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Spain round-up: Real joy for Karpin

Published: Saturday 7 December 2002, 20.37CET
Real Sociedad won 1-0 at Sevilla FC to stay top, but Valencia CF's victory maintains their challenge.

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Published: Saturday 7 December 2002, 20.37CET

Spain round-up: Real joy for Karpin

Real Sociedad won 1-0 at Sevilla FC to stay top, but Valencia CF's victory maintains their challenge.
Real Sociedad won 1-0 at Sevilla FC to stay top of the Primera División, but reigning champions Valencia CF also won to maintain their title challenge.

Karpin strike
Sociedad's unbeaten run this season was extended further as Russian midfield player Valeri Karpin celebrated signing a new contract at the club earlier this week by scoring the only goal of the game at the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.

Below-par performance
Karpin goal was a close-range effort from six metres after a pass from Francisco Pedro with 19 minutes of the game remainingm which sealed victory for Real despite a below-par overall performance and extended their lead at the top of the table to four points.

Valencia in second
Valencia are now in second as they overcame Real Racing Club Santander at the Mestalla stadium. The 2-0 win came courtesy of a goal from Miguel Angulo four minutes before the interval and a John Carew strike two minutes into the second half.

Molina on target
Elsewhere, RC Recreativo de Huelva earned a rare point as they held RC Deportivo La Coruña to a 1-1 draw. The Primera División's bottom side gave the UEFA Champions League challengers an uncomfortable evening at the Nuevo Colombino stadium, taking the lead after 20 minutes through Raúl Molina.

Tristán equaliser
Javier Irureta's side levelled the scores just six minutes later through Diego Tristán's 20-metre drive but they missed the opportunity to strengthen their challenge for a place in Europe next season as Recreativo held firm, even after having young striker Xisco sent off ten minutes from time.

Silva strikes gold
Meanwhile, it took a Dario Silva equaliser 14 minutes from time to earn Málaga CF a 1-1 draw at home against Villarreal CF. The visitors took the lead through Martin Palermo after 58 minutes but the UEFA Cup contenders recovered their composure, despite having Roberto Rojas sent off, to earn a point.

Barcelona lose
In today's other game, FC Barcelona's impressive UEFA Champions League form continued to elude them in domestic competition as they lost 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano. Jorge Azkoitia scored the only goal of the game against a listless Barcelona to secure his side's third win of the season.
Last updated: 08/12/02 22.19CET
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