Primera Liga round-up
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Madrid slipped off the pace after a 1-1 draw at Getafe as Valencia thumped Espanyol.
Real Madrid slipped off the pace after a 1-1 draw at Getafe as Valencia boosted their hopes of claiming second spot after thumping Espanyol 4-0 at the Mestalla.
The second automatic UEFA Champions League berth is up for grabs and Real are vying with Valencia for that prize.
But they stuttered in the Madrid derby with Getafe as England captain David Beckham started the game on the bench.
Julio Baptista rattled the crossbar with a scorching drive on 12 minutes for Real, but Getafe duo Riki and Mariano Pernia were denied by visiting keeper Iker Casillas.
Brazil international Baptista, playing in a defensive midfield role, came close to breaking the deadlock on 27 minutes, but his shot was cleared off the line by Ruben Pulido.
Baptista's persistence finally paid off on 61 minutes when he finished clinically after Getafe appealed in vain for handball in the build-up to the goal.
Getafe, though, were more than a match for their illustrious visitors as Casillas had to make smart stops from Pulido and Daniel Guiza, while Riki also missed a golden opportunity.
The home side's equaliser arrived on 83 minutes when Real reject Manuel Tena glanced home a free kick from the left by Cosmin Contra.
Real almost undeservedly snatched the points at the death when Baptista struck the post after the ball broke loose in the penalty area.
Valencia's cause to finish second to Barcelona was helped by the convincing win over Espanyol, with David Villa breaking the deadlock with a 39th minute penalty.
Roberto Ayala and Mista then scored in the space of three minute midway through the second half before Ruben Baraja wrapped up the win five minutes from time.
Osasuna's prospects of finishing fourth suffered a minor setback after a 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Malaga.
Francisco Punal's penalty on 31 minutes had Osasuna in command until Richard Morales equalised on 81 minutes. Malaga also had Salva sent off in the last minute.
Celta Vigo closed to within five points of Osasuna after an impressive 2-0 victory at Real Betis.
Jorge put Celta ahead on 17 minutes and the points were secured when Jesus Perara netted two minutes from the end.
Fernando Torres' 82nd minute goal was enough to earn Atletico Madrid a 1-0 home success over Athletic Bilbao.
Cadiz revived their chances of survival after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Real Zaragoza, who had forged ahead on 19 minutes through Savio.
Lucas Lobos' penalty on 43 minutes drew Cadiz level and the winner arrived two minutes into the second half through Matias Pavoni.