La Liga round-up
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona moved five points clear in La Liga after a narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol.Barcelona opened up a five-point gap at the top of La Primera after a narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
A tight and rather scrappy affair was settled by Deco's deflected strike after just nine minutes.
The Portugal international unleashed a 25-yard drive which clipped off Angel Morales and looped in over Carlos Kameni.
Espanyol had chances to get back on level terms, the best of which fell to former Barca star Ivan de la Pena.
The midfielder saw a free kick well saved by Victor Valdes, and shot narrowly wide after an interchange with Raul Tamudo.
Samuel Eto'o missed a glorious chance to double Barca's lead just three minutes after the interval, but chipped over when one-on-one with Kameni.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst then struck the bar with a delightful free kick, but Frank Rijkaard's men nearly let two points slip in the final minute.
Espanyol substitute Ferran Corominas struck a post after a scramble with Barca keeper Valdes, but the visitors survived to leave with maximum points.
Real Madrid lost more ground on the leaders after being held to a 1-1 draw at Real Betis.
It could have been worse for Real, but Ronaldo broke his goal drought to earn a share of the spoils after Ricardo Oliveira had opened the scoring.
Betis started the better of the two sides, but were relieved to see the linesman raise his flag on 27 minutes to chalk off Raul's header for offside.
Three minutes later the hosts hit the front when Oliveira swept home superbly from 15 yards after being played in by Fernando's cute pass.
Madrid introduced Michael Owen at the start of the second half, but the England striker once again failed to open his Real account.
However, Ronaldo restored parity on 65 minutes with a well-placed strike from the edge of the box to claim his first goal in almost 600 minutes of football.
Both sides had chances to win it with Oliveira firing wide, and Toni Prats then denying Zinedine Zidane with a fine save in the third minute of stoppage time.
Deportivo La Coruna's recent good form continued as they beat Getafe 2-1 to climb into the top half of the table, and above Real Madrid.
A goal in either half was enough for Javier Irureta's men, although they were given a late scare when Mario Cotelo pulled one back in the final minute.
Depor were dominant right from the early stages and moved ahead on 16 minutes.
Midfielder Sergio opened his account for the season with a fine effort from 25 yards that flew past Sergio Sanchez in the Getafe goal.
However, the hosts had to wait until 20 minutes from time to double their advantage and kill the game.
It was Victor who grabbed the second goal, converting a left-wing cross from Joan Capdevila.
Cotelo then fired home a sweet free-kick moments before the final whistle, but it proved too little too late.