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Valencia top as Madrid fall

Published: Sunday 11 April 2004, 21.44CET
Valencia CF went top in Spain after CA Osasuna inflicted a shock 3-0 home defeat on Real Madrid CF.

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Published: Sunday 11 April 2004, 21.44CET

Valencia top as Madrid fall

Valencia CF went top in Spain after CA Osasuna inflicted a shock 3-0 home defeat on Real Madrid CF.

Valencia CF's 1-0 defeat of Real Zaragoza nudged Rafael Benítez's team two points clear at the summit of the Primera División on Sunday. The 2002 champions stayed top after Real Madrid CF failed to respond later in the day as they fell to a shock 3-0 defeat against CA Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Hangover blues
Madrid appeared to be suffering the effects of Tuesday's elimination from the UEFA Champions League at the hands of AS Monaco FC and went into the break two goals down. Valdo rifled in a surprise opener in the second minute and Osasuna doubled the lead on the cusp of half-time, Pablo García judging a chip to perfection to beat goalkeeper Iker Casillas. It went from bad to worse for Madrid at the start of the second half, Moroccan midfield player Moha heading in a cross to make it 3-0.

Decisive Angulo
Miguel Angulo's goal for Valencia in a 1-0 win at Real Zaragoza consequently took on greater significance than anticipated. In a game where both sides struggled to create chances, Angulo finally punctured the solid resistance offered by this year's Copa del Rey winners in the 67th minute, converting a header from a Jorge López cross.

Perfect week
RC Deportivo La Coruña concluded a perfect week in the wake of their heroic win against AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-finals, by leapfrogging FC Barcelona into third place courtesy of a 2-0 away victory against Villarreal CF.

Tristán chip
Barça beat Real Valladolid 3-1 away on Saturday but Depor produced an equally impressive result against the UEFA Cup quarter-finalists on Sunday, going in front after 37 minutes when Walter Pandiani headed in a cross from Mauro Silva. Francisco García's team stayed in contention throughout and it was not until Diego Tristán chipped goalkeeper José Reina in the final minute that the result was safe.

UEFA push
Athletic Club Bilbao consolidated their push for a UEFA Cup place, profiting from Club Atlético de Madrid's loss to Málaga CF on Saturday, with a 2-1 away triumph against Real Racing Club Santander. Francisco Yeste's last-minute goal earned a vital three points for the Basque side, who took the lead when Andoni Iraola polished off a pass from Tiko.

Betis woe
RCD Mallorca overcame out-of-sorts Real Betis Balompié 2-0, Samuel Eto'o putting the visitors ahead in the 14th minute and Jesús Parera, the player who fed the Cameroonian striker for the opener, collecting the second.

Relative safety
Real Sociedad de Fútbol's 2-0 defeat of bottom club Real Murcia CF moved them to the relative safety of 12th place. The hosts battled tenaciously in the first half but Nihat Kahveci eventually broke through in the 63rd minute and secured the points in the 87th. Third-bottom RCD Espanyol and Albacete Balompié, in 15th, cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw.

Last updated: 12/04/04 11.59CET

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