La Liga Round-Up: Valencia Manage Last-Gasp Win At Sporting

Saturday 11 April 2009 (CET)
20:00 Barcelona 2-0 Recreativo (report)
22:00 Villarreal 0-2 Malaga (report)
Sunday 12 April
17:00 Real Madrid 2-0 Valladolid (report)
17:00 Mallorca 1-0 Almeria
17:00 Numancia 0-0 Espanyol
17:00 Osasuna 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
17:00 Racing Santander 2-3 Real Betis
17:00 Sporting Gijon 2-2 Valencia
19:00 Sevilla 0-1 Getafe (report)
21:00 Deportivo 1-2 Atletico (report)

RCD Mallorca 1-0 Almeria

A lovely strike from Cleber Santana separated these two sides at the ONO Estadi.

The match started slowly, Hugo Sanchez's side playing tentative football.

This saw them go in even at the break, but it was largely thanks to Juan Arango, who seconds before the break contrived to miss when it would perhaps have been easier to beat Esteban in the visitors' goal.

But a goal was coming, and it was worth waiting for. Cleber Santana seized on a clearance from Acasiete after a Mallorca corner and netted a lovely volley.

German Lux then had to be alert to deny Alvaro Negredo at the other end, but Mallorca were able to pick up a priceless win.

CD Numancia 0-0 RCD Espanyol

Numancia and Espanyol shared a point at the Pajaritos in a result that does neither side's safety aspirations much good.

The visitors, rooted to the bottom of the table, were by far the better side in the first period, with Juan Pablo forced to pull off save after save.

Espanyol in fact had the ball in the net after 39 minutes as Sergio Sanchez fired an effort home, but Ivan Alonso's offside position saw it ruled out.

The second period was slightly more even, but it is the visiting side that will leave today wondering how and why they failed to win.

CA Osasuna 2-1 Athletic Club Bilbao

A late, late goal from Sergio Fernandez gave Osasuna all three points to leapfrog Athletic at the Reyno de Navarra.

Iranian hitman Masoud Shojaei made it 1-0 after 19 minutes with a close-range tap-in after good work from Jaroslav Plasil.

But Aitor Ocio responded four minutes later with a header to level the scores.

Five minutes after the break, though, Aitor was sent off for a foul on Masoud, and suddenly Osasuna were on the offensive.

Ten minutes before the end, man-of-the-match Masoud floated in a corner for Sergio to head home and win the match.

Real Racing Club 2-3 Real Betis Balompie

A thriller at the Sardinero saw Betis emerge victorious over ten-man Racing in their first match without Paco Chaparro at the helm.

After five minutes Racing went in front as Peter Luccin fired an Oscar Serrano corner past Casto for the opener.

But Edu equalised fifteen minutes later after great work from Mark Gonzalez down the left to feed his fellow Latino in the box.

A further ten minutes afterwards and Betis were in front, an absolute peach of a solo effort from the energetic Achille Emana leaving Tono helpless.

Nikola Zigic equalised soon afterwards, heading home a Pedro Munitis corner, and it was honours even heading into the break.

Five minutes after the interval Tono received his marching orders for bringing down Achille Emana outside the box after poor defending from Racing left hims tranded.

And the man himself, Emana, soon afterwards made it 2-3 after picking up on Jesus Capi's pass.

Real Sporting Gijon 2-3 Valencia

A late, late goal from Juan Mata saved Valencia's blushes away to Sporting, who would feel that they were worth at least a point.

David Silva opened the scoring after 18 minutes with a lovely dribble past three Sporting defenders and a drilled finish under Inaki Lafuente.

But David Barral saw the score even heading into the interval with a penalty after Raul Albiol wrestled Carmelo to the floor inside the box.

Nine minutes after the restart, hometown boy David Villa scored a spot-kick of his own after Rafael Sastre fouled Juan Mata in the area; out of deference to his boyhood club, El Guaje declined to celebrate his goal.

He had little cause to do so anyway, it seemed, as Mate Bilic equalised yet again 20 minutes from time by rising above Alexis Delgado to head home a Diego Castro cross.

Yet Mata was to have the final say in matters as he netted on the counter-attack to seal a vital win for Los Che, who also saw a late Joaquin effort ruled out for offside.