MADRID - Malaga missed the chance to join
Andalusian neighbours Real Betis at the top of La Liga when they
were held to a 0-0 draw at Real Zaragoza on Sunday.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, the former Manchester United and Real
Madrid striker who joined the ambitious Qatar-owned club in the
close-season, had Malaga's best chance early in the first half
but was denied by goalkeeper Roberto.
The south-coast side have 10 points from five matches, level
with Real Madrid and Valencia and one behind champions
Barcelona, Levante and Sevilla.
Promoted Betis, the surprise early pace-setters, can stretch
their lead at the top to four points when they play at Getafe on
Unbeaten Levante, who stunned Real Madrid 1-0 at their
Estadi Ciutat de Valencia earlier this month, won 3-1 earlier on
Sunday at home to Espanyol, who had two players sent off in the
Real Mallorca fought back to beat visiting Real Sociedad
2-1, promoted Granada drew 1-1 with Osasuna and Sporting Gijon
drew 0-0 at home to Racing Santander.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo netted trebles as Messi's
Barcelona and Ronaldo's Real Madrid returned to winning ways in
style on Saturday.
Real had a scare at their Bernabeu stadium when city
neighbours Rayo Vallecano took a shock lead with a goal timed by
local television at 12 seconds.
However, Ronaldo's hat-trick, which included two penalties,
and strikes from Gonzalo Higuain, substitute Karim Benzema and
teenage defender Raphael Varane gave Jose Mourinho's side a
resounding 6-2 victory.
Barca then thrashed Atletico Madrid 5-0 at the Nou Camp,
with World Player of the Year Messi's typically brilliant treble
coming after David Villa had opened the scoring and Atletico
defender Joao Miranda had diverted the ball into his own net.
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