Barca and Real grab wins in Spain
Barcelona and Real Madrid grabbed 1-0 wins at Getafe and Recreativo Huelva on Saturday to leave the gap in the Primera Liga at six points. Barca were up first and claimed the points courtesy of Lionel Messi's close-range strike in 19th minute in heavy rain at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. That briefly took Pep Guardiola's side nine points clear at the top, but the lead was cut back to six as Madrid responded in kind at the Estadio Nuevo Colombino. Marcelo scored the only goal of the game four minutes after the break. Atletico Madrid continued their push for a Champions League spot by netting three times in the final half-hour to see off struggling Numancia 3-0 at a rain-swept Vicente Calderon. Two weeks after incurring the wrath of their own fans with a home defeat to Osasuna, Atletico battled their way to an important victory thanks to strikes from Ever Banega, Diego Forlan and Simao Sabrosa. Banega broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute just minutes after appearing off the bench, and then late goals from Forlan and Simao sealed the win that lifts Atletico provisionally up to fourth place ahead of Sunday's games. Nunez Pablo Alvarez scored a late winner for Deportivo La Coruna at Athletic Bilbao to keep their hopes of making Europe next season alive with a 1-0 victory. Real Mallorca earned another valuable point in their bid to secure La Liga survival with a creditable 1-1 draw at high-flying Malaga. Following a largely forgettable first half with few chances for either side, Malaga took the lead after 53 minutes through Apono. But Mallorca hit back just six minutes later with a free-kick from captain Juan Arango and held on nervously at the end to move a point closer to survival.
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