Villarreal beats Sevilla 1-0 in Spanish league
BARCELONA, Spain (AP)—Nilmar’s ninth goal of the season gave Villarreal a 1-0 win over struggling Sevilla on Sunday in the Spanish league, and 10-man Espanyol beat Sporting Gijon 1-0.
Villarreal forward Guiseppe Rossi threaded a pass through the defense and Nilmar did the rest, maneuvering around goalke
eper Andres Palop with one touch to gain the angle to slot the ball home in the 30th minute.
Villarreal remains in third place, five points behind second-place Real Madrid. Sevilla has lost four straight in all competitions and fell to 10th place.
Manager Juan Carlos Garrido underscored the importance of the victory that left Villarreal six points clear of fifth place, strengthening its claim on Spain’s four Champions League spots.
ing at the results of this round and the losses of teams like Valencia and Atletico Madrid, this is a great result,” he said.
Sevilla failed to threaten Diego Lopez’s goal in the first half, with Villarreal having the best of the few scoring chances.
Before Nilmar’s goal, the Brazil striker missed with a left-footed shot after linking up with Santiago Cazorla, who also tes
ted Palop with a strike from inside the area.
Sevilla manager Gregorio Manzano sent on striker Alvaro Negredo and winger Diego Capel early in the second half to try and hit back. But it was teammate Frederic Kanoute who forced a diving save from Lopez with a 70th-minute header.
Lopez again bl
ocked an attempt by Sevilla left back Fernando Navarro with less than 10 minutes to play to ensure the win.
Espanyol extended its perfect record at Prat-Cornella stadium to move four points clear of fifth-place Valencia.
r a drab first half, Espanyol was reduced to 10 men in the 52nd when defender Raul Baena was shown his second yellow card.
But Luis Garcia broke the deadlock in the 70th. Pablo Osvaldo put the Espanyol forward through and Garcia fired low into the net.
tant thing is that the team continued looking for the win throughout the first and second half,” Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “We didn’t change our philosophy in any moment despite playing with 10 (men).”
At Anoeta stadium, Real Sociedad won the Basque derby against Athletic Bilbao 2-0 after two costly mistakes by Bilbao center back Markel San Jose.
e handled in the area, allowing Xabier Prieto to convert the 26th-minute penalty at the second attempt because the Real Sociedad playmaker had paused in his run-up during the first.
Three minutes into the second half, San Jose redirected a cross by Prieto into his own net.
The victory lifted Real Sociedad into sixth place with 22 points, while Bilbao slid to 11th.
r Sunday, Pedro Rios scored twice to lead Getafe to a 3-0 win over Mallorca, and Malaga downed Racing Santander 4-1 after a brace by Jose Rondon.
Getafe bounced back from its midweek Europa League elimination with a second straight league win to move ninth place with 20 points, one behind Mallorca, which dropped to seventh after its first loss in four weeks.
etafe went ahead in the 20th after an individual effort by Rios that culminated with a sharp strike from the edge of the area.
Rios added the second eight minutes later, firing home a backheeled pass from Nicolas Fedor. It was Rios’ fourth goal in three games.
“Pedro Rios was excellent. Not only did he score the goals, but he also played well in midfield,” Getafe coach Jose M
iguel Gonzalez said.
Daniel Parejo added Getafe’s third in the 79th.
Malaga’s second home win at La Rosaleda stadium lifted it out of the relegation zone into 17th place and 13 points, one behind Racing.
Eliseu Pereira scored Malaga’s 29th-minute opener, and Jose Luis Garcia doubled the advantage in the 43rd.
Two minutes later, Markus Rosenberg pulled one back for Racing, but Eliseu linked up twice with Rondon early in the second half to put the game beyond Racing.
Rondon fired in a cross from Eliseu for Malaga’s third in the 52nd and three minutes later Eliseu set up the Venezuelan striker to seal the win.
At the other end of the standings, last-place Zaragoza drew 1-1 with 19th-place Almeria.
el Fernandez put Zaragoza ahead with a 67th-minute penalty, but Pablo Piatti equalized for Almeria 10 minutes later.
On Saturday, Barcelona won 3-0 at Osasuna to remain top of the league with 37 points, while Madrid stayed two points b
ack after beating Valencia 2-0.
Deportivo La Coruna plays Hercules on Monday. (Yahoo)