Barca, Real both win as 2011 kicks off

08:53, January 04, 2011      

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Real Madrid win 3-2 away to near neighbors Getafe on Monday night to ensure they can keep up the pace with Spanish La Liga leaders FC Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil scored for Madrid, while Daniel Parejo and Juan Albin netted for the home side.

Madrid saw Alvaro Arbeloa sent off five minutes from time, but the home side rarely threatened to score an equalizing goal.

Villarreal cemented third place in the table with a straightforward 2-0 home win against struggling Almeria.

Javi Catala scored a header after 21 minutes and Borja Valero doubled the lead before the hour to give the home side a comfortable triumph against a side that has dropped to second from bottom in the table.

Atletico Madrid's European ambitions suffered a setback with a 0-0 draw at home to Racing Santander, but Mallorca had no problems with Hercules beating the Alicante based side 3-0.

The Hercules players have not been paid in the last month and maybe that was a factor as N'Sue, Victor and Pereira sealed an easy win for the home side.

Zaragoza kicked off their game against Real Sociedad bottom of the table, but a 2-1 home win lifted them above Sporting Gijon and Almeria.

Sinama Pongolle opened the scoring for the home side, but Xabi Prieto looked as if he would earn Real Sociedad a point until Braulio's last minute strike gave Javier Aguirre his first home win as Zaragoza coach.

Two second half goals from Pedro Rodriguez helped Barcelona kick off 2011 with a hard fought 2-1 win against Levante in the Camp Nou stadium on Sunday.

Barcelona had struggled to break down a defensive Levante side until Pedro scored two minutes after the break following great work from Dani Alves down the right wing.

Pedro scored his second of the game with a neat right foot shot, but Barcelona ended up needing to hang on for the win after Stauni gave Levante hope with a smart volleyed goal 10 minutes from time.

Referee Rubinos Perez made himself unpopular as Athletic Club Bilbao crashed 2-1 at home to Deportivo la Coruna.

Rubinos awarded Deportivo a very questionable penalty for their opening goal and then sent off Athletic defender Mikel San Jose and Deportivo's Juan Rodriguez to leave both side's with 10 players each, before Adrian doubled Deportivo's lead six minutes into the second half.

Fernando Llorente gave Athletic hope five minutes from time, but the home side ended with just nine players after Rubinos sent off Ustaritz.

Sporting Gijon slid deeper into trouble after losing a relegation struggle 2-1 against Malaga.

Diego Castro put Sporting ahead after 41 minutes, but Weligton leveled before the break and Apono's penalty after 58 minutes gave Malaga a vital win.

Sevilla ended a run of four home defeats with a 1-0 triumph over Sevilla thanks to Freddy Kanoute's 35th minute header. Jesus Navas' return from injury was another bright spot for Sevilla.

Valencia strengthen their hold on fourth place with a 2-1 win against Espanyol. Aduriz opened the scoring, but Ricardo Costa's own goal leveled matters. Aduriz was sent off in the second half, but Juan Mata gave Valencia all three points with a 93rd minute winning goal.

Source: Xinhua
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