Primera Liga review

Real Madrid had one eye on their Champions League tie with

Manchester United

but still had enough to take El Clasico honours against


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.