Week 17 was one of returns,debuts, goals, and quite a dose of controversy.
Barcelona kept their 11-point advantage over their closes rival with a win over Mallorca marred in controversy. Although it was not their best performance of the season, the blaugrana came out on top and put the Mallorcans in the relegation zone. Artiz Aduriz opened the scoring for the home side in the first half but Thierry Henry equalized 15 minutes later. Spanish international Andrés Iniesta made his return to the lineup and would be involved in the mos controversial non-call of the weekend. Replays showed that Eidur Gudjohnsen was clearly offside when he touched the ball but line judge and referee did not call it. the Islandic international would pass it to Iniesta who put the ball past Germán Lux. Yaya Touré scored in injury time on a brilliant individual play and shot that beat Lux with a rocket to the near post.
Sevilla could not hold on to second place when Walter Pandiani rifled home the equalizer in the 91st minute. This is a crucial point on the road for Osasuna who remain in the cellar.
Nikola Zigic scored on his return to Racing Santander. El Gigantón would strike for Racing in the 66th minute at Valladolid. The win put them a point behind Getafe.
El Pentapichichi made his return to Spain. After a disastrous spell as coach of the Mexican national team, Hugo Sánchez had winning debut with Almería 1-0 against Betis at the Ruiz de Lopera. For the team from Soria, it was their first win since November 16th, when they beat Mallorca 2-1 at the Son Moix.
Another successful debut was that of Lassana Diarrá with Real Madrid on Sudnay. In what promised to the marquee matchup of the weekend, Diarrá along with Arjen Robben offense and Iker Casillas on defense were the difference for a resurgent Real Madrid against a fading Villarreal side at the Bernabéu. The Dutch international scored with a brilliant shot that was set up by a Diarrá pass just outside the box giving Madrid enough for the three points at home. Villarreal in the meantime, were knocked out of Cup standings. This was thanks to the win by Deportivo against Getafe 2-1. This means that they are currently in sixth place and have put themselves in the race for a European Cup spot.
One of the surprise teams of the season, Málaga earned three points against a battered Sporting side, who are now fading after a streak that put them at the top half of the standings for a few weeks.
Valencia were able to overcome two disallowed goals in the first ten minutes of the match to beat a tepid Atlético 3-1 at Mestalla.
BAR: Henry (30′), Iniesta (75′), Yaya Touré (90’+2′)
MLL: Aduriz (14′)
VAL: David Villa (33′), Silva (38′, 69′)
ATM: Forlán (45′ pk)
MAD: Robben (17′)
RAC: Zigic (64′)
REC: Javi Fuego (17′), Camuñas (46′), Aitor (60′)
NUM: Brit (90’+4′)
ATB: Iraola (81′)
ESP: Hurtado (36′)
ALM: Corona (34′)
SEV: Jesús Navas (50′)
OSA: Pandiani (90’+1′)
GET: Manu del Moral (15′)