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Valencia set sights on Europe

Valencia set sights on Europe

Valencia set their sights on a top-four Spanish League finish, and a Champions League spot, on Sunday after brushing aside struggling Getafe 4-1. They are now just two points off fourth-placed Villarreal thanks to two penalties by David Villa in either half and strikes from Juan Mata and Raul Albiol.
Getafe's goal also came from a spot-kick with Francisco Casquero converting at the start of the second half, but they were never able to cause any sustained danger to Valencia's makeshift defense missing Carlos Marchena and Alexis Ruano. It has been a good weekend for Valencia with all the teams around them losing ground in the battle for European places.
Atletico Madrid's inconsistency continued as they crashed to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Osasuna.
Walter Pandiani gave the away side the lead after just seven minutes and while Diego Forlan equalized, Osasuna took full advantage of Atletico's defensive frailties. Krisztian Vadocz restored their lead and then, after the break, Pandiani scored again. Masoud Shojaei piled on the misery for the home side who pulled back a consolation through Pablo Ibanez.
At the other end of the table, Espanyol boosted their survival hopes with a 3-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna. Ivan Alonso pounced to put the Catalans ahead after the Deportivo keeper spilt an Ivan de la Pena cross and then the diminutive midfielder, who was controlling the contest, doubled the lead. Lassad Nouioui pulled a goal back and Depor had chances to level the game but an own goal by Albert Lopo in injury time secured the win.
Real Madrid kept on the shoulders of Barcelona with a 1-0 win away at Malaga but games are running out. Real coach Juande Ramos was forced to field a weakened team with several players out injured, most notably Arjen Robben who has been a key performer this season.
Gonzalo Higuain made the crucial breakthrough at the beginning of the second half and Real did enough to hold out.
Villarreal slumped to a 3-0 defeat against Almeria who won through first half goals from Alvaro Negredo, Pablo Piatti and Jose Mane. With half an hour to go Robert Pires, a former Arsenal player, was sent-off for Villarreal for a foul after frustration got the better of him. Villarreal's miserable night was completed when midfielder Santi Cazorla was ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg.
Sevilla consolidated their third place with an important 1-0 win away to Recreativo Huelva courtesy of a Frederic Kanoute penalty following a foul by Poli Fernandez on Renato.


Updated : 2021-10-18 15:00 GMT+08:00