David Villa stars as Valencia thrash Villarreal; Atletico fry Gijon; Canales scores again for Racing; Mallorca maintain home fortress

Valencia 4 – Villareal 1 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) Ever Banega put Valencia in front after just six minutes with his first ever goal for the club which was a fine strike from the edge of the box. David Villa doubled the lead from the penalty spot just before the half hour. David Silva grabbed the third on 56 after some horrible defending and although Nilmar pulled one back for the “Yellow Submarine,” Villa claimed the fourth towards the end.

Atletico Madrid 3 – Sporting Gijon 2 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) Diego Forlan raced clear to give them the lead in the 13th minute but the good work was undone 20 minutes later when goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo clumsily felled Diego Castro in the penalty area. Castro picked himself up and sent Asenjo the wrong way to restore parity before Forlan nodded the ball into Assuncao’s path for the Brazilian midfielder to poke home in the 53rd minute. Teenage substitute Ibrahima Balde netted with an angled strike with 24 minutes remaining to make it 3-1 before Luis Moran scored in added time to set up a tense finale.

Malaga 1 – Getafe 0 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) Nabil Baha nodded home an 84th minute Jesus Gamez cross to give coach Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz revenge for their cup defeat.

Racing Santander 1 – Valladolid 1 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) The opening goal was a scrappy one, as Medunjanin’s near post corner was hacked into his own net by the unfortunate Pinillos. Racing equalised after the break when man-of-the-moment, 18-year-old Sergio Canales instinctively fired home a Pedro Munitis free-kick from inside the area.

Zaragoza 0 – Xerez 0 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) Two sides with a whole host of problems met at La Romareda but neither could grab a vital three points in their battle versus the drop.

Mallorca 2 – Deportivo La Coruna 0 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Mallorca leapfrogged Deportivo thanks to two goals in quick succession just after the break, Mario Suarez and Gonzalo Castro combining to cement fourth place in La Liga. This result makes it an incredible nine home wins in a row for the Barralets, a record equal with that of Real Madrid.

Almeria 1 – Tenerife 1 (La Liga, January 17, 2010) Juanlu Hens had given the visitors the lead less than two minutes in but Henok Goitom deservedly levelled for the hosts, who had Pablo Piatti sent off for two yellow cards, on the hour mark.