Football: Ten-Man Sevilla Down Deportivo
Posted January 11, 2009on:
MADRID : Ten-man Sevilla defeated Deportivo La Coruna for the second time in a week running out 3-1 winners on Saturday to go second in the Spanish first division, trailing leaders Barcelona by nine points.
Sevilla showed great resolve, playing with one man less for over half the match, to overturn a 1-0 deficit at the Riazor Stadium with Brazilians Luis Fabiano and Renato netting in the second half along with Diego Capel.
It was the second meeting in four days for these two teams – with Sevilla defeating Depor 2-1 on Wednesday in the first leg of their last 16 Spanish Cup match – and Depor were again on the wrong end of the scoreline.
Rodolfo Bodipo put Depor ahead on 34 minutes and the game swung further in their favour when Enzo Maresca was sent off on 41 minutes for an elbow incident.
Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez boldy brought on another striker in Frederic Kanoute, fined this week for displaying a t-shirt with the word “Palestine” on his shirt during the cup match against Depor, and it paid off handsomely.
Kanoute set up the 50th minute equaliser for Fabiano, who also scored against Depor in the cup, and then set up Renato on 78 minutes. Capel added a third in the dying seconds as Depor pushed for an equaliser.
Depor stay sixth, five points behind Sevilla, and while they can feel disappointed at losing they can at least take some comfort from their improvement on last season when they were second from bottom at this stage.
Depor and Sevilla face off again at the same venue on Wednesday in the second leg of the Kings Cup giving La Coruna another chance for revenge.
There is an exciting derby match between Valencia, dropping to third due to Sevilla’s victory, and Villarreal later on Saturday with both sides chasing Champions League football for next season.
Villarreal have lost their last three league matches and coach Manuel Pellegrini admits the Valencia game is a key fixture.
“If we beat them we will be a point behind them, however, if we lose there will be a gap of seven points,” said Pellegrini. “It is an important game but I would not say it is decisive.”
Valencia have been rejuvenated under coach Unai Emery and are buoyed by a 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid last weekend. If they win Valencia would move to within eight points of Barcelona.
Barcelona travel to basement boys Osasuna on Sunday with coach Pep Guardiola playing down suggestions his team are capable of winning a league, Spanish Cup and Champions League treble.
“The treble has not been won here in 109 years and I cannot accept that we will win it,” explained Guardiola. “It is an absurd thought.”
Real Madrid, 12 points adrift of Barca, travel to Real Mallorca on Sunday with captain Raul adamant that the champions can come from behind to snatch the title like they did two seasons ago under Fabio Capello.
“There are still 20 games left and 60 more points at stake,” pointed out Raul. “It is still too soon to be so categorical. Barcelona are playing very well, but we managed to win the league against all odds two years ago.”
– AFP /ls
Channel News Asia