Heart-stopping win in Madrid leaves Sevilla fourth in Liga

December 8th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Dec 8 (DPA) A heart-stopping 4-3 win at crisis club Real Madrid takes Sevilla up to fourth in the Spanish Liga - and leaves Real coach Bernd Schuster on the verge of the sack.Sevilla after the win late Sunday have 27 points from 14 games and are level on points with Valencia, who have a superior goal difference.

Sevilla and Valencia are two points behind Villarreal - who drew 3-3 with Getafe - and eight behind runaway leaders Barcelona, who thrashed Valencia 4-0 Saturday.

The highest-scoring weekend in six years saw 44 goals in 10 games, including seven scored in the Real-Sevilla thriller.

Their third defeat in four games leaves Real fifth on 26 points - and looking with trepidation to a difficult game Saturday at Barca.

Adriano gave Sevilla the lead after just four minutes in the rainy Bernabeu, when the out-of-form Iker Casillas had dropped a centre from Jesus Navas.

Raul headed in a defiant equaliser 15 minutes later, but the injury-plagued whites were never comfortable, and it came as no surprise when Koffi Romaric restored Sevilla’s lead with an unmarked header in the 22nd minute.

Kanoute made it 3-1 for Sevilla in the 39th minute with a calm, side-footed shot, after yet more chaos in the Real defence.

The whites staged one of their trademark fightbacks in the second half, with young Argentines Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago bringing them level.

The key moment came 12 minutes from time, when Arjen Robben, who had just hit the Sevilla post, was harshly sent off for claiming what looked like a clear penalty.

Emboldened by their numeric superiority, Sevilla came forward to deliver the killer blow. Six minutes from time Frederic Kanoute centred perfectly for Renato to head in the winner.

“We worked so hard for this win,” said Kanoute, “and I always thought we were going to achieve it.”

Real are now just two points above neighbours Atletico - who won 5-2 Saturday at Sporting Gijon - and Deportivo Coruna, who beat Malaga 2-0 Sunday.

Sunday was a good day for Recreativo Huelva, who moved off the bottom with a 3-2 win at Mallorca. The colourful match - with Marcos Ruben, Adrian Colunga and Javi Fuego scoring for Huelva - takes the southerners up to second from bottom, one point above Osasuna, who were held 3-3 at home by Valladolid.

Third from bottom, one point above Huelva, are Espanyol and Mallorca.

Espanyol did well to battle out a 1-1 draw at Betis later Sunday. Achille Emana gave Betis the lead, only for supersub Ferran Corominas to level for the visitors, in Mane’s first game on the Espanyol bench after taking over from Bartolome Marquez.

Fifth from bottom are Athletic Bilbao, who drew 1-1 at local rivals Racing Santander.

Numancia moved up to sixth from bottom on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat of Almeria, who are now seventh from bottom.

Then come Santander and Sporting Gijon, on 16 and 18 points, respectively.

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