Atlético Madrid vs. Valencia  0 - 0


La Liga wrap: Sevilla stunned by resurgent Villarreal

6 February 2012 11:31

Sevilla were stunned 2-1 by a Villarreal side deep in relegation trouble in the pick of Sunday's La Liga action.

Javier Camunas netted the winning goal nine minutes from time, helping to lift Villarreal out of the drop zone and condemning the hosts to their worst run since 2001.

Villarreal's resurgence under Jose Molina continued against Sevilla and their opening goal was a truly breathtaking passage of play, including 13 passes, which was finished off by Borja Valero.

Attempting to end a run of six matches without a win, Sevilla levelled in fortuitous circumstances when Bruno put into his own net before Camunas' opportunistic strike in the 81st minute gave Molina his first win away from home.

Inaki Tejada was denied victory in his first match in charge of Sporting Gijon after Dejan Lekic's strike rescued a point for Osasuna.

Gijon took the lead in a match played in torrential rain when Nacho Cases provided a piece of quality in the opening 45 minutes.

His magical cross found Carmelo Gonzalez who simply had to guide it into the net.

Osasuna dug deep to stay in contention, surviving Gregory Arnolin's diabolical miss when he headed wide from inside the six-yard box.

And it proved crucial as Lekic converted Marc Bertran's cross to secure an unlikely point for the visitors.

In Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano inflicted more pressure on Manolo Jimenez after coming from behind to beat the home side 2-1.

The loss means Real Zaragoza are still 10 points from safety after Rayo scored twice in the last 15 minutes to win.

Former Tottenham striker Helder Postiga scored the opener for Zaragoza with a quality volley in the first half.

And in the late match, Valencia and Atletico Madrid played out a physical 0-0 draw in a match where the home side's goalkeeper Diego Alves and defender Adil Rami stole the show with numerous vital stops.


Third place still up for grabs, says Emery

6 February 2012 01:55

Valencia coach Unai Emery denies his side have all but guaranteed third place in La Liga after their 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid.

The Mestalla outfit remain five points above fourth-placed side Levante after holding Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon, but Emery is taking nothing for granted.

"Atletico came into this match on the back of a very positive run," Emery said. "They wanted to get into the Champions League places and that was a big motivation for us."

"We are not putting the league to one side and it was very important not to lose today."

"We had a very serious match and I am satisfied, although our goal is always to get the three points."

"The third place is not assured. It will not be easy. No one will give us the third place just like that."

Valencia, who are 11 points adrift of second-placed Barcelona, travel to the Camp Nou on Wednesday in the second-leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.


La Liga preview: Barca need a Pep talk

4 February 2012 02:28

Barcelona are losing ground on La Liga leaders Real Madrid and desperately need to beat Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's men have drawn three consecutive games in all competitions, including a 0-0 result at Villarreal last time out in the league.

As a consequence, they have allowed fierce rivals Real Madrid to move seven points clear at the top.

A home clash against Real Sociedad on Saturday could help them kick-start their campaign, unbeaten at the Nou Camp in their last 28 league matches.

The star-studded Barcelona will be hopeful Argentine maestro Lionel Messi (22 league goals) can find the net having failed to score in the three draws leading into this encounter.

While Barcelona may have knocked them out of the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid have taken full advantage in the league.

Jose Mourinho's side have won five consecutive league games, although a trip to face Getafe on Saturday shapes as a danger game.

Manager Luis Garcia Plaza's men are unbeaten in six league outings, but will need to stop the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (24 league goals) and Gonzalo Higuain (14) if they are to extend that run.

Meanwhile, Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao meet in a clash between the sides placed fifth and sixth respectively.

Marcelo Bielsa's Bilbao should be eyeing fifth spot with Espanyol failing to win in their last 10 league visits to Estadio San Mames.

In another intriguing clash, seventh-placed Atletico Madrid host Unai Emery's Valencia on Sunday.

Diego Simeone has had a dream start as Atletico Madrid boss, with three wins and a draw in his four games in charge.

But that unbeaten record will be put to the test by Valencia, who are unbeaten in five outings in all competitions and have had striker Roberto Soldado (12 league goals) firing.

In other matches, Mallorca host Real Betis on Saturday, while Racing Santander travel to Levante.

Assistant coach Inaki Tejada will take on first-team duties at struggling Sporting Gijon when they host Osasuna after Manuel Preciado was sacked on Tuesday.

Villarreal travel to Sevilla on Sunday, relegation battlers Real Zaragoza and Rayo Vallecano clash, while Malaga visit Granada on Monday.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +89 100
2 38 +85 91
3 38 +15 61
4 38 +1 58
5 38 +7 56
6 38 +4 55
7 38 -17 54
8 38 -4 52
9 38 +1 50
10 38 -3 49
11 38 -11 47
12 38 -6 47
13 38 -9 47
14 38 -10 46
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -25 43
17 38 -21 42
18 38 -14 41
19 38 -27 37
20 38 -35 27