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La Liga Round 12 Results: Atletico win to go three points behind Barcelona and Michel Gonzalez's men win Seville derby
Arda Turan secured a narrow victory for Diego Simeone's men at Los Carmenes, meanwhile there are wins for Valencia and Getafe
By Martin Macdonald
Malaga extended their winless run in La Liga to four games on Saturday afternoon with a 0-0 against Osasuna at El Sadar.
Osasuna starter the brighter of the teams, and will felt aggrieved that they did not go a goal up when Kike Sola found the net, only to be wrongly flagged as offside.
The second half was an ever affair, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side have Willy Caballero to thank for the point they were awarded as the goalkeeper pulled off two fantastic saves in the last 10 minutes, twice denying Alvaro Cejudo when the Osasuna man was through on goal and then with a strike from the edge of the area to help his side to a draw.
A penalty one minute from time from Roberto Soldado saw Valencia run out narrow 2-1 winners over struggling Espanyol on Saturday afternoon.
Los Che took the lead 15 minutes it when Jonathan Viera received a pass from Jonas and struck home from 12 yards out, but they were pegged back when Samuele Longo turned Joan Verdu’s cross past Diego Alves.
The match looked destined to be a stalemate, but late drama ensured Espanyol’s hearts were broken.
Hector Moreno was adjudged to have handled inside the box and he, as well as Sergio Garcia, were shown a red card for their protests, and Soldado stepped up to smash home the penalty and claim the three points for the home side.
Goals from Obafemi Martins and Jose Barkero saw Levante run out relatively comfortable 2-0 winners over Deportivo at Riazor on Sunday morning.
The opening goal came six minutes before half-time when Martins showed terrific composure to drive through on goal and take the ball around goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia before slotting home.
Depor were given a fantastic opportunity to get back into the game 10 minutes after the break when Pedro Lopez handles inside the box and was shown his second yellow card. However, Riki’s penalty was blazed over the bar.
The match took a dramatic turn in the second half when Aranzubia was also sent off, and with Deportivo having used all their substitutes, midfielder Alex Bergantinos was forced to go between the sticks.
Levante wrapped up the three points 10 minutes from time when Barkero lashed a shot past the stand-in goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Mallorca earned their first Spanish Primera Division point in six games on Sunday when they played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Celta Vigo at Estadio Balaidos.
Tomer Hemed opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with his seventh goal of the season when he latched on to a loose ball inside the area to swivel and volley home from eight yards.
However, Celta responded 10 minutes after half-time when Iago Aspas’ low cross was scrappily finished by Park Chu-Young. Hemed thought he had scored the winner late into the second half when he headed towards the bottom corner but somehow Javi Varas tipped the ball round the post to ensure the honours were shared.
Goals in quick succession from Alexis and Angel Lafita in the second half saw Getafe come from behind to defeat Valladolid 2-1 at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
The loss was the visitors' first in five games, a result which looked unlikely just before the break when they took the lead through Oscar Gonzalez. Patrick Ebert’s strike was parried by Miguel Moya and the 30-year-old was on hand to stick in the rebound.
However, the Madrid side rallied in the second half and were on level terms in the 74th minute when Alexis rose highest in the box to head home from close range. The comeback was complete four minutes later when Lafita cut inside from the left and unleashed a fantastic strike into the top corner.
Atletico Madrid cut the gap between themselves and league leaders Barcelona to three points with a 1-0 victory over Granada on Sunday evening.
Diego Simeone’s men threatened in the early stages, but it was Granada who came closest to registering in the first half when Gabriel Torje’s strike crashed off the post.
Atletico came out of the blocks quickly after the break, and took the lead on the hour with a relatively simple goal when Koke’s cross was swept home by Arda Turan from close range.
Mario Suarez was shown his second yellow card of the match for a handball and los Colchoneros had to play the last 20 minutes of the match with 10 men, but they managed to hold out for a precious three points.
Two first-half double from Jose Antonio Reyes and Federico Fazio helped Sevilla on their way to a 5-1 thumping of local rivals Real Betis at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
The visitors got off to the worst start possible when goalkeeper Miguel Adrian passed the ball straight out to Reyes within seconds of the game starting, and the former Arsenal man made no mistake with his finish into the corner. Fazio made it two within five minutes of the opening whistle when he glanced home Ivan Rakitic’s free kick.
Reyes grabbed his second just after the half-hour mark when he finished from close range after Alvaro Negredo’s headed effort came off the bar. Fazio then earned his double ten minutes later with another header past Adrian.
Betis were much better in the second period, but their momentous task was made even harder just after the hour mark when Ruben Perez was shown his second yellow card and was subsequently sent off. Ruben Castro did manage to net for the visitors four minutes later with a neat finish from Juan Carlos’ cross, but it would prove to be too little too late.
Rakitic completed the rout in the last minute with a placed shot into the bottom corner, compounding a miserable day for Pep Mel’s side.
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