LFP: Cani’s lob helps Villarreal down Osasuna


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 18

A spectacular lob from the halfway-line by Ruben Cani helped Villarreal to a 4-2 victory over Osasuna on Saturday, keeping them in third place in La Liga and maintaining their push for a place in Europe.

Villarreal went into the game with several important players missing, but Marco Ruben took advantage of a rare start by scoring the opening goal. Osasuna drew level from a corner, with Krisztian Vadocz heading home, but they were soon behind again when Cani spotted goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez off his line and lofted the ball from the halfway-line over his head.

In an exciting end-to-end game, Joan Capdevila and Gonzalo Rodriguez scored further goals for Villarreal, with substitute Javier Calleja finding the back of the net in between for the visitors.

“We have played a lot of games and to maintain this level is not easy. We have managed it as a team by suffering and fighting in each game. This match was tough and to win without playing particularly well gives you a boost,” Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido said.

Osasuna coach Jose Antonio Camacho admitted that Cani’s goal was a big blow.

“I told the ’keeper to push forward a bit and they caught us out. We now need to keep working, but we have to do more than that to win as we are working hard at the moment,” Camacho said.

A brace from Jose Callejon gave Espanyol a 2-1 win over Sevilla, putting them on the verge of the Champions League places, but the real star was goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

Sevilla’s form has improved since Christmas and they dominated from the start, but they could not find a way past the Cameroon ’keeper. Kameni showed his dexterity to parry headers from Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute, and then Sevilla were made to pay for their profligate finishing when Callejon scored from a breakaway.

The Espanyol forward found the back of the net a second time against the run of play after the break, while Kameni was finally beaten by substitute Alvaro Negredo in stoppage-time.

Early goals from Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain set Athletic Bilbao up for a 2-1 victory over Racing Santander.

More clinical finishing from the home side proved the difference as Racing Santander had plenty of possession, but struggled in front of goal. Pedro Munitis rounded goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz, but shot over the cross bar, while Kennedy hit the woodwork with a fine long-range shot, before Ivan Bolado earned Racing a consolation.

Real Sociedad bounced back from four straight defeats with a convincing 4-0 win away to in-form Getafe.

Xabi Prieto sent them on their way from the penalty spot after nine minutes and then Antoine Griezmann and a Mikel Aranburu double secured the win.

Real Zaragoza came out on top 1-0 in the relegation scrap against Levante, with Gabi Fernandez scoring the key goal, while David Barral and Nacho Cases gave Sporting Gijon a 2-0 win over Hercules.