Robinho shines for Real MadridMarch 2nd, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by admin
Madrid, March 2 (DPA) Brazilian striker Robinho took centre stage here and ended the match wonderfully for Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Liga football tournament. Real came from behind to win 3-2 away to lowly Recreativo Huelva - with two late goals from Brazilian super-sub Robinho Saturday night.
To make the good news better for Real, second-placed Barcelona were surprisingly hammered 4-2 by Atletico Madrid, with Argentine teenager Sergio Aguero scoring twice and setting up the other two goals.
These results mean that Real stretch their lead over Barca to five points, with 12 rounds of games remaining.
The whites now have 59 points from 26 games, Barca have 54.
Real, weakened by injuries, had to work hard to win in Huelva. Martin Caceres put the hosts ahead in the 16th minute by turning in a long free-kick from Carlos Martins.
Twelve minutes later, veteran captain Raul Gonzalez made it 1-1 by heading in a centre from Royston Drenthe, despite a suspicion of offside.
Sinama Pongolle came close to restoring Huelva’s lead on three occasions.
The second half was ruined by three send-off. The first to go was Huelva defender Beto, for hitting Gabriel Heinze at a corner.
Then Real’s Sergio Ramos picked up a second yellow card. Huelva sub Quique Alvarez got his marching quickly afterwards for an ugly foul on Arjen Robben.
The hosts were down to nine men and Real coach Bernd Schuster took advantage to take off defender Fabio Cannavaro and bring on winger Robinho.
The gamble paid off as Robinho made it 2-1 immediately, putting away a loose ball at the edge of the penalty area. Then the Brazilian ace made it 3-1 in the 89th minute with a clever lob.
In the third minute of stoppage time, Martins pulled a goal back for Huelva with a free-kick - but it was too late to save the hosts from a defeat which leaves them third from bottom.
Real left the field to be given the news that Barca had surprisingly crashed 4-2 away to Atletico Madrid.
The shock win takes Atletico up to fourth, on 44 points, two points behind third-placed Villarreal.
Ronaldinho put Barca ahead with a spectacular overhead kick in the 30th minute.
But just five minutes later Argentine wunderkind Sergio Aguero made it 1-1 with a shot that deflected in off Barca captain Carles Puyol.
In the 41st minute Aguero set up compatriot Maxi Rodriguez to make it 2-1 with a shot on the turn.
Barca were looking shocked by Atletico’s pace and aggression, and things didn’t improve for them after the interval.
In the 61st minute Puyol pulled down the rapid Aguero for a penalty, which was calmly put away by Diego Forlan.
Aguero then sent the capacity crowd in the Estadio Calderon into ecstasy by making it 4-1 with one of his memorable solo goals.
Samuel Eto’o pulled a goal back for Barca, but the Catalans failed to avoid a crucial defeat.
Another team who didn’t enjoy their Saturday night out were Sevilla, beaten 2-1 by Deportivo Coruna despite being given an early lead by Frederic Kanoute.
Deportivo turned the tables thanks to goals from midfielders Christian Wilhelmsson - from the penalty spot - and Angel Lafita.
The surprise defeat keeps Sevilla in sixth place, with 39 points, at the same time as it takes Deportivo up to 13th and out of danger - for the time being.
Saturday’s late match was a 2-0 win for fifth-placed Espanyol over crisis club Valencia, with both goals falling to Spain striker Luis Garcia.
Garcia opened the scoring after just four minutes by turning in a centre from Jonathan Soriano.
He made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 51st minute, after Valdo Lopes had been pulled down by Valencia’s David Silva.
Hapless Valencia had Hedwiges Maduro sent off ten minutes from time for a clattering foul on Albert Riera.
The comfortable win keeps Espanyol in fifth place, with 42 points. Valencia, for their part, stay ninth with 35 - and coach Ronald Koeman remains in jeopardy.
Tags: 12 rounds, aguero, arjen robben, atletico madrid, cannavaro, carlos martins, centre stage, football tournament, gabriel heinze, loose ball, martin caceres, primera liga, raul gonzalez, real madrid, recreativo huelva, sergio ramos, spanish primera, stoppage time, veteran captain, yellow card