MADRID - Brief reports of matches played in the Primera Liga on Sunday: REAL MADRID 1 VILLARREAL 0 Arjen Robben's superb run and curled shot with just over half an hour gone and a couple of fine saves by Iker Casillas won the match for the champions at the Bernabeu. The Dutch winger was a constant threat and broke the deadlock when he cut in from the right, skipped past several challenges and sent the ball high past Diego Lopez. ATHLETIC BILBAO 1 ESPANYOL 1 Andoni Iraola's acrobatic overhead kick with around 10 minutes left secured a point for the home side and cancelled out Moises Hurtado's goal shortly before halftime. Espanyol remain in the relegation zone in 18th place on 14 points from 17 matches and Athletic have 20 and are in 13th. MALAGA 1 SPORTING GIJON 0 Malaga defender Lolo outjumped Sporting keeper Sergio Sanchez to head Duda's corner into the empty net for the only goal just after the half hour. The result leaves Malaga in eighth spot with 25 points while Sporting are in 12th on 21. REAL VALLADOLID 0 RACING SANTANDER 1 Striker Nicola Zigic scored on his return to the Racing ranks following a disappointing spell at Valencia to claim the three points for the visitors. The tall Serbian, who had an earlier effort ruled out for offside, found the target in the 64th minute when he turned the ball into the net after Valladolid keeper Justo Villar came for the ball and failed to claim. RECREATIVO HUELVA 3 NUMANCIA 1 Struggling Recreativo claimed a precious win with goals from Javi Fuego, Javier Camunas and Aitor Tornavaca before Gorka Brit scored Numancia's consolation near the end when he fired into the far corner from the edge of the area. Recreativo goalkeeper Asier Riesgo saved a penalty with just over a quarter of an hour gone and the home side took the lead shortly after when Fuego blasted in a long-range freekick. Camunas doubled Recre's lead straight after the restart, pouncing on the rebound from Adrian Colunga's shot, and Tornavaca chipped in midway through the second period. ALMERIA 1 REAL BETIS 0 Almeria's new Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez had a winning start after Corona's freekick swung in from the left somehow evaded the players grouped in the area and squeezed under Betis keeper Casto Espinosa to give the home side the lead on 36 minutes. Almeria held on and both sides finished the match with 10 men after Kalu Uche and Sergio Garcia saw red. SEVILLA 1 OSASUNA 1 Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani snatched a dramatic last-minute equaliser for bottom club Osasuna to prevent Sevilla from reclaiming second spot. Winger Jesus Navas gave the home side the lead when he drove home a low shot just after the break before Pandiani swung a speculative leg at Masoud Shojaei's shot to send the ball past Andres Palop in the 90th minute. GETAFE 1 DEPORTIVO CORUNA 2 Deportivo grabbed a late winner thanks to a hotly disputed Sergio penalty to leapfrog Villarreal into sixth, level on 30 points with fifth-placed Atletico Madrid. The referee ruled that Getafe keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri had brought down striker Rodolfo Bodipo although the Depor player appeared to go to ground too easily. A classy volley from Getafe striker Manu del Moral had earlier cancelled out Bodipo's neat strike in an ill-tempered match in Madrid. Played on Saturday: BARCELONA 3 REAL MALLORCA 1 Aritz Aduriz gave the visitors a surprise lead with a fine solo effort on 15 minutes before Thierry Henry controlled Xavi's deep corner at the far post and swept the ball into the net. Andres Iniesta came off the bench to score Barca's second and Yaya Toure slotted a well-taken goal in added time after a mazy run through the tiring Mallorca defence. VALENCIA 3 ATLETICO MADRID 1 After squandering a host of early chances, Valencia took the lead with just over half an hour gone when David Villa scored from the penalty spot. David Silva grabbed a second when he poked the ball past Leo Franco, before Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan pulled a goal back with a penalty. Silva added the third midway through the second period with a powerful long-range drive.
4 January 2009
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