Atletico Madrid consolidate fourth place by beating Sevilla

March 23rd, 2008 - 12:59 pm ICT by admin  

(Spanish football)
Madrid, March 23 (DPA) Atletico Madrid consolidated fourth place in the Spanish Liga football with a 2-1 win away to Sevilla. The important win Saturday leaves Atletico five points ahead of fifth-placed Sevilla, with 50 points from 29 games.

Atletico are now three points behind third-placed Villarreal, who are away to bottom team Levante Sunday.

Saturday’s defeat is a major blow to Sevilla’s chances of returning to the Champions League.

Atletico went ahead, against the run of play, in the 19th minute, when Maxi Rodriguez turned in a centre from the left from Simao Sabrosa.

Sevilla youngster Diego Capel made it 1-1 in the 48th minute by tapping home the rebound after Cristian Abbiati had failed to hold a shot from Frederic Kanoute.

But instead of falling back or falling apart — as has happened so often in recent years — Atletico continued to counter-attack and went back into the lead in the 57th minute, when teenager Sergio Aguero turned in a clever cross from Antonio Lopez.

Things went from bad to worse for Sevilla three minutes later, when midfielder Enzo Maresca was sent off for mindlessly head-butting Aguero.

Atletico held on for the win without too many problems, against the reduced-to-ten hosts.

Earlier Saturday, fallen giants Deportivo Coruna went back into trouble by losing 0-1 away to Mallorca.

Mallorca won thanks to the latest classy goal from Juan Arango - and thanks to some robust defending in the second half.

Arango’s sweet left foot broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, with a handsome free-kick.

Deportivo battled manfully in the second half but were crippled by the sending-off, in injury time, of striker Riki.

The defeat leaves Deportivo - who were Liga champions in 2000 and Champions League semi-finalists in 2004 — seventh from bottom, with 34 points from 29 games. Sunday’s results could pull them down to third from bottom.

Mallorca, in contrast, are 10th with 37 points and well positioned to enjoy a comfortable spring.

Meanwhile, the Spanish football federation announced that the final of the King’s Cup, scheduled for April 16, will be played at Atletico Madrid’s Estadio Vicente Calderon.

This will probably be the last ever final staged at the Calderon, since the 40 year-old stadium will soon be demolished by the Madrid city council, with Atletico moving out to the suburbs.

The final will be between Getafe - who eliminated Racing Santander from the semi-finals Wednesday - and Valencia, who edged out Barcelona Thursday.

It will be Getafe’s second final in successive seasons. Last season they lost 1-0 to Sevilla in their first ever final.

Valencia have entered the final since 1999, when they thrashed Atletico Madrid 3-0.

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