Primera Liga review
Sat, 02 Mar 2013 23:08:00
Real Madrid had one eye on their Champions League tie with Manchester United
but still had enough to take El Clasico honours against Barcelona.
A 2-1 victory may not be enough to get Jose Mourinho's side back in the title race - they are 13 points behind - but it was a notable scalp for the capital club, who started without the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Arbeloa.
A much-changed side mattered little for in-form Madrid, though, and Karim Benzema put them 1-0 ahead with 13 minutes gone, only for Lionel Messi to level ten minutes later.
Sergio Ramos would have the last word with the winner nine minutes from time, but there was still room for drama as Barca keeper Victor Valdes was sent off following the final whistle for arguing with referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa.
There was not as much to talk about in the game between Deportivo La Coruna and Rayo Vallecano, however, with the match ending 0-0.
Depor did bring to an end their six-match losing streak but still remain deep in trouble at the foot of the Primera Division after being held at home.
It might have been even worse for the Galician side after they found themselves on the back foot for much of the first half and then reduced to 10 men in the closing stages when veteran defender Carlos Marchena was sent off.
However, there was not enough time for Rayo to make the most of their extra man as the points were shared at the Riazor.
The result leaves Depor eight points adrift of Real Zaragoza and safety, while Rayo move back into eighth place.
Athletic Bilbao eased their drop fears with a much-needed victory over local rivals Osasuna at the Reyno de Navarra stadium to move six points clear of the relegation zone.
A volleyed goal by Markel Susaeta midway through the second half was enough to give Marcelo Bielsa's side the three points, but the Navarrans were superior for large periods of the match.
In Spain's late game on Saturday evening Valencia conceded a later leveller at the Mestalla to draw 2-2 with Levante.
Vicente Iborra silenced the home crowd when he put Levante ahead on 16 minutes but it was a lead they held for just over ten minutes when Jonas conjured a leveller for Valencia.
On the stroke of half-time it got even better for fourth placed Valencia as Roberto Soldado does what he does best in sniffing out a chance and finishing with customary ease.
It looked as though Soldado's goal would be enough to earn Valencia the spoils but in the game's dying embers Jose Barkero struck for Levante.