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Madrid held again, Athletic sink Sevilla and Levante go fourth: La Liga Round-Up and Highlights
- Updated: 9 April, 2012
Jasper Juinen/GETTY IMAGES
Real Madrid saw their lead over Barcelona further whittled away on Sunday as they were held to a goal less draw by Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Both sides had opportunities to win the encounter but were denied by some great goalkeeping and the woodwork, as the game was played at a frantic pace. The home side began strongly and Cristiano Ronaldo was unlucky when his blistering 30-yeard effort struck the post in the opening exchanges, however Valencia came back into the game and struck the post themselves soon after, through a header from Tino Costa.
Karim Benzema came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half, only to be denied by a fantastic double save from Vicente Guaita, while Ricardo Costa hit the upright again for the visitors. Jose Mourinho’s side have now drawn three of their last five games and sit just four points ahead of Barcelona, with el clásico still to come.
Athletic Club ended their recent poor league form as Fernando Llorente’s second half effort sunk a resurgent Sevilla at San Mames. Llorente missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half, only to head onto the bar with the goal at his mercy, while Alvaro Negredo also went close for the visitors.
The breakthrough finally came just minutes after the restart when Markel Susaeta’s cross was met by Llorente, who headed past Andres Palop. Athletic remain 11th, but are just two points behind Osasuna in sixth position.
Mallorca and Granada played out a tepid 0-0 draw at the Estadio Iberostar in Palma, earning vital points in their efforts to steer away from the relegation zone. There were few chances during the game, with the home side coming closest as Micahel Pereira’s long range effort struck the top of the cross bar mid-way through the second half.
In Sunday’s early kick off, Levante moved back into fourth spot after defeating a disappointing Atletico Madrid 2-0 at the Ciutat de Valencia. The home side were two goals up after just ten minutes through Valdo and Arouna Kone and could have made it three when Jose Barkero fired over from close range. Atletico’s misery was compounded when Miranda was dismissed in the closing stages for a second bookable offence. Diego Simeone’s men remain seventh but see any realistic hopes they had of securing Champions League football for next season extinguished with the loss.
LEVANTE 2-0 ATLETICO MADRID
MALLORCA 0-0 GRANADA
ATHLETIC 1-0 SEVILLA
REAL MADRID 0-0 VALENCIA