Levante wins at Deportivo La Coruna to move into fourth place

Associated Press
11/18/2012 1:54:54 PM
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Ten-man Atletico Madrid stayed in the chase for the Spanish league lead by beating Granada 1-0 thanks to Arda Turan's second-half goal on Sunday.

Levante, meanwhile, moved up to fourth place and into the Champions League places after winning 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna in an eventful match in which both teams finished with 10 men.

With Atletico striker Radamel Falcao without a goal for the third straight game, Turan stepped up in the 61st minute to ensure the hard-earned win for Simeone Diego's team that keeps it three points behind pacesetter Barcelona.

The Turkey midfielder volleyed in from substitute Jorge "Koke" Resurrecion's cross after Diego Costa had started the move that succeeded in unlocking Granada's defence.

Granada had outplayed the visitors at Los Carmenes stadium, coming close through Gabriel Torje when he hit the post in the 35th.

Atletico resisted with a man down from the 71st when Mario Suarez received his second yellow card.

Atletico's 10th victory in 12 rounds ensured it would arrive to the Spanish capital derby in two rounds ahead of third-place Real Madrid in the standings.

Earlier, Obafemi Martins gave visiting Levante the lead in the 40th minute when he latched onto a long ball, dribbled past goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia and rolled in his fifth goal in eight league appearances.

The contest appeared to have swung in Deportivo's favour when Pedro Lopez was sent off for his second booking for handling the ball in the area.

But Ivan "Riki" Sanchez missed the resulting 55th-minute penalty and Aranzubia was sent off for fouling Martins in the 69th.

Having already made all three substitutions, Deportivo used midfielder Alejandro Bergantinos as stand-in goalkeeper, and Levante forward Jose Barkero sealed the win with a long-range strike in the 82nd.

"We are very happy," said Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez. "(But) we have to acknowledge what happened. Our rival had to substitute both centre backs and then tried to go for the game by making a third change. The penalty could have made it 1-1 and the sending off of their 'keeper conditioned the match."

Elsewhere, Getafe scored twice in four second-half minutes to edge out Valladolid 2-1, while Mallorca broke a six-game losing run by drawing 1-1 at Celta Vigo.

Oscar Gonzalez punched in a rebound for his sixth goal of the season to give Valladolid the lead at Getafe's Alfonso Perez stadium just before the halftime whistle.

But Getafe rallied after Valladolid's Omar Ramos hit the crossbar to earn its first win in three rounds.

Getafe defender Alexis Ruano first headed in Pedro Leon's corner at the far post in the 74th, and moments later substitute Angel Lafita cut between two defenders before curling in the winner from the left corner of the area.

In Vigo, forward Tomer Hemed scored his seventh league goal to give Mallorca the lead in the 22nd, before Park Chu-young met Iago Aspas' low cross to tap in the hosts' equalizer in the 56th.

Later, Sevilla hosts Real Betis in the always heated Seville derby.

On Saturday, leader Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 3-1 to remain unbeaten and extend its club-record start, while Real Madrid thrashed Athletic Bilbao 5-1 to strengthen its hold on third place. Valencia downed Espanyol 2-1, and Malaga drew 0-0 at Osasuna.

Rayo Vallecano visits Real Sociedad on Monday.

Soccer Balls (Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)


(Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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