La Liga round-up

Scrappy Real win, Getafe fightback

December 19, 2010

Real Madrid stayed two points behind Barcelona as they won a scrappy game with Sevilla 1-0. In a game littered with yellow cards, Ricardo Carvalho was sent off, but Angel Di Maria struck in the second half to give Real the win.

Angel Di Maria
GettyImagesAngel Di Maria struck the winner.

Di Maria scored in the 77th minute after Madrid had been reduced to 10 men following Carvalho's 63rd-minute dismissal, and that proved to be the only goal of the game as Jose Mourinho's men trimmed Barcelona's lead at the summit back.

Sevilla, who have now lost five in succession in La Liga, also finished the match without their full quota of players after Mouhamadou Dabo was dismissed in stoppage time for a straight red card.

Aside from the two dismissals, referee Carlos Clos Gomez also showed 12 yellow cards - nine to Madrid players - in a game with plenty of ill feeling, while the backroom staff on the two benches also vented their anger at each other towards the end of the first half.

Getafe came from two goals down to beat struggling Almeria 3-2 and keep their hopes of a return to European competition well on track.

Kalu Uche headed home unmarked from Albert Crusat's cross to give the home side the lead after seven minutes and Leonardo Ulloa made it two halfway through the first period, when he pounced on a loose ball to fire past Jordi Codina from close range.

Ulloa wasted a good chance to make it 3-0 moments later, and was left to rue that miss as Getafe pulled a goal back after 29 minutes. It was scored by the excellent Manu del Moral, who burst into the area and was left unmarked to slot home and bring the visitors back into it.

After the break, they soon levelled as a rebound in the Almeria area fell to Miku, who slid the ball underneath Diego Alves to make it 2-2. Alves kept his side on level terms with two good saves after that, but Manu beat two defenders to set up Derek Boateng for a back-heeled winner from close range with 20 minutes left.

Two goals by Tiago saw Atletico Madrid stroll to an emphatic 3-0 victory to leave Malaga in dreadful relegation trouble in La Liga.

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will be especially disappointed with the manner of Atletico's goals which were all characterised by non-existent defending. Tiago put the visitors ahead in the first half before turning to creator as he provided the cross Alvaro Dominguez nodded home before the former wrapped up victory.

Osasuna had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to bottom-of-the-table Zaragoza, despite dominating the league clash practically from start to finish.

The Pamplona-based side created virtually all of the best chances in a one-sided encounter, but were denied on several occasions by Zaragoza keeper Leo Franco, who was in fine form.

Nelson, Fernando Soriano and Juanfran Torres all came close to breaking the deadlock in the first 45 minutes, but Osasuna were unable to find a way past Franco.