Real Madrid stay second, Valencia move up to fourth

April 13th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, April 13 (DPA) Real Madrid kept up their successful run in the Spanish Primera Liga with a dull 2-0 home win over Valladolid, thanks to goals from Raul and Arjen Robben.
Juande Ramos’ solid but unspectacular side have won 14 of their last 15 games and after Sunday’s win stay six points behind leaders Barcelona, who beat Recreativo Huelva 2-0 at home on Saturday.

Once again, Raul and company failed to thrill the Estadio Bernabeu - but came through thanks to their efficiency in both penalty areas.

Raul opened the scoring two minutes before half-time by turning in a Gonzalo Higuain centre from the right.

Robben made it 2-0 on the break nine minutes from the end, straight after Valladolid had been refused a possible penalty.

Valladolid left complaining about the referee, Real left with the satisfaction of having scored another hard-earned win.

“It’s true that we didn’t play really well, but the important thing is that we continue to win,” said defender Miguel Torres.

Real are now 12 points ahead of third-placed Sevilla, who surprisingly crashed 1-0 at home to Getafe later Sunday, on a classy late goal from Jaime Gavilan.

In fourth place now - eight points behind Sevilla - are resurgent Valencia, who scored a dramatic late 3-2 win away to Sporting Gijon.

Valencia are now one point above fifth-placed Villarreal, who lost 2-0 at home to sixth-placed Malaga Saturday.

Valencia won on a goal two minutes from time from new Spain striker Juan Mata. They had been in the lead twice before - with goals from David Silva and David Villa - only for David Barral and

Mate Bilic to equalize for Gijon.

But after Mata’s late strike there was no way back for the hosts, who are now fourth from bottom.

In Sunday’s late game, Atletico Madrid won 2-1 away to Deportivo Coruna, with goals from Sergio Aguero and Simao.

The valuable win takes Atletico up to sixth, two points above Villarreal.

Two clubs who moved out of trouble on Sunday, in addition to Getafe, are Osasuna - 2-1 winners over Athletic Bilbao - and Mallorca, who beat Almeria 3-2.

Betis, under new coach Jose Maria Nogues, moved up to joint fifth from bottom - level with Getafe, Bilbao and Almeria - with a 3-2 win in Santander.

Gijon are now fourth from bottom, with 33 points. Then come Huelva on 30, Numancia on 28 and Espanyol on 36.

Numancia and Espanyol played out a predictably sterile 0-0 draw on Sunday.

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