Barcelona clinched the mythical “winter title” after beating Villarreal at El Madrigal 2-1. The Catalans have earned 41 points and stretched their lead to double digits.The game was explosive in the first half despite no goal being scored. The fireworks came in the second courtesy of Cani who opened up the scoring in the 48th minute. Seydou Keita equalized seven minutes later and Thierry Henry put the blaugrana ahead volleying home a cross by Xavi in the 66th minute. Barca also suffered their first sending off of the season went Gerard Piqué was given his walking papers in a controversial collosion with Guille Franco. The loss extends The Yellow Submarine’s winless streak at home to five after having been unbeaten at home for close to a year.
Real Madrid stay alive after winning a tough match against a scrappy Valencia side. Gonzalo Higuaín scored in the third minute and it would be enough for the Merengues. The win put them ahead of Villarreal on goal differencial.
Meanwhile Atlético Madrid jumped into third place after winning a wild one against relegation-burdened Espanyol. Maxi Rodríguez earned a brace and Sergio Agüero continued his torrid pace.
Sevilla, even though they earned a scoreless draw against a struggling Mallorca side, were able to move up to second place- ten points behind leaders Barcelona.
MAD: Higuaín (3′)
ESP:Rodríguez (7′, 90’+1′), Agüero (82′)
ATM: Sánchez (58′), Valdo (90’+4′)
OSA: Plasil (6′), Juanfran (34′), Pandiani (41′),Nekounam (45′), Hector Font (81′)
GET: Soldado (65′, 90’+2′)
SPO: Maldonado (28′)
NUM: Barkero (13′), Del Pino (53′, 85′), Aranda (90’+
VLL: Goitom (35′, 76′),
DEP: Lopo (8′) , Sergio (19′), Bodipo (42′), Filipe Luis (90’+1′)
REC: Adrián (23′)
RAC: Baha (37′)
MAL: Valera (67′)
VIL: Cani (48′)
BAR: Keita (55′), Henry (66′)
ATB: Javi Martínez (42′)