La Liga: Real Madrid win thriller at Valencia; Ibrahimovic controversially wins the Catalan derby; Bilbao win at Zaragoza

Valencia 2 – Real Madrid 3 (La Liga, December 12, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Two goals from Gonzalo Higuain were cancelled out by David Villa and Joaquin, but Ezequiel Garay scored the crucial winner at the Mestalla as Real laid down their championship credentials.

Barcelona 1 – Espanyol 0 (La Liga, December 12, 2009) Barcelona broke the deadlock in the Catalonia derby against Espanyol when they home team were awarded a soft penalty when Xavi fell in the box, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his fabulous goalscoring season with a decisive spot-kick. (First half highlights here.)

Zaragoza 1 – Athletic Bilbao 2 (La Liga, December 12, 2009) 16-year-old Iker Muniain came off the bench just before the hour and his cross three minutes later was weighted perfectly for on-loan Liverpool defender Mikel San Jose to power a header into the top corner past goalkeeper Javier Lopez Vallejo. Markel Susaeta netted the Basque club’s second with nine minutes left after picking up Muniain’s precise through ball before defender Carlos Diogo struck from distance for the home side in added time.