Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Getafe hold Barcelona to 1-1 draw

AFP , MADRID

Real Madrid's Marcelo Vieira takes a tumble after being tackled by Deportivo La Coruna's Aldo Duscher during their soccer match at the Riazor Stadium in Coruna, Spain, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Reigning champions Barcelona missed the chance to go top of the Spanish Primera Liga on Sunday when they were held 1-1 at Getafe.

Leaders Sevilla had opened the door for Barcelona to regain pole position when the league leaders went down 2-1 at Real Zaragoza on Saturday.

Third-placed Real Madrid also failed to close in on the leaders after losing 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna where they have not won for 14 years.

Barca came up against a highly motivated Getafe who have only lost once at home this season.

But the draw did at least close the gap at the top to two points and Barcelona have a game in hand.

Missing suspended superstars Deco and Ronaldinho, with Samuel Eto'o (knee) and Lionel Messi (foot) out injured, Frank Rijkaard's side were trailing after 54 minutes following a howler from Mexican defender Rafael Marquez.

The normally reliable Marquez blundered his pass to goalie Victor Valdes, gifting the ball to David Guiza, who fired into the net.

Xavi saved face for Barcelona with a free kick equalizer after 70 minutes.

Both Deportivo's goals came courtesy of defensive errors, the first from a mix-up between Jose Antonio Reyes and debutant Fernando Gago.

Joan Capdevilla was on hand to benefit and on 55 minutes, Cristian made the most of a mistake by Italian World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro to double the hosts' advantage.

The victory ended a run of 10 league games without a win for Deportivo while Real slumped to their third defeat in their last four games and remain five points off Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid are in sixth place after they were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom club Gimnastic Tarragona.

Struggling Real Betis, meanwhile, gave new coach Luis Fernandez a boost when they won 1-0 at home against Celta Vigo.

A goal after 60 minutes from Brazilian Rafael Sobis handed Betis just their fourth win out of 16 games.

Elsewhere goals from Diego Camacho and Olivier Kapo gave Levante a 2-0 at home against Racing Santander.

Recreativo Huelva won 1-0 at Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao won 3-1 at Real Mallorca.

Real Sociedad, who are just one place above Gimnastic, won 2-1 against Osasuna.

The Basques took the lead thanks to a Xavi Prieto penalty after 19 minutes when the midfielder was adjudged to have been fouled by Osasuna's Enrique Corrales.

Osasuna immediately fought back and Raul Garcia equalized after 56 minutes but Mikel Aranburu got the winner for Sociedad barely one minute from the whistle.

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