La Liga Round-Up
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Barcelona responded to Real Madrid once again as they stayed on course for the Spanish league title with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Malaga.
With arch enemies Real winning 2-1 on Saturday the pressure was on Frank Rijkaard's side, and they answered in emphatic fashion with two goals in each half.
Young stopper Oleguer opened the scoring after 21 minutes, and French winger Ludovic Giuly doubled Los Cules' advantage twelve minutes before the break.
The former Monaco man (pictured) then added a second with just over 20 minutes to go before Malaga were hampered further by Marcio Amoroso's dismissal.
The Catalan side completed the rout in injury time as midfielder Gerard got in on the act after coming on as a substitute, as Barca remain six points clear with five games to go.
Sevilla maintained their hold on third place with a good 3-1 win away at Athletic Bilbao.
Powerful striker Julio Baptista bagged a brace with a goal in each half, whilst young starlet Jesus Navas also scored before Bilbao claimed a consolation strike four minutes from time through Julen Guerrero.
Real Betis slipped up in their quest for the UEFA Champions League spots as they crashed 3-2 at home to Real Sociedad.
Sociedad took the lead after just five minutes through Mikel Labaka, although Betis hit back thanks to star winger Joaquin and top scorer Ricardo Oliveira before the visitors snatched a win with goals from Jose Barkero and Gari Uranga.
Valencia overtook Betis in the hunt for the European places thanks to a 2-0 win over Albacete.
The relegation struggler's efforts were undercut after an hour when Miguel Buades was dismissed for a second bookable offence, and Valencia capitalised with two goals in five minutes from Mista and Miguel Angulo.
Espanyol refused to cede ground as they also leap-frogged Betis, one point ahead of Valencia, after a 3-1 win over Real Zaragoza.
The home side never looked in trouble as they found themselves two up at the break thanks to strikes from Raul Tamudo and Maxi Rodriguez.
David Villa Sanchez hit back in reply for Zaragoza, although saw team mate Alvaro dismissed with ten minutes to go before Tamudo completed the scoring in injury time with his second.
Racing Santander picked up a vital three points to stave off relegation as they continued Deportivo's miserable season with a tremendous 4-1 win at the Riazor.
Albert Luque put the home side ahead after 20 minutes, and Deportivo remained ahead until the hour when a seven minute spell saw Santander net three times, through Javi Guerrero and a Yossi Benayoun brace.
The Israeli international then wrapped up his hat-trick with five minutes to go as Santander recorded a morale boosting win.
However Mallorca kept up pace as they stay nine points behind Santander after beating bottom of the table Numancia 2-1.
Mallorca claimed a two goal lead in a four minute spell after the break thanks to strikes from Victor Casadesus and Mark Iuliano, before Numancia halved the deficit with ten minutes to go through Carlos Merino.
Levante failed to relieve their relegation fears as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Getafe.
The home side climbed to thirteenth in the table thanks to a nineteenth minute Michel goal.
Click below for individual match summaries:
Ath Bilbao 1-3 Sevilla
Deportivo 1-4 Racing Santander
Espanyol 3-1 Real Zaragoza
Getafe 1-0 Levante
Malaga 0-4 Barcelona
Numancia 1-2 Mallorca
Real Betis 2-3 Real Sociedad
Valencia 2-0 Albacete