La Liga Round-Up
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Madrid remain seven points behind Barcelona after a 3-1 win over Mallorca.Real Madrid remain seven points behind leaders Barcelona after a 3-1 win over struggling Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A Luis Figo penalty and late strikes from Walter Samuel and Santiago Solari were enough to give Los Galacticos all three points, despite Campano scoring with a fine free kick in the first half for Mallorca.
Real dominated possession throughout the first half, though Samuel needed attention for a severe nose cut after a clash of heads with Mallorca striker Bernardo Romeo.
Ronaldo then had two chances at goal, with Mallorca goalkeeper Miguel Moya stopping his first attempt before the Brazilian struck wide with right footed shot after receiving a pass from David Beckham.
The home side then took the lead from the penalty spot after Roberto Carlos was taken down by high challenge from Guillermo Pereyra just inside the box.
Figo stepped up to slot his right footed spot kick past Moya for 1-0.
However, the visitors would be level at the break after Campano whipped a right foot free kick around Real's two-man wall and despite Iker Casillas's attempt to keep it out, the ball found the near side of the net for 1-1.
The second half saw Real dominate with chances from Beckham, Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane while Campano nearly found the target again with another right foot free kick.
Mallorca were holding on at this stage and their cause was made more difficult when recent signing Mark Iuliano was sent off for a second bookable offence after cutting down Ronaldo in full stride with the ball.
With 11 minutes remaining, Mallorca's resistance was broken when Samuel poked home the ball after Beckham's low cross from the right came off the shins of Zidane in the box.
They sealed the result in the final stages when a fine run from Solari saw the Argentine strike left-footed past Moya to make it 3-1, as Real followed Barca's win on Saturday with one of their own on Sunday.
Valencia missed the chance to close their 12-point gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona after falling to a 3-1 defeat at Villarreal.
Argentine star Juan Roman Riquelme was Villarreal's hero on Sunday at El Madrigal, as his hat-trick gave the home side their third straight victory since their return from the Christmas break.
The on-loan Barcelona man opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 17 minutes before doubling Villarreal's lead on the stroke of half time.
Pablo Aimar scored a consolation for Che in the dying stages, but his compatriot Riquelme capped a fine performance with a second penalty strike to complete his hat-trick.
The home side did have Gonzalo Rodriguez sent off for a second bookable offence, but the result extends Villarreal's unbeaten run to nine matches in both domestic and European competition this term.
Sevilla are fourth after a 2-0 away win at struggling Albacete.
Renato opened the scoring for the Andalucian club nine minutes before the break before Antonito secured the points for the visitors with a second goal just before half time.
In-form Espanyol were brought crashing back down to earth with a 4-1 thumping at Deportivo La Coruna.
Javier Irureta's side have struggled for form this season, but they were too much for their high-flying opponents, with Jorge Andrade giving Depor the lead nine minutes in.
Fredson soon equalised for the Barcelona-based club on the quarter hour mark, but La Coruna restored their lead through Diego Tristan five minutes later.
Tristan then scored his second from the penalty spot moments after Espanyol were reduced to ten men when Mauricio Pochettino was sent off for serious foul play.
Juan Carlos Valeron sealed a fine win at the Riazor with a fourth goal for Depor ten minutes from time.
Real Betis heaped more misery on bottom club Numancia with a 4-0 win at the Ruiz de Lopera.
Juanito gave the Seville club the lead on the quarter hour mark before Marcos Assuncao made it two on 24 minutes.
Numancia were then reduced to ten men after Juan Ochoa was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Ricardo Oliveira then scored the first of his two goals on the stroke of half time before netting a second two minutes after the break.
Malaga moved out of the Primera Liga's relegation zone with an important 1-0 home win over Atletico Madrid at La Rosaleda.
Juan Rodriguez's strike with nine minutes remaining gave the Costa Del Sol club a vital win towards their hopes of staying in Spain's top-flight.
Getafe recorded an important win to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation, with a 3-0 home victory over Real Zaragoza.
First half goals from Yordi (12), Victoriano Nano (14) and Mario Cotelo (35) gave the Madrid club all three points.
Real Sociedad have been dragged back into a relegation dogfight after a 2-1 defeat at Levante.
Nacho gave the Valencia club the lead four minutes in before Edwin Congo made it two just after the break.
Nihat Kahveci pulled a goal back for the Basque club, but it was not enough to leave Sociedad still winless since the restart of the season after the winter break.
Click below for match summaries:
Albacete 0-2 Sevilla
Deportivo 4-1 Espanyol
Getafe 3-0 Zaragoza
Levante 2-1 Real Sociedad
Malaga 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Betis 4-0 Numancia
Real Madrid 3-1 Mallorca
Villarreal 3-1 Valencia
Click here for the Primera Liga table.