Spanish La Liga Roundup, Feb. 13
Ten-man Real Madrid moved within five points of Spanish league leader Barcelona by beating Espanyol 1-0 from Marcelo’s first-half goal.
Madrid played a man down from the second minute at Cornella-El Prat stadium after goalkeeper Iker Casillas was sent off for fouling Jose Callejon in a one-on-one situation with the goal wide open.
Even so, Madrid’s quality was enough to overcome Espanyol’s numerical advantage.
Marcelo scored in the 24th minute through a great individual effort. The Brazilian left back received a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, raced into the box and slotted between the post and goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
With reserve goalkeeper Jerzey Dudek injured, third-choice Antonio Adan replaced Casillas and played well in his league debut.
Madrid’s first win in three away matches came a day after Barcelona’s record 16-game winning streak ended with a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon.
Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira and Espanyol playmaker Javi Marquez both had good chances to score before Marcelo grabbed the lead for the visitors.
Madrid came close to going into halftime leading by two goals when Emmanuel Adebayor’s chip shot hit the crossbar after Xabi Alonso had put him through the defense.
Espanyol continued to press for the equalizer after the restart, its best chance came when Callejon sent his shot past the post in the 74th.
Adebayor, in his most impressive game since joining Madrid during the January transfer market, could have sealed the win twice in the last 10 minutes, but Kameni saved both times.
Ealier, Alberto Lopo’s second-half goal lead Deportivo La Coruna to a 1-0 win over Villarreal, and Jose Rondon’s injury-time equalizer gave Malaga a 2-2 draw with Getafe.
After a dull first half, Lopo pushed home a ball flicked on by teammate Juan Rodriguez for Deportivo’s 60th-minute winner at Riazor stadium.
Villarreal’s top scorer, Giuseppe Rossi, was out with the flu, and Deportivo had little trouble stifling the visitors’ attack to claim its first victory in six games.
Villarreal dropped to fourth place with its second straight loss, two points behind provincial rival Valencia.
At La Rosaleda stadium, Getafe went ahead when Malaga goalkeeper Francesc Arnau attempted to clear a cross in the eighth minute but only succeeded in punching it into forward Nicolas "Miku" Fedor, with the ball then crossing the line.
Adrian Colunga doubled Getafe’s lead in the 24th minute. But Baptista grabbed one back for Malaga from the penalty spot in the 80th after Ivan Marcano had handled in the area, and Rondon split the points with a goal in the fifth minute of injury time.
"I hope (the result) helps us change the dynamic and shows us the way to win," said Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini, whose team is now winless in six games to stay in last place.
David Trezeguet scored Hercules’ 89th-minute winner in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Zaragoza for his team’s first win in five games.
Zaragoza took an early lead when Braulio Nobrega headed home in the fourth minute.
Francisco Farinos equalized in the 80th with Hercules’ first goal in five games, and Trezeguet capped the comeback in the 89th with his 10th goal of the season.
Levante beat Almeria 1-0 from a goal by Felipe Caicedo, and Raul Tamudo gave Real Sociedad a 1-0 win over Osasuna.
Athletic Bilbao is at Mallorca on Monday.