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Monday, January 25, 2010

23-24 Jan : Weekend wrap-up of Spanish La Liga

Valladolid 0-3 Barcelona

On Saturday night Barcelona's routine 3-0 win at struggling Valladolid saw Pep Guardiola's side finish the first half of the Primera Division campaign unbeaten.

In establishing their unbeaten run, the Catalans became only the fifth side to accomplish such a feat, previously achieved by Madrid, Espanyol, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.

And they did so with comfort against a poor Valladolid outfit.

Xavi and Dani Alves struck within the space of two minutes halfway through the first period to give Guardiola's men full control of proceedings, and Lionel Messi added a third shortly into the second period to wrap up a comfortable victory.

Real Madrid 2-0 Malaga

Cristiano Ronaldo scored both goals before being sent off as Real Madrid kept the gap to leaders Barcelona at five points with a 2-0 victory over Malaga on Sunday.

Ronaldo had struck twice in quick succession in the first half to put Madrid on their way to a 10th consecutive home win this season, but he was then handed his marching orders in the 70th minute.

Ronaldo was shown a straight red card after catching Patrick Mtiliga in the face with a flailing elbow as he attempted to escape from the Malaga defender - but the 10 men of Madrid held on for a crucial three points.

Deportivo La Coruna 3-1 Athletico Bilbao

Deportivo La Coruna boosted their hopes of qualification for next season's Champions League with an excellent 3-1 win at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Filipe gave the Galicians the lead in acrobatic style, but fell awkwardly and suffered a nasty twist to the ankle which left him in excruciating pain and will leave him sidelined for several months at least.

Another Brazilian, Juca, doubled Depor's lead 10 minutes later, and although Athletic were given hope by Diego Colotto's own-goal, Pablo Alvarez rounded off what was a deserved win for the home side with the third in the closing stages.

Sevilla 1-0 Almeria

Former Almeria striker Alvaro Negredo took advantage of a huge stroke of luck to sink his old club and help Sevilla end a run of four successive Primera Division defeats with a 1-0 victory.

Negredo netted the only goal of this Andalusian derby in the 10th minute after visiting captain Santiago Acasiete's attempted back-pass got stuck in a puddle.

Acasiete picked up a pass from his goalkeeper Diego Alves on the edge of the box, but when he tried to play the ball back, it stopped in a pool of water midway between the two, and Sevilla midfielder Dirnei Renato nipped in to poke the ball inside where Negredo tapped into an empty net.

Spanish La Liga

Team        Pl  W D L  Fr Ag Pts 
Barcelona   19 15-4-0  49:10  49 
Real Madrid 19 14-2-3  44:14  44 
Valencia    19 11-6-2  35:18  39 
Mallorca    19 10-4-5  33:21  34 
Deportivo   19 10-4-5  23:19  34 
Sevilla     19 10-3-6  29:21  33

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