The City & My Life|AFP – A battling performance by Deportivo La Coruna saw them keep up their push for a place in Europe with a 2-0 win at Getafe on Saturday despite being reduced to nine men.
Getafe had only lost once at home so far to Barcelona but they went behind after 14 minutes when Miguel Mista headed home a cross from full back Luis Felipe.
Deportivo remained solid despite the loss of Riki Sanchez for two yellow cards and extended their lead after 58 minutes with Mista providing the assist for Luis Felipe.
The visitors then saw Sergio Gonzalez dismissed after receiving his second booking but Deportivo held on for the win.
Struggling Malaga picked up an important point against Tenerife who will consider they should have won the game.
Despite Malaga being the better side, Tenerife stormed into a two-goal lead through Roman Martinez and Alejandro Alfaro.
Malaga hit back through Edinho Arnaldo and the striker could have scored again before half-time but his header came back off the crossbar.
With just 13 minutes remaining Javi Lopez found the back of the net to earn Malaga reward for their efforts.
Later Saturday, passions will be riding high in the Madrid derby between Real and Atletico.
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini is expected to leave captain Raul Gonzalez out of the starting line-up for the third consecutive match and he has clearly changed his mind on the player he once considered fundamental.
Raul, a first-team regular at the Bernabeu since he was 17, agrees, however, it would be logical for him not to be in the starting line-up.
“In the last two games the team has played well and I suppose he will stay with the same players. I don’t know if I will play or not but I consider myself capable of performing at the level of any player in the world,” said Raul who has scored eleven goals against his city rivals in his career.
“These are always difficult games, above all in the Calderon. Atletico have improved a lot recently, against Chelsea they deserved to win and their confidence will now be much higher.”
Leaders Barcelona will be looking to rediscover their incisive football after two draws against Osasuna and Rubin Kazan in which they only managed to score one goal.
They play a Mallorca side though that hopes to spring a surprise.
“We have to play well defensively, make sure the game doesn’t open up at the start and if we take our chances then we can get something from the match,” said coach Gregorio Manzano.
On Sunday, Sevilla face a rejuvenated Villarreal side and are likely to have Frederic Kanoute and Adriano available after fitness scares.
Following a woeful start to the season under Ernesto Valverde, Villarreal have moved up the table with back-to-back wins in the league.
Valencia must recover their morale when they take on Zaragoza after letting a two-goal lead slip in the Europa League against Slavia Prague and returning to the Mestalla with only a draw.
Sporting Gijon meet Espanyol in what is expected to be a tightly fought match between two sides that have made surprisingly good starts to the season and are level on 13 points.