Villarreal lead in Spain as Messi injures knee and Madrid draw blank

Madrid, Sep 28 (IANS) Villarreal ended match day six of the Spanish Primera Liga as leaders after a weekend with headlines dominated by the knee injury suffered by Barcelona striker Leo Messi and Real Madrid’s failure to score at home to Malaga.

Messi was carried off after eight minutes of Barca’s 2-1 win at home to Las Palmas which came thanks to two goals from Luis Suarez on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Barca had looked in control but Jonathan Viera’s late deflected goal following a bad error from Javier Mascherano provoked some last minute nerves in the Camp Nou which would have been avoided had Neymar not missed a penalty.

The bad news for Barca came when it was confirmed Messi has damaged knee ligaments and will be out of action for two months.

Malaga set a new record of six games at the start of the season (540 minutes) without scoring a single goal, but will nevertheless be pleased with a 0-0 draw against a misfiring Real Madrid.

Malaga had striker Norbert Amrabat sent off for violent conduct, but poor finishing from Real Madrid’s strikers and a fine display from goalkeeper, Carlos Kameni earned them a valuable point, as Madrid coach Rafael Benitez spoke of “nerves” from his attacking players

Messi’s injury distracted attention from the El Madrigal Stadium where Leo Baptistao’s 14th minute goal gave Villarreal a 1-0 win against a disappointing Atletico Madrid to send his side top of the table with 16 points from five games.

Celta Vigo could have gone top, but were held to a 1-1 draw away to Eibar with Iago Aspas scoring the goal which gave Celta a valuable point

The day kicked off with a combination of Antonio Adan’s saves and goals from Joaquin Sanchez and Ruben Castro giving Betis three points away to Sporting Gijon in a game between two sides returning to the top flight.

Deportivo la Coruna’s positive start to the season continued with a convincing 3-0 win at home to Espanyol thanks mainly to two goals from local boy Lucas Perez and another from Alvaro Gonzalez.

Getafe will also breathe easier after two goals from Alvaro Vazquez saw them defeat Levante 3-0. A dull game was brought to life by Alvaro in the 80th minute, but the result wasn’t confirmed until Emi and Vazquez again confirmed the win with goals in the 91st and 92nd minutes.

Finally the Basque derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club Bilbao ended in a 0-0 draw, which will probably leave Athletic the happier of the two sides.

Sevilla claimed their first win of the season in dramatic fashion as they saw how Kevin Gameiro and Stephen N’Zonzi put them 2-0 ahead against Rayo Vallecano, who fought back through Bebe and Javi Guerra, before Konoplyanka scored a late winner to give Sevilla the win.

Friday night saw Valencia return to winning ways thanks to a 1-0 win at home to Granada.

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