England skipper David Beckham was sent-off as Real
Madrid crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Valencia, leaving city neighbours Getafe to
take top spot in the Spanish championship.
Getafe, in only their second season of top flight football, beat Real Zaragoza
5-2 while Real's four-game winning streak came to an end with their home defeat.
To compound their misery, Real ended the game with nine men as Danish midfielder
Thomas Gravesen was also sent-off.
Real threw away a chance to take the lead after 10 minutes when Zinedine Zidane
put his penalty against the post and they were punished 12 minutes later when
Ruben Baraja fired home a curling free kick from more than 20 metres.
Raul Gonzalez equalised for Real after 35 minutes but Valencia again got their
noses in front three minutes later, from a David Villa penalty after a Pablo
Aimar shot had hit Real defender Sergio Ramos on the elbow.
Real, who slipped to third in the table, had Gravesen dismissed for a wild
tackle on Vicente Rodriguez eight minutes from time and, shortly afterwards,
Beckham got two quick-fire yellow cards for dissent.
Both men will miss Wednesday's match at Deportivo La Coruna.
Meanwhile, Getafe coach Bernd Schuster, whose team has 17 points from eight
games, was delighted by his team's convincing win.
"Our football was well-structured and quick, a very high standard, we didn't
give up possession and the midfield did really well," he said.
The scoring started early at Getafe with Veljko Paunovic finding the net from 10
yards after nine minutes, guiding the ball unchallenged into the visitors' area.
Daniel Guiza got Getafe's second from the penalty spot after 21 minutes after
Gabi Milito had brought him down, and Guiza exploited Zaragoza's shocking
defending to put the hosts further ahead three minutes later.
Ruben Pulido added to Zaragoza's half time humiliation by heading home Getafe's
fourth goal after 36 minutes.
Jose Maria Movilla and Delio Toledo got two back for Zaragoza early in the
second half before Pablo Redondo added a fifth goal five minutes from time.
"You don't see many first 45 minutes of a game like you did today. We gave away
two daft goals at the start of the second half but then woke up again," added
Celta Vigo move up to second, one point behind Getafe, after David Silva stabbed
the ball home with his left foot eight minutes from time to get the only goal in
their 1-0 win over Espanyol.
"We found them very difficult to break down," admitted Celta coach Fernando
Vasquez, despite the fact that Espanyol had been reduced to 10 men for most of
the second half after Mauricio Pochettino had got his second yellow card.
Malaga went one better than Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday by
hammering Real Betis 5-0 to hand the Seville-based side their worst league
defeat for 22 years.
Salva Ballesta opened the scoring from close range after seven minutes and
headed his second after 27 minutes, connecting with a cross from Gerardo Garcia.
Fernando Sanz got Malaga's third just six minutes after the break and Pablo
Counago added two more later in the second half to complete Betis' rotten week.
Villarreal's three first half goals sufficed for a comfortable 3-0 win over
bottom club Real Mallorca.
"I didn't expect to be 3-0 up at the break. Mallorca had their chances," said
Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Juan Roman Riquelme and Jose Mari got early goals before Diego Forlan, the joint
European Golden Boot winner last season, put an end to his six-game goal drought
with Villarreal's third in injury time at the end of the first half.
Samuel Eto'o got two goals in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Osasuna on Saturday.
The African Player of the Year got the reigning Spanish champions' opener
shortly after the break and added a second on 52 minutes.
Frenchman Ludovic Giuly, who came on for Eto'o nine minutes from the whistle,
completed the scoring three minutes from time.
Spanish football league table after Sunday's matches (played, won, drawn, lost,
goals for, goals against, points):
Getafe 8 5 2 1 16 9 17
Celta Vigo 8 5 1 2 11 8 16
Real Madrid 8 5 0 3 18 8 15
Valencia 8 4 3 1 14 11 15
Osasuna 8 5 0 3 9 8 15
Barcelona 8 3 4 1 17 10 13
Real Sociedad 8 4 1 3 12 14 13
Villarreal 8 3 3 2 13 9 12
Sevilla 8 3 3 2 7 5 12
Cadiz 8 3 3 2 7 6 12
Malaga 8 3 1 4 13 10 10
Deportivo La Coruna 8 2 4 2 9 10 10
Atletico Madrid 8 3 1 4 7 9 10
Real Betis 8 2 3 3 5 12 9
Racing Santander 8 2 2 4 3 5 8
Real Zaragoza 8 1 5 2 10 12 8
Espanyol 8 2 1 5 5 10 7
Alaves 8 1 3 4 7 13 6
Athletic Bilbao 8 1 2 5 7 11 5
Real Mallorca 8 1 2 5 7 17 5