Real Madrid well poised to claim Liga title

April 7th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, April 7 (DPA) Real Madrid are well placed to claim their 31st Spanish Primera Liga title after Barcelona and Villarreal both missed the chance to gain ground. Barca were held to a 0-0 draw by Getafe, and Villarreal were beaten 2-0 by Sevilla in the respective matches played Sunday.

These results leave Real with 66 points from 31 games, seven points ahead of their two top pursuers, who share second place.

None of the top three is playing well. Real were lucky to escape Saturday from Mallorca with a 1-1 draw.

Barca enjoyed 67 per cent against Getafe and hit the woodwork three times, but never looked comfortable against their hard-working opponents.

The final whistle was greeted with white handkerchiefs of frustration in the Camp Nou, another sign that the days of Frank Rijkaard on the Barca bench are numbered.

Earlier Sunday, Villarreal turned in their dullest display of the season in Seville.

Sevilla won with goals from league top scorer Luis Fabiano and veteran Frederic Kanoute. Fabiano put Sevilla ahead in the 19th minute with a powerful drive, after taking a pass from fellow Brazilian Daniel Alves.

Villarreal never got into any kind of rhythm, and Sevilla squandered good chances to polish them off.

Four minutes from time, Sevilla were given a penalty after Villarreal keeper Diego Lopez pulled down Jesus Navas. Kanoute calmly made it 2-0 from the spot.

To add insult to injury, Villarreal left-back Joan Capdevila was sent off in injury time.

Six points behind Villarreal and Barca, in fourth place, are Atletico Madrid, who beat Almeria 6-3 in Sunday’s most eventful match.

Atletico’s teenage sensation, Sergio Aguero, led the rout with two goals. Portugal winger Simao Sabrosa also scored twice, while Antonio Lopez and Diego Forlan chipped in with a goal apiece.

Atletico are now three points above fifth-place Racing Santander, who crashed 3-1 at home to Deportivo Coruna, for whom Xisco Jimenez scored two.

In sixth place, now just two points behind Santander, are Sevilla after their defeat of Villarreal.

Out-of-form Espanyol remain seventh after losing 1-0 at Bilbao, who move up to eighth.

At the other end of the table, doomed Levante stay rock bottom after crashing 3-0 at home to lively Valladolid.

Murcia are still second from bottom despite a defiant 1-0 win over troubled Valencia, with a goal from veteran Uruguayan striker Ivan Alonso.

Sunday’s big shock was Zaragoza’s 0-3 meltdown at home to Betis. The result leaves Zaragoza third from bottom and in massive trouble. Zaragoza are now three points behind fourth-from-bottom Recreativo Huelva, who won 1-0 Saturday at Osasuna.

Osasuna now have just one point more than Huelva. Valladolid are one point ahead of Osasuna and one point below Getafe and Valencia.

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