Primera Liga round-up
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona took control of La Liga with a 3-0 victory at home to Recreativo.
Barcelona took control of La Liga with a 3-0 victory at home to Recreativo as Valencia slipped up at Racing Santander.
The two sides started the day level on points at the summit, but the reigning champions are now out on their own.
After a sluggish start against Recreativo at Camp Nou, Barcelona took the lead on 27 minutes from the penalty spot.
Mario was adjudged to have tugged back Eidur Gudjohnsen and Ronaldinho rammed home the spot kick.
Ronaldinho then teed up Rafael Marquez from a free kick, with the Mexican's shot taking a nasty bounce off the pitch.
Visiting keeper Bertrand Laquait did well to get behind the effort before Ludovic Giuly put the rebound over.
Laquait also had to be alert to rush from his line to close down Gudjohnsen, who lifted Xavi's excellent pass just wide of the post.
On 57 minutes, Ronaldinho scored his second goal when he connected with his head at the far post from Silvinho's superb cross.
Just three minutes later and it was 3-0 as Xavi headed back across goal and into the net from Belletti's right-wing centre.
Ronaldinho was denied a hat-trick when Laquait turned away his free kick and the Recreativo keeper produced a smart stop from Giuly in injury time.
Valencia finished the game with 10 men as the Che suffered a second defeat of the season in losing 1-0 in Santander.
Pedro Munitis scored the only goal on 56 minutes, while Valencia had Mario Regueiro sent off in injury time.
Real Madrid took Valencia's spot in second place after coming from behind to beat lowly Gimnastic 3-1 away from home.
Gimnastic took the lead on 28 minutes after Abel converted a penalty following Fabio Cannavaro's foul on Ariza Makukula.
Roberto Carlos' deflected free kick a minute before half time drew Real level and Ivan Helguera's header five minutes into the second half put the visitors in front.
With five minutes left, Real wrapped up the points after a patient build-up was rounded off by a superb volleyed finish from Robinho.