Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Higuain's goal salvages a point for Real Madrid

AP , MADRID

Gonzalo Higuain's goal midway through the second half rallied Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Higuain's goal in the 62nd minute was his first since joining Madrid from Argentine side River Plate, beating the offside trap and converting substitute Antonio Cassano's through ball past goalkeeper Leo Franco.

Fernando Torres gave Atletico the lead in the 11th with his first-ever goal against Madrid.

The Spain striker knocked down a low cross from winger Luciano Galletti inside the edge of the area before beating goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

The result extended Madrid's unbeaten league streak to three, but left it with only one win in its last five. It moved into sole possession of third place with 43 points, three behind league leaders FC Barcelona and Sevilla. Valencia is fourth with 42.

Atletico, which hasn't beaten Madrid in eight years, is fifth with 40.

In Saturday's other game, Deportivo La Coruna extended its unbeaten run to 11 games after striker Javier Arizmendi scored his fifth league goal in the 29th minute of a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad.

Striker Samuel Eto'o -- who has played only five minutes since returning from a knee injury sustained in September -- was included in the Barcelona squad to face Athletic Bilbao yesterday.

But the Catalan club -- which lost 2-1 at Valencia last week and was beaten 2-1 on Tuesday by Liverpool in the Champions League -- were without suspended midfielder Deco.

Also yesterday, Sevilla traveled to Getafe, Villarreal hosted Mallorca, Levante played Zaragoza, Real Betis met Recreativo Huelva, Racing Santander played at Celta Vigo, Osasuna faced Espanyol and last-placed Gimnastic Tarragona played Valencia.

Atletico fans clashed with police outside the stadium as Madrid's team bus arrived before the game, throwing objects and smashing car windows.

Madrid was without Los Angeles Galaxy-bound midfielder David Beckham, suspended for receiving a red card last week, and leading goalscorer Ruud van Nistelrooy, who had an undisclosed injury.

Reports this week also suggested the game at Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium could be Fabio Capello's last as Madrid coach if he successfully negotiated a buyout with the club.

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