Barcelona 2 - 1 Villareal >>>> All Results
Ten-man Barcelona re-enforced their lead at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win over fourth-placed Villarreal at El Madrigal.
The hosts took lead just after the interval when Cani took advantage of some poor defending to chip the ball over Victor Valdes.
But two goals in 10 minutes, from Seydou Keita and then Thierry Henry, saw runaway league leaders Barca hit back before Gerard Pique was shown a red card for a second bookable offence.
Barcelona dominated from the start with Henry, in particular, causing trouble for the hosts on the left.
It was the Frenchman who had the lion's share of the chances in the first half, none better than after three minutes, when after a delightful touch by Lionel Messi took a through ball from Xavi right into the path of Henry, who thumped the ball straight at Diego Lopez despite having only the 'keeper to beat.
Henry came close again 10 minutes later when, having received the ball from Eric Abidal on the left wing, he sent a shot across the front of goal which just shaved the right post.
Villarreal's best, and in fact only, chance of the first half came just moments later but Guiseppe Rossi repeated Henry's trick, shaving the right post after releasing a shot just to the left of goal.
Barcelona quickly shut the door on any more Villarreal chances and just for good measure Sergi Busquets sent a bullet of a shot racing towards the top left hand corner of the net that almost beat Lopez, the Spaniard doing brilliantly well to tip the ball behind for a corner.
The frustration got worse for Barcelona just after the interval as Villarreal got themselves on the score sheet within minutes of returning to the field.
Cani ran off the back off Gerard Pique and with only the 'keeper to beat and the Spaniard calmly lifted the ball over Valdes, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Barcelona quickly hit back though when Villarreal were caught napping in defence with Alves putting in looping cross which Keita bravely headed home running straight at the approaching fists of Lopez.
Ten minutes later and Henry finally had the goal he had been threatening all night, toe-poking a Xavi cross home on a first touch volley to give Barca the lead.
The final 20 minutes of the match were characterised by fraying tempers as a number of yellow cards were shown to both sides, including an unlucky Pique who was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence when Villarreal substitute Kahveci Nihat made a meal of a challenge in the air.
Samuel Eto'o, very quiet by his standards throughout the match, seemed to have a decent penalty shout when he went down under a Gonzalo Javier Rodriguez challenge.
But Villarreal were left kicking themselves for failing to capitalise on their one-man advantage as first Nahi and then Diego Godin missed golden chances to grab the equaliser in injury time.
Deportivo Coruna 4-1 Recreative Huelva
Depor's Alberto Lopo stuck out a leg to divert Ze Castro's miscued shot inside the post after nine minutes and Sergio converted a penalty to double the lead in the 20th. Recre pulled one back with an Adrian Colunga penalty three minutes later but an excellent header from Rodolfo Bodipo restored Depor's two-goal lead just before the break. Brazilian defender Filipe broke away to add the fourth at the end.
Numancia 4-3 Real Valladolid
Jose Barkero volleyed Numancia in front on a counter-attack early on but Valladolid levelled through Swedish striker Henok Goitom in the 34th minute. Valladolid were on course for their fifth win in six when Angel Vivar Dorado and Goitom made it 3-1 in the second half before Numancia struck back. Javier del Pino pulled one back in the 79th minute, Carlos Aranda headed the equaliser in the 88th and in time added on Gorka Brit headed the winner at a free kick.
Osasuna 5-2 Getafe
Osasuna swarmed all over Getafe and Czech Republic midfielder Jaroslav Plasil scored at the far post in the seventh minute. Juanfran finished off a swift break in the 34th and Uruguayan Walter Pandiani and Iranian Javad Nekounam added two more before the break. Getafe's Roberto Soldado pulled one back in the 66th and a second at the end, either side of a tap-in from Osasuna's Hector Font. It was Osasuna's second win of the season only.
Racing Santander 1-1 Malaga
Malaga broke the deadlock with a sweeping passing move that ended with French striker Nabil Baha volleying a goal in the 38th minute. Juan Valera levelled for Racing with a header from a corner in the 67th and Malaga's Duda hit the post near the end.
Real Mallorca 0-0 Sevilla
Sevilla failed to lift themselves from their midweek exit from the UEFA Cup putting in a poor display against Mallorca, who ended a run of three straight defeats with this draw.
Sporting Gijon 1-0 Almeria
Sporting's Francisco Maldonado headed the game's only goal after 28 minutes increasing the pressure on Almeria boss Gonzalo Arconada. Almeria have one win from their last 10 matches.