Barca beats Xerez; Real survives Zaragoza scare; Valencia edge Depor

Zaragoza 1 – Real Madrid 2 (La Liga, April 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Zaragoza held Real Madrid to a goalless first half (highlights here) at the Riazor. Los Blancos took the lead five minutes into the second half when Raul snuck the ball into the near post. The Galacians were then reduced to 10-men when defender Matteo Contini picked up his marching orders in the 52nd minute. But against the odds the hosts levelled soon after, Perez Adrian Colunga raced through the middle, rounded Casillas and slipped his shot into the empty net. Eight minutes from time Ricky Kaka netted Real’s second and winner, the Brazilian playmaker slipping the ball into the far post.

Barcelona 3 – Xerez 1 (La Liga, April 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) After losing his footing in the build-up, Barca midfielder Jeffren Suarez did brilliantly to get back on his feet, beat his marker and scored a beauty against Xerez. The champions-elect then moved 2-ahead after 24 minutes when a slick attack was finished off by Thierry Henry from close range. The basement-club got a foothold in the game a minute later when Mario Bermejo rattled home a beauty high into the near post. After his pitiful performance in the Champions League last week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic went some way to repairing his reputation in Barcelona by claiming the third 10 minutes into the second half. In the last minute Xerez were reduced to ten men with Alustiza seeing red for a hack on Messi. Shortly after Orellana saw another red for Xerez for an off the ball kick on Bojan.

Valencia 1 – Deportivo La Coruna 0 (La Liga, April 24, 2010) Valencia edged to a 1-0 win over Deportivo at the Mestalla thanks to a David Villa penalty.