Narrow wins for Real Madrid, Barcelona & Sevilla in La Liga

Malaga 0 – Real Madrid 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Juande Ramos’ side kept the pressure on thanks to a fine run and finish from Gonzalo Higuain five minutes into the second half.

Valladolid  0 – Barcelona 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Away at Valladolid, it took Barca until the 40th minute to break the deadlock when Samuel Eto’o played a one-two before firing in the opener. (First half highlights here.)

Recreativo Huelva 0 – Sevilla 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Freddie Kanoute was once again the match-winner for Sevilla scoring on the half hour from the spot after Renato was felled in the box.

Almeria 3 – Villarreal 0 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Alvaro Negredo inspired Almeria to victory, Negredo netted his 17th of the campaign after seven minutes and set up Pablo Piatti and Jose Mane for two more before halftime. He hit the post after the restart just before Villarreal were reduced to 10-men when Robert Pires collected his second yellow card.

Athletic Bilbao 2 – Mallorca 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Bilbao took the lead in the fifth minute as Francisco Yeste scored from the penalty spot. Mallorca hit back on 72 minutes through Jose Jurado, but Bilbao pinched the points as Javi Martinez scored with six minutes left to play.

Betis 3 – Numancia 3 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Betis took the lead after 10 minutes courtesy of Sergio Garcia, but Numancia were back on level terms five minutes before halftime thanks to Carlos Aranda. Jose Barkero put the visitors the lead with a 77th minute penalty after Marcos Nelson was red carded for a deliberate handball, but Betis levelled in the 85th minute as Jesus Capi scored. Numancia had Manuel Castro sent off for a second booking with two minutes remaining, and Beits capitalised as Ricardo Oliveira struck from the spot in the 90th minute. Numancia though hit back, as Betis keeper Alexandre Ricardo was dismissed late on and Aransa converted from the spot in the fifth minute of stoppage time.