Euro Zone: Mourinho relief as Ronaldo leads scoring to demolish Deportivo

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The Independent Online

Valencia may still lead the way in Spain, but the happiest manager after the latest round of games in La Liga will be Jose Mourinho. Last night his Real Madrid side went some way towards convincing the demanding Bernabeu audience that the Portuguese is the man for the job with an emphatic 6-1 dismantling of Deportivo La Coruña. To add to Mourinho's pleasure, Barcelona failed to win at home once again, held to a 1-1 draw by Real Mallorca.



Real raced into a three-goal lead on the half-hour with strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria. Gonzalo Higuain, an own goal and a late left-foot finish from Ronaldo completed the rout in the second period.

Barcelona, normally so dominant at the Nou Camp, were stunned 2-0 by promoted Hercules last month and Mallorca, coached by former Barça player Michael Laudrup, became the latest side to check the Catalans' title defence.

Lionel Messi celebrated picking up his European Golden Shoe trophy by scoring the opening goal in the 21st minute, curling a shot into the corner of the net from just outside the area. Emilio Nsue headed home before half-time to equalise.



Mainz maintain challenge

Mainz, who were only promoted to the top flight in the summer, equalled the best ever Bundesliga start to a season with their seventh successive win when they beat Hoffenheim 4-2 on Saturday to open up a six-point lead at the top.

Die Nullfünfer, whose ground holds only 20,000, join Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern as the only teams ever to have won their first seven league matches in a season.

Bayern lost again last night – 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund and lie 12th in the table, 13 points behind Mainz.

Lazio resurgence continues

Lazio's revival after last season's relegation scare in Serie A continued yesterday with a 1-0 win over Brescia. Stefano Mauri got the goal that took Edy Reja's side to the top of the league table before last night's game between Internazionale and Juventus.

City rivals Roma lost 2-0 at Napoli, while Milan won 1-0 at Parma on Saturday night, Andrea Pirlo getting their goal from long distance.

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