Espanyol stay on top despite draw

September 21st, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Sep 21 (DPA) Espanyol still top the Spanish Liga despite Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Getafe.Espanyol now have seven points from three games, one point more than Atletico Madrid, who thrashed Recreativo Huelva 4-0 earlier Saturday.

Valencia will take the leadership of Espanyol, on goal difference, if they win at home against Osasuna.

Getafe took the lead from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half, after Gregory Beranger had needlessly pulled down Jofre Guerron. Manu del Moral calmly transformed the penalty.

Segio Sanchez levelled for Espanyol 10 minutes later, after the Getafe defence was unable to clear a free-kick.

Espanyol had the better chances at the end, but Getafe held on for a point, which leaves them third with five.

“They made things really hard for us,” said Espanyol captain Raul Tamudo, “and we never really felt comfortable”.

Earlier Saturday, Atletico Madrid had crowned a good week by thrashing Huelva.

Atletico were given a rapturous reception by their fans because of Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League win away to PSV Eindhoven.

The in-form Sergio Aguero headed the hosts ahead against Huelva in the 8th minute, from a free-kick he had won himself.

In the 53rd minute Maniche, another man on a roll, made it 2-0 by blasting home the rebound after the Huelva defence had failed to clear a corner.

Maniche seemed to be on the way out from the Estadio Vicente Calderon in summer, after several scuffles with coach Javier Aguirre, but has surprisingly re-established himself in the team.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle, standing in for the injured Diego Forlan, then took centre-stage.

In the 78th minute he made it 3-0 by turning in a centre from Miguel de las Cuevas. And 10 minutes later the Frenchman completed the rout of his former club by scoring the fourth, on a precise pass from Luis Garcia.

“If you just looked at the result,” said a delighted Aguirre, “you would think it was an easy game. But it certainly wasn’t. They really made us work hard tonight for the three points.”

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