My Soccer World

Football: Renato Strikes Again As Sevilla Take Villarreal Scalp

Posted on: December 15, 2008

MADRID: Brazilian Renato was the hero again as Sevilla followed up their Real Madrid scalp with a 1-0 home win over title rivals Villarreal on Sunday to go third in the table.

Renato had scored an 84th-minute winner as Sevilla overcame Real 4-3 last weekend and struck on the chime of half-time to secure a valuable three points and they move level on points with Valencia, eight behind leaders Barcelona.

“If my facts aren’t wrong Villarreal only had one shot on our goal and that says a lot about my players,” enthused Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez.

Villarreal slip to fourth and trail Barcelona, who defeated Real 2-0 in ‘El Clasico’ at Camp Nou on Saturday, by nine points.

Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez stuck by the same system that defeated Real with Ivica Dragutinovic the only personnel change replacing Fernando Navarro at full back.

Luis Fabiano and Diego Capel, two of their biggest stars, started on the substitutes bench to their dismay.

Both sides had conceded three goals in their last matches against Real and Getafe respectively, so goals were expected, but it was scoreless with half-time close.

The referee was close to blowing up only for Renato to score with Frederic Kanoute’s miscontrol of a high ball inadvertently setting up the Samba striker who looked borderline offside.

“Sevilla’s goal was offside,” said Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini. “The mistake opened the game up for Sevilla and they started to play better. It was always difficult with one man less.”

Villarreal had seen Jose Llorente sent off on eight minutes into the second half for a second booking.

Kanoute and substitute Fabiano wasted great chances to extend Sevilla’s lead but in the end the single goal proved enough.

Sevilla are now emerging as surprise title contenders to Barcelona who opened up a 12-point gap over champions Real with a 2-0 win in ‘El Clasico’ at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi in the final seven minutes sunk Real and sparked wild celebrations.

“Barcelona are already celebrating the league title but for us the important thing is to beat Valencia and get to January in good shape,” said Real veteran Michel Salgado.

“Winning El Clasico is always great but to do it in the final few minutes is incredible,” said Barca’s French forward Thierry Henry. “We want to enjoy the moment but we realise there a lot of games left to go.”

Real’s defeat means neighbours Atletico Madrid can go above champions in Sunday’s late match against Real Betis.

“We have lots of reasons to win this match such as signing off the year with a win for our fans,” said Atletico coach Javier Aguirre.

“We are not where we want to be at the moment. We want to be in the top four and we are sixth so we need to push on.”

Elsewhere, Real Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano continues to feel the strain after his struggling team crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Getafe on Sunday.

Mallorca, who finished seventh last season, have now taken one point from their last 15 and the latest defeat sees them drop into the bottom three.

A Cosmin Contra penalty and a strike from Ikechuwku Uche put Getafe two goals up inside the first half an hour and Mallorca never recovered.

Manzano was furious at the opening penalty claiming Uche had deceived the referee.

“Uche did well like every other striker that steps in the penalty area,” raged Manzano. “The result was excessive and I just hope that the dubious penalties start coming our way.”

Recreativo Huelva, second from bottom, moved level on 13 points with Mallorca after defeating Osasuna 1-0 in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday.

Adrian Colunga scored on 83 minutes to down Osasuna who are now four points adrift at the bottom.

Results:

Getafe 4 Real Mallorca 1

Recreativo Huelva 1 Osasuna 0

Valladolid 3 Deportivo La Coruna 0

Malaga 2 Numancia 0

Almeria 1 Racing Santander 1

Athletic Bilbao 3 Sporting Gijon 0

Sevilla 1 Villarreal 0

Atletico Madrid 2 Real Betis 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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