Alves sent off as Espanyol hold Barcelona in Catalan derby; Sevilla thrash Sporting; Villarreal edge Atletico

Espanyol 0 – Barcelona 0 (La Liga, April 17, 2010) Espanyol halted Barcelona’s title charge with a dogged display against their local rivals. Victor Valdes continued his impressive campaign with a crucial save just before the break. Barcelona’s chances of claiming all three points took a nose dive on the hour when Dani Alves was sent off.

Sevilla 3 – Sporting Gijon 0 (La Liga, April 17, 2010) Freddie Kanoute’s seventh minute header put Sevilla in front against Gijon, and the visitors’ woes worsened just after the half hour when Mate Bilic picked up a second yellow card. A clinical Luis Fabiano header in the 53rd minute doubled Sevilla’s lead and, after Diaz collected his marching orders for Gijon for a second yellow too, Cala bagged a third to wrap up the points.

Villarreal 2 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, April 17, 2010) Diego Godin’s back-heel flick from a corner put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute. Giuseppe Rossi increased the lead when he poked the ball in after a goalmouth scramble in the 44th minute, with the Atletico defence having stopped when they thought a penalty had been awarded. Atletico forward Sergio Aguero cut the deficit in the 63rd minute when he ran onto Jose Antonio Reyes’ lobbed pass, chested the ball down, and shot past Diego Lopez.