Madrid: Both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid won their respective games in the Spanish Primera liga football to keep the eight-point gap between the two sides after eight games of the season.
Lionel Messi scored his 77th and 78th goals of 2012 as Barcelona saw off a combative Zaragoza 3-1 Saturday night. Alex Song also scored for Barca after Paco Montanes had levelled Messi`s opener.
Real Madrid responded with a 5-1 win at home to an Athletic Club Bilbao side affected by injuries and suspensions. Jon Autenetxe put through his own goal to open the scoring before Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema made it 3-0 before the break.
Ibai Gomez pulled a goal back for Athletic, who were then denied a clear penalty after handball by Fabio Coentrao, before further goals from Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira rounded off the night for Madrid.
The weekend kicked off with bottom of the table Osasuna drawing 0-0 at home to Malaga, who have taken just one point from their last three matches and who had goalkeeper Willy Caballero to thank for a series of saves which stopped them slipping to a third successive league defeat.
Referee De Cerro Grande was the protagonist in the game between Valencia and Espanyol after showing a total of 11 yellow cards and two direct red cards, both of which went to Espanyol players, Hector Moreno and Sergio Garcia.
The game had looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw after Samuel Longo had cancelled out Jonathan Valle`s opener for Valencia, but in the last minute De Cerro Grande gave Valencia a penalty for handball by Moreno, who was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity with Garcia following him down the tunnel for his protests.
Roberto Soldado stepped up and ensured Valencia all three points while Espanyol remain second from bottom.