The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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9-man Barcelona hold Atletico
- EURO ROUND-UP l Milan, Roma join Juventus at top

Madrid: Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by nine-man Barcelona in a frantic Primera Liga encounter at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.

Despite the scoreline the game was not short of incident as Barca midfielders Philip Cocu and Thiago Motta were dismissed in the second half for picking up their second bookings and both sides failed to cash in on good scoring opportunities.

Unbeaten Villarreal continued their impressive start to the season with a 2-0 win away to Racing Santander, goals coming from former Barcelona players Sonny Anderson and Juan Roman Riquelme.

Rafa Benitezís Valencia are the new leaders thanks to their confident 2-0 win over a disappointing Real Madrid at the Mestalla on Saturday. An early goal from Mista and a second-half strike from Brazilian forward Ricardo Oliveira gave Rafa Benitezís side a thoroughly deserved triumph over last seasonís champions.

Former leaders Deportivo Coruna lost their 100 percent record on Saturday after they slumped to a surprise 3-2 defeat at Osasuna, shipping three goals in nightmare four-minute spell in the first half.

Valencia now lead the standings on 13 points, one ahead of Deportivo and three ahead of Real, who are level on points with Osasuna, who are usually to be found at the other end of the table.

Villarreal and Barcelona occupy fifth and sixth places respectively with nine points each from their five games.

Atletico started nervously and it was Barca who took control of the game in the opening minutes. Ronaldinho looked certain to cash in on some hesitant defending in the eighth minute after he received a headed pass from Patrick Kluivert just three metres from goal, but his lobbed shot ended up in the hands of Atletico keeper German Burgos.

Barcelona faced an uphill battle after they were reduced to 10 men when Cocu was dismissed on 58 minutes when he picked up a second booking for a foul on midfielder Kizito Musampa.

Atletico proceeded to lay siege to the Barca goal but not even after their opponents were reduced to nine men with the sending off of Motta 12 minutes from time were they able to break the deadlock.

Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko struck twice for AC Milan as the European champions beat Lecce 3-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

Second half goals from Vincenzo Montella, Francesco Totti and Marco Delvecchio helped AS Roma to a comfortable 3-0 home win over struggling Ancona.

But Lazio needed a late equaliser from Stefano Fiore to take a 2-2 draw from their trip to lowly Empoli.

Milan and Roma join Juventus at the top of the standings on 10 points each after four games.

On Saturday, champions Juventus won 2-0 at Reggina while Inter Milan were held goalless at Udinese.

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