Soccer

Celta Vigo defeats Levante to end two-game league skid

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The Canadian Press
3/15/2014 1:13:02 PM
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BARCELONA, Spain - Celta Vigo earned an entertaining 1-0 win at Levante, to end a two-game losing run.

Forward Manuel "Nolito" Agudo scored from a well-orchestrated counterattack in the 19th for what proved to be the winner before both goalkeepers made several saves.

Goalie Keylor Navas stretched his leg to block Nolito's powerful volley seconds before Levante forward Victor Casadesus dribbled through two defenders and was fouled by Jonathan Castro in the area.

But David Barral fired the spot kick off the bar in the 61st before Celta goalie Yoel Rodriguez denied him what looked to be a sure goal by smothering a short-range effort on the line.

The loss was Levante's first in seven home games. Both teams stayed in the middle of the standings.

Rayo Vallecano striker Joaquin Larrivey scored two goals to help beat Almeria 3-1 on Saturday, provisionally lifting the minnow clear of the Spanish league's relegation zone with a third consecutive victory.

Rayo added the convincing victory to consecutive wins over Valencia and Real Sociedad as it revives its chances of staying in the top flight.

Forward Alberto Bueno headed Rayo in front in the 38th minute at Vallecas Stadium, and Iago Falque dribbled by a defender and picked out Larrivey to tap in his cross in the 57th.

After substitute Fernando Soriano pulled one back for Almeria in the 72nd, Larrivey started and finished a flowing series of one-touch passes to net his fourth goal in the last three games in the 78th.

Rayo rose three points above danger. Almeria was left in the drop zone along with Valladolid and Real Betis before they play on Sunday.

"We deserved this win," said Larrivey, who credited his team's turnaround on its recent change in "mentality."

"It's important to keep winning points to make sure we stay up," said Larrivey.

Later, leader Real Madrid visits Malaga before nearest chaser Atletico Madrid hosts Espanyol.

Manuel "Nolito" Agudo (Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
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