian side in front but Nacho Novo brought Sporting