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Sporting gain lifeline on crucial day in Spain: La Liga Round-Up and Highlights
- Updated: 22 April, 2012
Saturday in la liga was dominated by the much-anticipated el clásico match-up between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, with the visitors 2-1 victory all-but clinching the title for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Sami Khedira stunned the home fans when he capitalised on some lapse defending in the Barcelona backline to break the deadlock in the 17th minutes, with the league leaders looking comfortable throughout the encounter. Substitute Alexis Sanchez levelled for Barça on 70 minutes but the joy lasted just 180 seconds as Cristiano Ronaldo latched onto a sublime ball from Mesut Ozil to fire past Victor Valdes and win the game for Madrid. Mourinho’s men now sit seven points clear at the top of the table with just four games remaining.
Sporting Gijon secured a crucial 2-1 home victory against nine-man Rayo Vallecano at el Molinon, to move level on points with Zaragoza at the foot of the table. Gaston Sangoy put the hosts in front mid-way through the first half before Mikel Labaka grabbed an equaliser six minutes after the break. Labaka was dismissed 15 minutes from time after scything down Mate Bilic who compounded the misery for Jose Ramon Sandoval when he fired in a superb free kick three minutes later to win the game. Jose Manuel Casado was then shown a second yellow card for Rayo minutes from the end to complete a disappointing day for the side from Madrid.
Zaragoza moved a step closer to relegation after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Mallorca in Palma – the third defeat in four la liga games for Manolo Jimenez’s side. The visitors started strongly but could not capitalise on their early pressure and were made to pay when Victor Casadesus headed past Roberto just past the half-hour mark to put Mallorca ahead. Zaragoza battled valiently after the break but could not find a way through a Mallorca side that have now guaranteed top flight football at Son Moix for yet another season.
In the day’s final game, Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw by Levante in a result that did little for either club’s Champions League aspirations. Alvaro Negredo put Michel’s side in front 21 minutes into the first half, only for Arouna Kone to level things up just seven minutes later. Negredo could have won the game for Sevilla but was unable to convert his spot kick three minutes from time.
BARCELONA 1-2 REAL MADRID
SPORTING GIJON 2-1 RAYO VALLECANO
MALLORCA 1-0 REAL ZARAGOZA
SEVILLA 1-1 LEVANTE