Nihat the hero for Sociedad
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sociedad were made to work hard to see off a battling Villarreal side, but Nihat struck on 36 minutes to seal the win and preserve the only unbeaten record in Spain`s top division.
A first professional goal by Fernando Navarro rescued a point for Barcelona from their trip to Racing Santander.
Navarro popped up to head home from a free-kick late in the game to save the Catalan side`s blushes.
Javi Guerrero`s headed goal inside the opening minute for Racing looked as if it would start Barca on the road to yet another Black November, but Navarro netted to save Louis van Gaal`s side.
Defeat would have been hard on Barca, as they made the running and created a whole host of chances.
Patrick Kluivert was denied by keeper Jose Ceballos on more than one occasion, while Juan Roman Riquelme dragged a great chance wide when well placed.
Second-half goals by Arzu and a brace from Fernando gave Real Betis a 3-0 win over Malaga that moves them onto the heels of the leaders.
Arzu netted the opener after Malaga failed to clear a free-kick, while the second again came courtesy of a defensive error as Fernando tapped home from close range. The third came from the penalty spot as Denilson was felled inside the box.
Valencia are three points adrift of Sociedad, and they registered a 1-0 away win over Espanyol - with Fabio Aurelio proving to be the hero for the champions.
A late fightback from Athletic Bilbao sunk Celta Vigo, who held the lead for a large chunk of the match through Edu. Joseba Etxeberria smashed the ball home on 80 minutes and Ismael Urzaiz sent the home fans wild with an injury-time headed goal.
A penalty five minutes from time by David Cubillo earned Recreativo Huelva their first win of the season, over Osasuna.
A fantastic late volley from Ruben Navarro gave Alaves a priceless win over Sevilla - a victory that leapfrogs them over the visitors.
To view a match summary, click on a link below.
For La Liga table click here