Sociedad blow title race wide open
By Planetfootball.com Staff
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Basque outfit are now level with second placed Deportivo La Coruna and both are just three points behind Madrid at the summit.
Sociedad started the game like a train and took the lead after three minutes with a great move.
Left back Agustin Aranzabal broke into the Real box and beat Fernando Hierro with ease before unselfishly squaring the ball back for Darko Kovacevic who converted from six yards out, with Iker Casillas already beaten.
The former Sheffield Wednesday star then grabbed his and Real's second after 19 minutes following some good work from Javier de Pedro.
The game then took an amazing twist with three goals in less than two minutes.
Turkish star Nihat Kahveci then made it 3-0 on 32 minutes, but Ronaldo was set up by Zinedine Zidane just over a minute later to bring Real back into the game.
Sociedad then restored their two-goal advantage with a fourth just 40 seconds after Ronaldo's effort.
Midfielder star Xabi Alonso smashed an amazing effort from 25 yards to send the homes fans wild.
Madrid were shell-shocked and knew they had missed the chance to kill off Sociedad's title dreams - who could have increased their lead after the interval with Kovacevic and Nihat both missing good chances.
With just six minutes remaining substitute Javier Portillo was set up by Raul to make it 4-2, but it was far too little, far too late for Vicente Del Bosque's outfit.
Recreativo Huelva have taken a major step in avoiding relegation back to La Segunda Liga following a 1-0 home victory over fellow strugglers Alaves.
Javi Garcia's (pictured) winner four minutes into the match at Estadio Nuevo Colombino was enough to pull Recre level on points with Alaves and Osasuna.
The win gives the home side a real chance of staying in Spain's top-flight, with the club spending much of the season at the foot of the table.
Recre and Alaves seem set for a relegation dog-fight but the Huelva outfit should take plenty of confidence from taking three points off one of their fellow strugglers on Sunday.
Espanyol remain entrenched in the relegation dog-fight after they conceded two goals in the last four minutes at Vicente Calderon, which gave Atletico Madrid a 3-3 draw.
Spanish international Raul Tamudo opened the scoring after 24 minutes and then the home crowd were well and truly silenced when Alberto Lopo made it 2-0 on the hour mark.
Luis Garcia gave Atletico hope when he scored on 74 minutes, but Espanyol again defied their lowly league position when they restored their two-goal advantage just two minutes later through Cyril Domoraud.
Atletico central defender Misrad Hibic then gave his side hope when he made it 3-2 with just four minutes remaining.
A remarkable comeback for Atletico was then sealed when former international midfielder Carlos Aguilera scored in the final seconds.
The Barcelona outfit will be desperately disappointed to have lost the game, as a win would have put them clear of the relegation zone, whilst the point keeps Atletico in touch for a European spot.
The San Moix also witnessed a six-goal thriller as Mallorca came from behind to grab a point against Racing Santander.
In a frantic opening to the game, three goals went in within seven minutes, as Rodolfo Bodip (1) and Javi Guerrero`s (7 pen) goals for Racing sandwiched an effort from Alberto Riera (2).
Racing looked to have sealed all three points as Bodipo made it 3-1 just before the break.
Pablo Casar was then dismissed at the beginning of the second period and that put Racing on the back foot and the pressure eventually told.
Cameroonian star Samuel Eto'o proved the hero for the Mallorcan faithful as he helped himself to a brace (33 & 88) which gave Real a share of the spoils.
Celta Vigo closed in on a possible Champions League qualifying place with a hard fought win over Real Betis.
Russian Alexander Mostovoi grabbed the only goal of the game at Estadio Balaidos after just 14 minutes.
Malaga left it late at La Rosaleda to secure a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid.
Manuel Canabal put them ahead with just three minutes remaining and that proved enough.
Valladolid lost their heads late on and were reduced to nine men when David Aganzo and Gonzalo Colsa were both dismissed in the final few minutes.
Malaga now find themselves in ninth place - above Barcelona - and within touching distance of a Uefa Cup place.
Bottom of the table Rayo Vallecano grabbed a late equaliser to gain a crucial point at home to Athletic Bilbao.
Ismael Urzaiz had put the Basque side ahead with just 15 minutes remaining and looked to have given them all three points.
However, Rayo came back and Elvir Bolic scored in the 85th minute to seal a share of the spoils.
The point means that Rayo are still within three points of climbing out of the relegation zone, whilst Bilbao remain in tenth.
The final game of the day saw Valencia remain in fourth place with a 1-0 win over lowly Osasuna.
The home side had been reduced to ten men in the very first minute when Carlos Marchena was dismissed.
Valencia still managed to grab the lead and eventual winner when Mista scored just five minutes later.
Click below for match summaries:
Atletico Madrid 3-3 Espanyol
Celta Vigo 1-0 Real Betis
Malaga 1-0 Real Valladolid
Mallorca 3-3 Racing Santander
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Real Sociedad 4-2 Real Madrid
Recreativo 1-0 Alaves
Valencia v Osasuna
Click here for an updated La Liga table.