La Liga: Messi leads Barca at Deportivo; Ronaldo scores & gets sent off in Madrid win; Sevilla held; Joy for Atletico

Deportivo La Coruna 1 – Barcelona 3 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Barca went into the break at Depor all-square, Lionel Messi’s low drive had put the Catalans ahead but Adrian’s headed equaliser aided by a Valdes’ inability to keep the ball out the net, brought the hosts back level. With 11 minutes remaining Leo Messi struck again, this time the pocket-dynamo scored with a rare header in the box, and Barca wrapped up the points two minutes from time as Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed the visitors’ third.

Real Madrid 4 – Almeria 2 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Just after the half hour, Sergio Ramos rose highest to head Real Madrid into the lead from a Ronaldo cross. Two goals in four minutes around the hour mark from Fernando Soriano and Uche Kalu turned the game on its head and gave Almeria an unlikely lead. Gonzalo Higuain brought Los Blancos level with 18 minutes to go. The comeback was complete when Karim Benzema hit the third after Ronaldo had seen a penalty saved. Cristiano Ronaldo made up for the miss seconds later with the fourth only to get sent off to spoil a fine comeback win for the Galacticos.

Sevilla 1 – Valladolid 1 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) Manolo Jimenez’s side went behind after 33 minutes when Angola striker Manucho gave the visitors a surprise lead, but Valladolid found themselves a man down five minutes later after Borja Fernandez was sent off for a cynical lunge on Diego Perotti. Things then went from bad to worse for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side as they conceded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, and Luis Fabiano converted but Sevilla failed to find a winner.

Xerez 0 – Atletico Madrid 2 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) Diego Forlan put Atletico ahead in the 29th minute from Jose Antonio Reyes’ assist and Sergio Aguero made sure of victory by scoring in the 65th.