ALAVES REGAIN TOP SPOT
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Two goals from Ruben Navarro on 33 and 47 minutes was enough for last season's Uefa Cup finalists to climb above Real Madrid at the summit of the Primera Liga.
Alaves are now two points clear of Real and are showing no signs of their title challenge faltering.
Real Betis travelled to struggling Sociedad level on points with Alaves but were unable to break down the defence of the second bottom side, and had to settle for a goalless draw, and fourth place in the table.
Deportivo La Coruna moved into second spot with a tight 1-0 win over Valencia at the Riazor. Prolific striker Diego Tristan grabbed a 58th minute penalty to take all three points for the hosts. The closest Valencia came to grabbing an equaliser was through a Pablo Aimar free-kick that hit the side-netting.
Celta Vigo came from two goals down to grab a deserved 2-2 draw at Camp Nou against Barcelona, as both sides ended the game with ten men.
The home side continued their poor recent form despite going ahead in the fourth minute when Gabri's scuffed shot sneaked past goalkeeper and defenders into the far corner.
Javier Saviola then doubled their lead two minutes into the second half as he appeared to handle the ball past Celta keeper Pablo Cavallero before squeezing his shot into the corner.
Celta performed well throughout the game and deserved to get back into the game in the 72nd minute when substitute Sergi shinned the ball into his own net from Valery Karpin's cross.
Karpin was again involved when he volleyed a superb cross for Edu to dive in and head the equaliser six minutes before time.
Both team were then reduced to ten men as first Patrik Anderson was carried off following a heavy fall and then Karpin was shown a straight red card for a clash with Sergi, who appeared to go to ground far too easily.
Celta will be the happy of the two sides after the result, although in the end Barca will count themselves fortunate not to lose the game as Celta finished the stronger, but their poor form must be a worry to Carles Rexach.
Bottom side Rayo Vallecano were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Las Palmas despite playing against ten men for half of the game.
Angel Sanchez was dismissed a minute before half time for the visitors but Vallecano were unable to make their numerical advantage tell and could not break down the Canary Island side.
Villarreal and Espanyol played out a 1-1 draw after Raul Tamudo opened the scoring for the visitors after just three minutes. Javier Calleja equalised for the home side after 23 minutes and the game ended in a draw.
Mallorca had to come from a goal behind against Malaga after Fernando Nino scored a 29th minute own goal, with Miguel Nadal levelling the scores after 32 minutes.
Mariano Armentano scored an 84th minute winner for Osasuna against Valladolid as they earned a 1-0 home win.
Click below for match summaries.
Barcelona v Celta Vigo
Deportivo v Valencia
Mallorca v Malaga
Osasuna v Valladolid
Rayo Vallecano v Las Palmas
Real Sociedad v Real Betis
Zaragoza v Alaves
Villarreal v Espanyol
Click Here for league table