Wed, Jan 25, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Villarreal notch first win in seven games to escape drop zone

Reuters, MADRID

Villarreal’s Marcos Senna, center, battles for the ball with Sporting de Gijon’s Nacho Cases, left, and David Barral in their La Liga match at El Madrigal in Villarreal, Spain, on Monday.

Photo: EPA

Villarreal recorded their first win in seven games and climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 La Liga win at home to fellow strugglers Sporting de Gijon on Monday.

Marco Ruben and Borja Valero netted two goals in two minutes, while Bruno Soriano struck in stoppage-time for the 2006 Champions League semi-finalists.

Villarreal, whose campaign has been wrecked by injuries to key players, made the breakthrough in the 57th minute at El Madrigal when Ruben battled through a crowd of defenders and slotted past Juan Pablo.

Valero added a second in the 59th minute when he found space outside the penalty area and lashed a powerful drive into the corner of the net, before Soriano curled a superb shot into the top corner in the first minute of stoppage-time.

With half the season played, Villarreal are 17th on 19 points, ahead of 18th-placed Granada on goal-difference after the Andalusian club were beaten 3-0 at RCD Espanyol on Saturday.

It was a first win for Villarreal coach Jose Francisco Molina, who was promoted from the B team last month after the sacking of Juan Carlos Garrido.

Gijon, who barely threatened the Villarreal goal, are 19th on 18 points, six ahead of bottom side Real Zaragoza, who drew 0-0 at Levante UD on Sunday.

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