Video: Real And Barca Draw As Valencia Win

The first in a series of El Clasico clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona ended in a tempestuous 1-1 draw in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu. The draw means Barca maintain their eight-point advantage at the top of the table with six games remaining. World Player of the Year Lionel Messi scored from the penalty spot on 53 minutes following a foul on David Villa which got Raul Albiol sent off, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to do likewise seven minutes from time to ensure a share of the spoils.

The two sides will meet again at Valencia's Mestalla on Wednesday for the Copa del Rey final before contesting the two legs of their Champions League semi-final on April 27 and May 3. This fixture was the first of four meetings between these two sides in 18 days, with each game of greater magnitude than the last, the occasion was enough to knock even this collection of some of the world's greatest players off their stride in the early stages.

Valencia improved their chances of securing third place and automatic qualification for next season's Champions League when they won 3-0 at bottom club Almeria. Second-half goals from in-form striker Roberto Soldado, defender Marius Stankevicius and substitute Jordi Alba sealed victory for Unai Emery's side and lifted them to 63 points. Valencia are nine points ahead of fourth-placed Villarreal Almeria remain rooted to the foot of the standings.

Sevilla's bid for a berth in next season's Europa League suffered a setback when they lost 1-0 at relegation-threatened Getafe. The defeat gives Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol a chance to climb above the Andalusians. Getafe's Miku netted the only goal in the 76th minute at the Coliseum stadium, firing home after the Sevilla defence failed to deal with a looping pass to the Venezuelan striker.

Julio Baptista made a memorable return from injury as he bagged two goals in Malaga's impressive 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca. Baptista had been sidelined for six weeks, but was back in the side and made an immediate impact to boost Malaga's Andalusians' survival hopes. Sebas Fernandez gave Malaga the lead after 26 minutes and Baptista doubled the home side's advantage prior to half-time, before adding a second early in the second period to move Manuel Pellegrini's men provisionally out of the relegation zone.

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