La Liga round-up
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Galicians appeared to be heading for a win which would have moved them to within three points of second-placed Real Madrid, but were stunned by a late equaliser from Javi Guerrero (pictured).
The hosts had moved ahead three minutes before the interval when the in-form Albert Luque bagged his fourth goal in five matches with a well-struck free kick.
The goal came somewhat against the run of play, and Racing's performance in the second period merited some reward.
They were provided it with 11 minutes remaining when Guerrero silenced the Riazor with a spectacular strike after being fed by Anderson Silva.
Atletico Madrid moved back into fourth spot as Fernando Torres helped himself to his tenth and 11th goals of the season against Athletic Bilbao.
The Spanish international striker once again underlined his undoubted predatory instincts as the capital club recorded an emphatic 3-0 win.
Bilbao did have the chance to take the lead with a dubious penalty, but Yeste blasted over from the spot after Ismael Urzaiz was adjudged to have been impeded in the box.
The hosts were made to wait for their breakthrough, but finally broke the stalemate on 74 minutes when Torres rose majestically to head home a free kick from man-of-the-match Ariel Ibagaza.
The 19-year-old's second arrived ten minutes later as he converted his fifth penalty of the season following a foul by Luis Prieto on Kiki Musampa.
Substitute Veljko Paunovic capped off a fine second half display by Atletico by nodding home Carlos Aguilera's pinpoint cross from close range in the dying seconds to complete a satisfying night for Gregorio Manzano's men.
Barcelona got back to winning ways by comfortably seeing off Zaragoza 3-0 at Camp Nou, and moved back into the top half.
The Catalans responded well to last weekend's defeat at Racing and were never in trouble once Javier Saviola had headed a first-half opener from Andres Iniesta's centre.
The hosts doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Ronaldinho stroked home a penalty after Luis Garcia had been tripped in the box.
Xavi put a gloss on the scoreline by tapping into an empty net midway through the second half after a deflection had wrong-footed Zaragoza keeper Cesar Lainez.
Osasuna left it late to grab a point from their home clash with Sevilla, with Pablo Garcia firing in a free kick with just seven minutes left.
Sevilla had moved ahead just after the restart when Brazilian midfielder Julio Baptista had raced on to a German Hornos through ball to fire home.
The draw allowed Villarreal to climb ahead of Osasuna and into fifth spot after a 3-1 triumph over Valladolid.
The Yellow Submarines clinched the win with two late strikes though the game turned on the sending off of Valladolid defender Julio Cesar midway though the second half.
Jose Mari put Villarreal ahead on 39 minutes with a header from a Juan Roman Riquelme cross, but Ariz Makukula restored parity on 65 minutes.
Cesar then saw red just a minute later for two bookable offences which ultimately proved crucial.
Victor restored the hosts' lead with 17 minutes remaining and former Barcelona star Roger settled matters with a fine volleyed strike ten minutes later.
Real Betis eased their relegation fears with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Malaga thanks largely to a second half Joaquin brace.
Alfonso, making his first appearance after a lengthy lay-off through injury, opened the scoring for Los Verdiblancos on seven minutes with a deflected strike.
Spanish international winger Joaquin added a second after a rapid counter-attack shortly after the interval, and claimed a second on the hour mark when he saw a cross deflect in off the unfortunate Marcelo Romero.
Espanyol climbed off the bottom of La Primera after an invaluable win against fellow strugglers Murcia who replace them at the foot of the table.
Argentine Maxi Rodriguez was the hero for Luis Fernandez's troops, capitalising on some poor defending from the hosts to claim the decisive goal just ten minutes in.
Murcia's cause was not aided by the sending off of Jose Luis Acciari a quarter of an hour later, and Espanyol held on for a crucial win.
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona 3-0 Real Zaragoza
Deportivo 1-1 Racing
Murcia 0-1 Espanyol
Osasuna 1-1 Sevilla
Real Betis 3-0 Malaga
Villarreal 3-1 Valladolid
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