Tue, Sep 25, 2012 - Page 18 News List

BBVA: RCD Mallorca go second, Madrid derby postponed

AP, BARCELONA, Spain

Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao, right, battles for the ball with Real Valladolid’s Victor Perez in their La Liga match in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

RCD Mallorca’s 2-0 win over Valencia to extend their excellent start and move up to second place in La Liga was overshadowed on Sunday by the postponement of Real Madrid’s game at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid due to a presumed act of sabotage that left the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas insufficiently well lit.

The Spanish capital derby had been billed as a must-win match for Real Madrid, who are 11 points behind leaders Barcelona. Instead, electricians tried and failed to repair the damage caused by what Rayo president Raul Martin Presa called “vandals,” who had “cut the wiring” on some of the stadium’s floodlight towers.

“Unfortunately, because of an act of sabotage, we won’t be able to stage the game. It is a disgrace,” said Presa, adding that the match would be rescheduled for yesterday evening.

Earlier on Sunday, Victor Casadesus scored one goal and set up another to ensure that undefeated Mallorca won their third straight match at Iberostar Stadium, lifting them to within four points of Barcelona.

Victor put Joaquin Caparros’ team ahead eight minutes in when his shot slipped under goalkeeper Diego Alves. The Spanish forward then headed on a long goal-kick for Angel Arizmendi to double the hosts’ advantage in the 55th minute, just seconds after coming on as a substitute.

Valencia, who lost their UEFA Champions League opener at Bayern Munich last week, have just one win after five rounds.

“Maybe we can stir [the league] up because, I insist, this team is ambitious, but we have to keep our feet firmly on the ground because football has many ups and downs, and the best way forward is to focus on the short term, like the next game,” Caparros said.

Also on Sunday, Malaga drew 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao to stay unbeaten in third place and level with Mallorca on points, while Atletico Madrid won their third straight by downing visiting Real Valladolid 2-1 and Levante UD rallied to a 2-1 home win over Real Sociedad.

Defender Diego Godin showed the finishing touch of a striker to give Atletico the lead in the 31st minute with a cool chip shot and Radamel Falcao tallied his eighth goal in all competitions for Atletico with a spot-kick in the 45th.

Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois let Alberto Bueno’s shot slip through his hands to gift Valladolid a consolation goal in the 55th minute.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone applauded the “absolute precision” of Godin’s goal, but the Argentine manager saved his highest praise for his goalkeeper.

“I congratulated him. After his mistake, he knew how to react and made quality saves. I think he was the man of the match,” Simeone said.

In Valencia, former Newcastle United forward Obafemi Martins netted an 86th-minute winner in his debut for Levante to seal their comeback.

Sociedad went in front at the Estadio Ciutat de Valencia through David Zurutuza’s long-range strike off the upright in the 23rd minute, only for Jose Barkero to level for Levante with a penalty with 20 minutes left to play.

Martins, who had gone on after halftime, used his pace to chase down Sergio Ballestero’s long pass, head it forward and fire past the goalkeeper to snatch the win in dramatic fashion, before celebrating with a series of somersaults.

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