Real Madrid notched up
their first win in four games and moved back up to second place in La
Liga after comfortably beating Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 in the Spanish
Deportivo handed Real the lead when Hector Berenguel del Pino turned a
David Beckham free kick into his own net from the edge of the six yard
box after just nine minutes.
With their noses in front, Real then started to show some of their
traditional style which has been noticably lacking in the last six weeks.
Ronaldo proved that he is recovering the touch that has made him World
Player of the Year three times by getting Real's second goal on 36
minutes, and his second in four days, connecting at close range with a
Roberto Carlos pass.
Spain international defender Sergio Ramos headed home Real's third, from
a Beckham free kick, after 69 minutes.
Julio Baptista completed the scoring eight minutes from time with a
rasping, curling free kick around the Deportivo wall from just beyond
the edge of the area as Beckham for once relinquished the dead ball
Real have 57 points from 30 games but bitter rivals Barcelona still have
a huge 11-point lead with just eight games of the season left, despite
being held to a 0-0 draw at bottom club Malaga on Sunday.
Barca's best chances fell to the Spanish first division's leading scorer
Samuel Eto'o, who had a goal controversially disallowed just before the
break and who also hit the cross bar in injury time.
Osasuna slipped back a place to third after they went down 1-0 at
Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, the only goal of the game coming from a
Luis Prieto header after 59 minutes.
Sevilla left it late but a Jordi Lopez header two minutes into injury
time gave them a 1-0 win over 2004 champions Valencia.
The victory put Sevilla close to a Champions League place as the
Andalusian club moved up to fifth with 51 points, just two points in
arrears of Valencia who stay in fourth.
The goal redeemed Jordi who earlier put a 76th minute penalty against
the crossbar after Javier Saviola had been hacked down by his fellow
Argentine international Roberto Ayala who was shown a red card for his
Mallorca's seven-game unbeaten run since Gregorio Manzano took over as
coach, a streak which has taken them out of the relegation zone, came to
an end with a 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo.
Two well-taken early goals inside the area from Pablo Contreras and
Fernando Baiano, making the most of some slack Mallorca defending, put
Celta firmly in the driving seat and they could have added to their
tally in the second half.
Real Sociedad's relegation worries increased when they went down 2-1 at
Getafe. Mariano Pernia put Getafe ahead from the penalty spot on 19
minutes after Mikel Alonso had brought down Jaime Gavilan.
Sociedad equalised in injury time at the end of the first half thanks to
a spectacular left foot free kick by Chilean international Mark Gonzalez
from 35 metres before Daniel Guiza put Getafe back in front nine minutes
into the second half.
The San Sebastian side's chances of salvaging a point were reduced
further after 69 minutes when John Viafara was sent off after receiving
a second yellow card.
Real Sociedad, who were league runners up just three seasons ago, face
dropping out of the top flight for the first time in 39 years if their
form does not improve over the remaining eight games.