Tue, Apr 03, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Sevilla draw, lose ground on Barcelona

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER While Sevilla slipped up, an 83rd minute goal helped Real Madrid to maintain their unlikely title challenge with a win at Celta Vigo

AP , MADRID, SPAIN

Sevilla's Brazilian Luis Fabiano, left, vies with Osasuna's Miguel Flano during their Spanish league match on Sunday at the Reyno de Navarra stadium in Pamplona.

PHOTO: AFP

Sevilla were held to a 0-0 draw by Osasuna on Sunday and slipped to two points behind Spanish league leaders Barcelona.

Sevilla, who are bidding for their first league title since 1946, created few goal chances at Osasuna's Reyno de Navarra stadium and remain without a victory in their last four away games.

Meanwhile, Robinho scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo and keep them in the chase for their first title since 2003.

Ruud van Nistelrooy gave Madrid the lead with a 27th-minute penalty, but defender Angel Lopez equalized for the hosts in the 44th.

With 10 matches remaining, defending champions Barcelona have 56 points, followed by Sevilla with 54, Madrid with 51 and Valencia with 50.

Also, it was: Racing Santander 5, Athletic Bilbao 4; Getafe 2, Zaragoza 2; Atletico Madrid 1, Mallorca 1; and Gimnastic Tarragona 1, Recreativo Huelva 1.

Sevilla coach Juande Ramos omitted league leading scorer Frederic Kanoute from the starting lineup, presumably to rest him for Thursday's UEFA Cup quarter-final match against Tottenham. Midfielder Christian Poulsen and defender Julien Escude were also left on the bench at the start.

Two more of the team's key players -- goalkeeper Andres Palop and defender Daniel Alves -- missed the game with minor injuries.

Osasuna, also in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals and playing Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday, kept Sevilla at bay despite the appearances of Poulsen and then Kanoute during the second half.

Madrid won for the ninth time in 15 away matches this season but spent long periods of the game on the defensive.

Van Nistelrooy's successful spot kick came after the striker was tripped by Celta goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto. The goal was the Dutchman's 15th of the season, with 12 of them coming on the road.

Backheel

Angel replied when he angled a low shot home after receiving the ball from a deft backheel by midfielder Nene.

With Madrid struggling in the second half, coach Fabio Capello brought on Robinho to replace captain Raul Gonzalez in the 62nd minute.

The 17th-place hosts, who have won only one of 14 league games at Balaidos stadium, continued to dominate but wasted a series of chances.

However, Robinho headed in the winning goal after Pinto was unable to collect a cross by forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Madrid midfielder Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez received two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off in the 90th minute.

Madrid played without their suspended defender Fabio Cannavaro, while David Beckham missed his third match with a sprained right knee ligament. Roberto Carlos was also sidelined with a thigh injury.

Zigic brace

Nikola Zigic scored twice to help Santander beat Athletic Bilbao in a match which produced eight goals after half-time.

The towering Serbia striker scored in the 72nd and 89th minutes to extend Santander's unbeaten streak to six games and lift the team into seventh place.

Bilbao's loss kept them in the relegation zone and added to their fears of a first appearance in the second division next season.

Getafe staged a second-half rally to draw with Zaragoza, who stayed in fifth place with 47 points.

Zaragoza striker Sergio Garcia scored the first goal in the 22nd minute, with Andres D'Alessandro doubling the lead when his long range free kick sailed over Getafe's defense and into the net.

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