Tue, Nov 11, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Ragged Real Madrid exposed by savage Sevilla at Bernabau

REUTERS , Madrid

Sevilla tore through Real Madrid's paper-thin defense on their way to a 4-1 win over the reigning champions on Sunday, while Valencia went down 2-1 at home to Racing Santander on a night of surprises in the Primera Liga.

Real, needing a win to reclaim the league leadership from Deportivo Coruna, found themselves 3-0 down inside 15 minutes and Javi Casquero crashed in a fourth eight minutes before halftime to leave the reigning league champions reeling.

Ronaldo pulled one back 10 minutes into the second half but there was to be no heroic comeback and the sending off of Guti six minutes from time completed a miserable night for Carlos Queiroz's side.

Real's defeat followed a less dramatic setback for Valencia, who went down 2-1 as Rodolfo Bodipo struck twice for Racing.

Those results gave Deportivo full value for their 2-1 win at home to Real Sociedad on Saturday, taking the Galicians top of the table with 25 points from 11 matches.

Valencia slipped to second on 23, with Real staying behind them in third on goal difference.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid managed to grind out victories to close up on the leaders.

Barcelona edged past Real Betis 2-1 with goals from Patrick Kluivert and Rafael Marquez, while Atletico claimed their fifth successive league win, 1-0 against Villarreal, with a fine Alvaro Novo strike.

Barcelona's victory took them up to fourth on 19 points, ahead of Atletico on goal difference, and after a disappointing start to the season Frank Rijkaard's side are now just four points behind Real Madrid.

Valencia were second best throughout against a fired-up Racing side.

Racing's opener arrived after 23 minutes when Carlos Marchena's poor touch on the edge of the area allowed Bodipo to steal in and thread a shot past Santiago Canizares.

Valencia hit back two minutes later when Baraja got the sweetest of touches on a Jorge Lopez free kick to beat goalkeeper Ricardo at his near post but Bodipo turned in a cross from Mario Regueiro for the winner early in the second half.

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