Depleted Real held by lowly Gijon

Real's city rivals Atletico, in their first match since Friday's sacking of coach Abel Resino, had earlier conceded a farcical last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with nine-man Real Mallorca, and third-placed Sevilla were held 0-0 at home by Espanyol, thanks to a string of superb saves by Carlos Kameni. Manuel Pellegrini's Real side were hoping for a confidence-boosting win at a rain-drenched Molinon after Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League loss to AC Milan. Barca, who also lost at home in the Champions League in midweek, can go three clear of arch rivals Real on 22 points with a home win over Real Zaragoza on Sunday.

Atletico's miserable season took a turn for the worse a day after Resino was replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores, and they are down in 14th place with only one win from eight matches. Diego Forlan missed one penalty in the first half but recovered to net another, only for teenage goalkeeper David De Gea to allow Borja Valero's tame cross-shot to deflect in off his legs in the final minute of normal time.

Five minutes into the second half Ivan Ramis handled in the area and was also shown a second yellow.

Forlan sent Mallorca goalkeeper Dudu Aouate the wrong way, side-footing low into the bottom right, but Atletico were unable to press home their numerical advantage.
Valero picked up a deep cross at the far post in the 90th minute and when De Gea tried to clear his cross-shot from a tight angle, he only managed to send the ball into his own net.

Espanyol's Cameroon ‘keeper Carlos Kameni was on inspired form at the Sanchez Pizjuan, producing acrobatic saves to deny Diego Perrotti, Alvaro Negredo and Diego Capel.

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