Barcelona defeats Valencia while Real Madrid goes top in Spain

10:21, October 18, 2010      

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FC Barcelona produced a magnificent second half fightback on Saturday to beat Valencia 2-1 in the standout game of matchday seven in the Spanish BBVA Primera Liga.

Valencia had kicked the game off as league leaders and looked as if they could live up to that billing when Pablo Hernandez scored on a counter attack before half time.

Barca's first half display had been below par, but Andres Iniesta pulled them back to level terms just two minutes into the second period and Carles Puyol assured the points with a header after 62 minutes.

Pep Guardiola's side had several chances to increase their lead in the closing minutes, but were denied further goals thanks to a brilliant display from Valencia goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez.

Barcelona's win allowed Real Madrid to go top of the table after Jose Mourinho's men won 4-1 in Malaga.

Cristiano Ronaldo was back to his best, scoring twice and setting up Cristiano Ronaldo for two more in a convincing display from Real Madrid.

Malaga meanwhile have lost all four of their home games this season.

Saturday also saw Atletico Madrid continue a positive start to the season with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to local rivals Getafe. It may have been a south Madrid derby, but despite some pretty football, Getafe rarely threatened the Atletico goal and were made to pay when Simao scored a spectacular first half free kick.

Diego Costa's second goal of the season assured the points with 15 minutes remaining.

Sunday's matches saw Zaragoza slip to the bottom of the table after losing 2-0 away to Athletic Club Bilbao.

Andoni Iriola celebrated his 300th appearance for the home side with the opening goal, while Fernando Llorente doubled Athletic's lead with a header after 23 minutes.

Zaragoza hardly threatened all game and ended with just 10 men on the pitch following the second half sending off of Pinter.

Meanwhile Deportivo la Corua climbed off the bottom of the table thanks to a 0-0 draw at home to Osasuna. The home side will be disappointed not to have won against a rival that played most of the game with a player less following Camunas' red card.

Pedro Munitis scored a long range shot to give Racing Santander a 1-0 win at home to Almeria, while Levante defeated Real Sociedad 2-1 in a match between two sides promoted at the end of last season.

Espanyol won away for the first time this campaign: Luis Garcia's first half penalty assured all three points against a Mallorca team that struggled to create any clear cut chances.

Sporting Gijon brought the weekend matches to an end with a 2-0 win over Sevilla: goals from Sangoy and a backheel from Deigo Castro gave Gregorio Manzano his first taste of defeat after taking charge at Sevilla.

Finally Villarreal will have the chance to overtake Real Madrid and go top of the table if they can win away to Alicante based Hercules on Monday night.

Source: Xinhua


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