Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Raul brace not enough as Real Madrid are held

AFP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

Veteran striker Raul Gonzalez scored twice, but Real Madrid still lost ground in the Spanish title race after they were held at home 2-2 by Espanyol on Sunday. A below-par Madrid went behind from the penalty spot after 21 minutes, with Raul Tamudo firing home after he was felled by Gabriel Heinze.

Raul, returning to the side after being rested for the Champions League clash against Zenit St Petersburg, equalized with a header four minutes later.

On the half-hour, Luis Garcia restored Espanyol’s advantage, scoring from close range after good build up play from Roman Martinez, Tamudo and Ivan de la Pena. But then Raul was on hand to bring Real back level at the end of the first half.

A Manuel Fernandes strike in the 54th minute proved enough for a lethargic Valencia to beat Valladolid and reclaim top spot with 16 points.

Earlier on Sunday, Sevilla enjoyed a 4-0 mauling of Athletic Bilbao to move into third place on 14 points. The home side went ahead after 26 minutes through Frederic Kanoute and then five minutes before the interval Renato Santos doubled their advantage. Adriano Correia and substitute Ernesto Chevanton wrapped up the game in the second half.

Sporting Gijon moved off the bottom with a surprise 2-0 victory over Real Mallorca, Malaga made easy work of struggling Recreativo Huelva, beating their Andalusian neighbors 4-0. Racing Santander scored in the second minute of injury time at Osasuna to claim an important 1-0 victory and Almeria came from behind to draw 2-2 away to Getafe. A goal from Angel Lafita was enough for Deportivo La Coruna to beat Numancia.

Spanish La Liga

Team P GD PTS

1 Valencia 6 9 16

2 Villareal 6 6 16

3 Sevilla 6 8 14

4 Barcelona 6 11 13

5 Real Madrid 6 9 13

6 Almeria 6 2 11

7 Atletico Madrid6 2 9

8 Getafe 6 1 9

9 Espanyol 6 -1 8

10 Deportivo La Coruna 6 -1 8

11 Mallorca 6 -2 8

12 Malaga 6 -2 7

13 Valladolid 6 -2 6

14 Racing Santander6 -4 5

15 Athletic Bilbao 6 -5 5

16 Osasuna 6 -2 4

17 Numancia 6 -4 4

18 Recreativo Huelva 6 -9 4

19 Sporting Gijon 6 -12 3

20 Real Betis 6 -4 2

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