La Liga round-up
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
David Beckham scored as Real Madrid cut Barcelona's lead with victory at Numancia.
Real Madrid once again reduced Barcelona's lead at the top to seven points with a hard-fought 2-1 win at basement boys Numancia.
However, Los Merengues were forced to ride their luck in a game often dictated by the icy conditions underfoot.
Indeed, Real were indebted to goalkeeper Iker Casillas who kept out a first-half Luis Tevenet penalty with the scores level after Ivan Helguera had been penalised for a foul on Miguel Lopez.
Real moved ahead on 63 minutes when David Beckham curled home a trademark free-kick, and seemed to have sewn up the points when Michel Salgado finished off a counter-attack with seven minutes left.
Valencia lost further ground on the top two after a home draw with Athletic Bilbao, but were ultimately thankful for a point.
Claudio ranieri's men found themselves two down with just 17 minutes remaining after goals from Andoni Iraola (penalty) and Santiago Ezquerro.
Mista reduced the arrears with a little over a quarter of an hour left, and Italian Marco di Viao restored parity with ten minutes to go.
However, Lopez did pull one back with just two minutes remaining to ensure a nervy finale.
Villarreal's excellent recent form continued as they hammered Real Sociedad 4-0 to move into sixth spot in La Primera.
The Yellow Submarines have now won four league games on the spin since the winter break, and Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan was once again to the fore at the Anoeta.
Forlan, who so notoriously struggled for goals during his spell at Manchester United, bagged two more to take his tally to 13 this season - and move to second in the Pichichi charts.
Forlan opened the scoring on 57 minutes against Sociedad and, after Juan Roman Riquelme had added a second a quarter of an hour from time, he ended the game as a contest with his second on 81 minutes.
Jose Mari put a real gloss on the scoreline in the final minute as Sociedad crashed to their fifth successive loss.
Espanyol and Real Betis shared the points after an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Estadio Olimpico de Montjuic.
After Marcos Assuncao had cancelled out Ivan de la Pena's opener, Espanyol seemed set for the points when Raul Tamudo converted a penalty nine minutes from time.
However, Fernando popped up six minutes later to earn the visitors a share of the spoils.
Deportivo La Coruna were indebted to Sergio whose late strike gave them a point from their trip to Osasuna, Depor defender Pablo Amo will be especially relieved as it was his own-goal that handed Osasuna the lead on 64 minutes.
Mallorca gained a crucial win over fellow strugglers Getafe and breathed renewed life into their bid to beat the drop.
Luis Garcia was the hero for The Islanders, grabbing a brace, and a further effort from Venezuelan Juan Arango ensured that Yordi's goal was no more than a consolation.
Real Zaragoza ground out a narrow victory over Malaga at the Romareda courtesy of Ruben Cani's strike on the quarter hour mark.
Racing Santander and Levante shared the points after a 2-2 draw.
Javi Guerrero edged Racing ahead on the stroke of half-time, but goals from Nacho (53) and Juanma (60) turned the game on its head by the hour mark.
However, Racing snatched an important point when David Aganzo converted from the penalty spot on 75 minutes.
Espanyol 2-2 Real Betis
Mallorca 3-1 Getafe
Osasuna 1-1 Deportivo
Racing 2-2 Levante
Real Sociedad 0-4 Villarreal
Real Zaragoza 1-0 Malaga
Numancia 1-2 Real Madrid
Valencia L-L Athletic Bilbao
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