Alaves at the top of La Liga after 1930

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updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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European club football has been full of surprises this season. The unheard-of Chievo were the league leaders in series A for a while. Meanwhile in Spain, defending champions Real Madrid are slowly clawing their way back to the top ten. But the real surprise this week is that Alaves went to the top of the La Liga for the first time since 1930. Alaves entertained Catalan giants Barcelona knowing that victory would take them to the top of the La Liga. They got off to the perfect start after they were awarded a penalty. Carlos Llorens had little trouble in converting the penalty and the hosts took the lead after 22 minutes. Alaves doubled their lead in the 62nd minute after half time--Ibon Begona cracked a shot from 20 meters. The home side handed Barcelona their fourth loss in the Spanish Primera Liga this season. Deportivo La Coruna lost their top spot in the La Liga after they went down 1-0 to Espanyol. Raul Tamudo beat the off side trap to latch on to a long pass. He followed by slotting the ball past the Deportivo keeper in the 50th minute. Real Betis scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute. In the 60th minute, Federico Basavilbaso was shown the red card for this second bookable offence. The visitors were then reduced to just nine men with eight minutes remaining - after Argentinian striker Bruno Marioni was sent off. But even after that win, Betis are in second place behind Alaves on goal difference. This is the first time in 70 years that Alaves have the top spot in the La Liga. Deportivo fall to third place, but the big movers are defending champions Real Madrid who registered a 2-1 win over Osasuna. Barcelona are in eighth place with 23 points.