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Leader Barcelona edges Levante 1-0 in Spanish league; Sevilla downs Espanyol 3-1

Leader Barcelona edges Levante 1-0 in Spanish league; Sevilla downs Espanyol 3-1

Samuel Eto'o scored Sunday, and FC Barcelona edged relegation-threatened Levante 1-0 to maintain its one-point lead in the Spanish league.
Eto'o fired his eighth goal of the season in the 28th minute after Levante goalkeeper Jose Francisco Molina had pushed the ball into his path.
The defending champion's narrow win preserved its unbeaten record at Camp Nou this season.
Earlier, Antonio Puerta, Javier Chevanton and Jose Luis Marti scored second-half goals to help second-place Sevilla beat Espanyol 3-1 and boost its chances of a first title since 1946.
Also, Zaragoza failed to climb into fourth place when it drew 2-2 at Osasuna.
Other results Sunday were: Racing Santander 0, Deportivo La Coruna 0; Getafe 1, Real Sociedad 0; Gimnastic Tarragona 0, Villarreal 3; and Celta Vigo 0, Mallorca 3.
Barcelona has 62 points, while Sevilla has 61. Real Madrid, which visits Athletic Bilbao later Sunday, has 57. Valencia has 56, two more than Zaragoza.
Levante went into the game with Barcelona having won only twice this season and with defeats on its three previous visits to Camp Nou.
Yet, despite the goal by Eto'o, Barcelona found it hard to dominate the visitors, possibly due to fatigue from its friendly victory over Al Ahly in Egypt on Tuesday.
Ronaldinho stirred Barcelona supporters with a long-range volley in the 50th minute which Molina pushed expertly over the bar.
Eto'o had a goal disallowed five minutes later in an improved second-half display by the home team, whose goalkeeper Victor Valdes was making his 200th first-team appearance.
Lionel Messi wasted Barcelona's clearest chance in the final minute when he sidefooted a pass by Eto'o onto the crossbar from close range.
Barcelona then had a scare when Levante midfielder Olivier Kapo just failed to convert Gustavo Reggi's header across goal.
Sevilla couldn't get past Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni in the first-half of a matchup which could be repeated in next month's UEFA Cup final.
However, midfielder Puerta seized on a loose ball to give Sevilla the lead in the 51st, with striker Chevanton shooting the second goal in the 53rd while lying on the ground.
Ferran "Coro" Corominas, who scored in Espanyol's 3-0 win over Werder Bremen in the first leg of the UEFA Cup semifinals last Thursday, reduced the deficit when he beat Sevilla's offside trap in the 60th.
Playing with a host of reserve players, Espanyol conceded a third goal in the 74th minute when substitute Marti angled a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Osasuna's Juanlu Gomez opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with Zaragoza midfielder Pablo Aimar equalizing direct from a free kick in the 12th.
Valdo Lopes restored the UEFA Cup semifinalist's lead in the 55th, with Sergio Garcia leveling for Zaragoza in injury time.
Santander missed the chance to climb into seventh place by playing out a stalemate with Deportivo.
Sociedad's bid for its third straight win foundered at Getafe, leaving the 19th-place club in increased danger of relegation.
Defender Alexis Ruano headed the winning goal in the 71st minute.
Tarragona looks doomed to relegation following a heavy defeat against Villarreal.
Diego Forlan scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the 18th and 79th minutes, with Matias Fernandez adding Villarreal's third in injury time.
Celta also increased its relegation worries after crashing at home to Mallorca.
Early long-range goals by Juan Arango and Fernando Varela and a late strike by substitute Maxi Lopez brought Celta coach Hristo Stoitchkov his second defeat in three games since taking charge earlier this month.
On Saturday, Valencia beat Recreativo Huelva 2-0, while Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Real Betis.


Updated : 2021-07-28 16:18 GMT+08:00