Sevilla stay third; Malaga, Deportivo move up to fifth

March 9th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, March 9 (DPA) A 2-1 home win over Almeria kept Sevilla in third place in the Spanish Liga.
On Sunday Evergreen veteran Frederic Kanoute shot Sevilla ahead after just five minutes, then set up Renato to make it 2-0 on the hour. Alvaro Negredo gave Almeria hope by converting a late penalty, but Sevilla held on for the win.

“It was crucial for us to win tonight,” said Kanoute, who is enjoying an Indian summer at the age of 32.

Sevilla now have 50 points from 26 games, seven points more than second-place Real Madrid, who were lucky to draw 1-1 Saturday at home to crosstown rivals Atletico.

Real, in turn, are six points behind leaders Barcelona, who beat Athletic Bilbao Saturday. Sevilla are five points above fourth-placed Villarreal, who beat lowly Espanyol 1-0 Saturday.

The most interesting development on Sunday was that Malaga and Deportivo Coruna moved up to joint fifth place, above stumbling big clubs Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

Malaga, the surprise package of the season, won 2-1 at Getafe in Sunday’s late game thanks to goals from Eliseu Pereira and Baha, despite the late sending-off of Ivan Cuadrado.

Earlier Sunday, Deportivo Coruna thrashed Racing Santander 5-3 with two goals from supersub Riki.

Deportivo’s other scorers were Juan Rodriguez, Angel Lafita and Joan Verdu.

Malaga and Deportivo are tied on 42 points, only three below Villarreal and two above Atletico Madrid.

Seventh-place Atletico are one point above troubled Valencia, who crashed down to eighth on Sunday with a 2-1 loss at modest Numancia.

Valencia, who have picked up just two points in their last five games, again struggled without injured Euro 2008 heroes David Villa and David Silva. Vicente gave Valencia an early lead, only for Numancia to turn the tables with goals from Carlos Aranda and Jose Barkero.

The Valencia players have not been paid since December due to the club’s financial problems. Coach Unai Emery would surely be sacked if the club could afford to pay him off. The comeback defeat of Valencia takes Numancia off the bottom and leaves Espanyol in last place with just 21 points. Osasuna remain third from bottom on 25, two points above Numancia, after losing 2-1 at home to Sporting Gijon.

Then come three teams on 28 points: Getafe, Mallorca and Betis, who played out a lively 3-3 draw. On 29 points are Recreativo Huelva, who crashed 3-2 at home to good travellers Valladolid.

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