An early goal for Gonzalo Higuain was enough to give Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over Valencia on Saturday and the first win for Juande Ramos in La Liga as coach. Real bounced back from the 2-0 defeat in the clasico against Barcelona last weekend to score after just three minutes with Higuain firing home after good work from Arjen Robben.

Robben was the key player in the early stages of the match and a constant threat, setting up Rafael van de Vaart who hit the post and then he himself saw a shot cleared off the line after he had rounded the goalkeeper. Valencia gradually came back into the match and keeper Iker Casillas made a series of stops from David Villa.

In the second half Real, were hanging on with Casillas parrying a Ruben Baraja strike on to a post but the pressure eased mid-way through the half following the expulsion of Carlos Marchena for his second yellow card. Real had chances to add to their lead but Higuain and Juan Guti in particular missed excellent chances.

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Meanwhile, Atlético are eight points shy after they were made to wait for their triumph in Espanyol. Maxi Rodríguez set Los Colchoneros on their way with a mere seven minutes on the clock, but Sergio Sánchez put the home side back on level terms in the 58th minute and the scoreline remained unchanged until Sergio Agüero made Atlético's pressure pay with nine minutes left. Maxi then provided the cushion of a third goal in stoppage time and the visitors needed it too, with substitute Valdo responding almost immediately for Espanyol. uefa

Current results;
Real Madrid 1 - 0 Valencia
Espanyol 2 - 3 Atletico Madrid
Deportivo La Coruna ? - ? Recreativo Huelva
Mallorca ? - ? Sevilla
Numancia ? - ? Valladolid
Osasuna ? - ? Getafe
Racing Santander ? - ? Malaga
Sporting Gijon ? - ? Almeria
Villarreal ? - ? Barcelona
Real Betis ? - ? Athletic Bilbao


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