Osasuna on top of Spanish league

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> David Lopez and Inaki Munoz scored a goal in each half Sunday, and Osasuna downed Espanyol 2-0 to regain the top spot in the Spanish league.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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David Lopez and Inaki Munoz scored a goal in each half Sunday, and Osasuna downed Espanyol 2-0 to regain the top spot in the Spanish league. Osasuna, which is 6-0 at home this season and enjoying its best ever start to a season, is two points ahead of defending champion FC Barcelona, which beat Real Sociedad 5-0 and moved into second place. Ronaldinho scores Ronaldinho scored two goals and midfielder Mark van Bommel, captain Carles Puyol and substitute Henrik Larsson added the others at Camp Nou stadium to extend Barcelona's unbeaten run to seven matches. "We played well, the result was good and the players are on form, so you'd say it was a perfect match for us," Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was quoted as saying by news agency Efe. Also, it was: Deportivo La Coruna 1, Getafe 0; Valencia 1, Racing Santander 1; Mallorca 1, Sevilla 1; Zaragoza 1, Malaga 1; Alaves 0, Cadiz 0; and Atletico Madrid 1, Villarreal 1. Osasuna has 21 points, while Barcelona has 19. Madrid, which beat Betis 2-0 on Saturday, is next with 18. Getafe and Celta, which drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, have 17 points each. Villarreal, Sevilla, Deportivo, Valencia and Sociedad are next with 16 points. Osasuna owed both its goals to mistakes by Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. The Cameroon international caught Lopez's cross from the left in the 29th minute but then stepped backward and was adjudged to have carried the ball across the goal line. Kameni received a yellow card for his protests. In the 70th, the goalkeeper's mis-kick allowed substitute Achille Webo to collect the ball and then pass for Munoz to net Osasuna's second goal. "We put in a lot of effort, our fans cheer us on although what we need is to greater consistency and better performances on the road," Osasuna coach Javier Aguirre said. Costa ejected Espanyol, which dropped to 19th place, had Brazilian midfielder Eduardo Costa ejected in the 78th minute for a second yellow card. Barcelona ended Sociedad's run of three straight victories and crowned a successful nine days during which it also gained shutout wins against Osasuna and Malaga. Van Bommel opened the scoring in the 18th minute when he jumped to volley home from the edge of the area from Ronaldinho's cross from the left. Ronaldinho doubled Barcelona's lead in the 36th with a fierce shot from just outside the area after playing a wall pass with van Bommel. The Brazilian forward then took his tally to six in the league this season from a free kick at the edge of the area on the hour. Sociedad midfielder Gari Uranga was ejected 10 minutes later after receiving a second yellow card. Puyol scored his first league goal since February 2002 when he delivered a powerful diving header from Sylvinho's corner in the 75th minute to extend Barcelona's lead. Larsson headed Sylvinho's cross at the far post to seal the victory in the 86th minute. Getafe suffered its third defeat in four games and appears to be slipping after its surprise success at the start of the season. Deportivo striker Diego Tristan headed in the lone goal from a cross by left back Joan Capdevila in the 24th minute. Valencia struggle Valencia was unable to get past Santander, even though its opponent was reduced to 10 men for the last half hour due to the ejection of Brazilian forward Felipe Melo for directing abuse at the assistant referee. Captain David Albelda scored with a spectacular long-range volley in the 13th minute, but Santander leveled 17 minutes later through striker David Aganzo. Atletico Madrid midfielder Jose Ignacio Zahinos opened the scoring against Villarreal with a long-range shot in the fifth minute. Villarreal defender Gonzalo Rodriguez was ejected 11 minutes later for a fierce tackle on Atletico captain Fernando Torres, and then goalkeeper Sebastian Viera was forced off through injury in the 30th. Atletico was also reduced to 10 men when substitute Peter Luccin was issued with a second yellow card in the 88th minute, 14 minutes after he entered the field. Villarreal forward Diego Forlan headed in the equalizer in the fourth minute of injury time. Struggling Mallorca opened the scoring against Sevilla in the 34th minute through striker Victor Casadesus, with the visitors' striker Kepa Blanco heading an equalizer four minutes later. Zaragoza drew for the seventh time in its 10 games. Brazilian striker Ewerthon netted from close range in the 11th minute and Portuguese forward Edgar Carvalho leveled for Malaga from distance in the 40th. Alaves moved up to 18th place, although its goalless draw with Cadiz kept the promoted team without a home win this season. (AP)

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