Mon, May 09, 2011 - Page 20 News List

SOCCER: LFP: Draw sees Villarreal slip five points behind Valencia

Reuters and AFP, MADRID and BARCELONA

Villarreal’s Giuseppe Rossi, right, vies for the ball with Mallorca’s Pau Cendros during their match yesterday in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Photo: AFP

Villarreal were held to a dull 0-0 draw at Real Mallorca in La Liga yesterday, a result which saw their chances of securing automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League fade away.

Juan Carlos Garrido’s men, who were knocked out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage by Porto on Thursday, stayed fourth in the standings with 61 points and three games left to play after a rare midday kickoff.

Villarreal slipped five points behind local rivals Valencia in third, who were 3-0 winners over Real Sociedad on Saturday, but they pulled seven points ahead of fifth place.

In Saturday’s other action, Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed four goals to take his season’s tally to 33 as Real Madrid crushed Sevilla 6-2 to keep alive their slim hopes of beating Barcelona to the title.

Frenchman Karim Benzema missed a glaring chance early on, but finally the Real pressure told as Sergio Ramos headed home a corner. Ronaldo extended the lead after bringing down a pass from Pepe and firing past the goalkeeper, before Kaka hit a third as Real dominated.

Valencia boosted their hopes of finishing third with their over Real Sociedad.

After back-to-back defeats, Valencia needed a victory to keep Villarreal at bay.

Roberto Soldado scored twice and Jonas Goncalves found the back of the net in between.

Goals for Getafe at the beginning of either half from Adrian Colunga and Pedro Rios brought to an end Almeria’s survival dream in a 2-0 win.

It was only Getafe’s third victory this year and took them out of the relegation zone.

Hercules’ future is also looking bleak as they are now six points from safety following a 3-2 defeat at home by Racing Santander.

Giovani dos Santos twice put Racing ahead, but Hercules battled back through Sendoa Aguirre and Tiago Gomes.

Then, in first-half stoppage-time, Henrique Buss restored Racing’s advantage to give them three points.

Athletic Bilbao moved up to fifth in the table with a 3-2 win over Levante, but European chasing Atletico Madrid crashed 3-0 at home against a rejuvenated Malaga.

In other action, Deportivo La Coruna and Sporting Gijon drew 2-2.

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