Real and Barcelona in command of Liga

Oct 7, 2007 - 9:44 PM MADRID, Spain (Ticker) - Real Madrid and Barcelona are starting to pull clear at the top of Spain's Primera Liga after posting wins on Sunday.

Real needed second-half goals from Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gonzalo Higuain to see off battling Recreativo Huelva, 2-0, at the Bernabeu.

Frank Rijkaard's Barca sealed a 3-0 win at home to Atletico Madrid thanks to first-half goals from Deco and Lionel Messi, and a late Xavi strike.

Champions Real are two points clear of Barca who themselves have a two-point lead over Villarreal and Valencia.

Villarreal lost ground on the leading duo with a 3-2 reverse at Osasuna who finished the game with only nine men.

Giuseppe Rossi gave the yellow submarine an early lead but an own goal from Javi Venta and a strike from Eduardo Dady put the men from Pamplona in command.

Diego Godin hauled Villarreal level but Javi Garcia sealed the win for the hosts with 11 minutes to play and Osasuna defended the advantage despite the sendings-off in the closing minutes of Josetxo and goalkeeper Ricardo.

Sevilla continue to fall out of contention after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Deportivo La Coruna for whom Ivan Riki scored the goal.

Ten-man Real Mallorca produced another stirring fightback as struggling Getafe squandered a two-goal lead to slump to a fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday, losing 4-2.

Getafe looked set for a first league victory of the season when Francisco Sousa scored his second goal of the game just after halftime.

The lively Ariel Ibagaza pulled a goal back from the penalty spot shortly afterward, but when Guillermo Pereyra was shown a second yellow card Mallorca looked to be heading for their third league defeat of the campaign.

However, Gregorio Manzano's side prevailed thanks to a Juan Arango brace and a stoppage-time strike from Ivan Ramis.

Real Zaragoza moved up to eighth in the Primera Liga after an 3-0 win over basement boys Levante.

Sergio Garcia grabbed the first in the 64th minute before substitute Ricardo Oliveira bagged his third and fourth goals of the campaign to seal what was in the end a comfortable win.

Ten-man Athletic Bilbao held on for a 1-1 draw against Almeria despite a relentless second-half onslaught from the visitors.

Joseba Etxeberria put Athletic ahead after 32 minutes, but full-back Asier Del Horno was dismissed two minutes before the interval.

Felipe Melo levelled midway through the second half in a bad-tempered match which saw referee Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez issue seven yellow cards. Ebi Smolarek and Mohamed Tchite scored second-half goals as Racing Santander posted a 2-0 win against Real Valladolid.

Murcia and Real Betis shared a 0-0 draw while on Saturday Valencia lost 2-1 at home to Espanyol.

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