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Spain round-up: Real shock for Valencia

Published: Saturday 11 January 2003, 23.30CET
Real Sociedad came back to draw 2-2 at Valencia CF while Real Madrid CF won to close the gap at the top.

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Published: Saturday 11 January 2003, 23.30CET

Spain round-up: Real shock for Valencia

Real Sociedad came back to draw 2-2 at Valencia CF while Real Madrid CF won to close the gap at the top.

Primera División leaders Real Sociedad preserved their unbeaten record, but had to come from two goals down at Valencia CF and are just one point ahead Real Madrid CF.

Bizarre own goal
The home side took the lead after 18 minutes at the Mestalla stadium with a goal from defender Fábio Aurélio, but the champions were never comfortable against a side who have not lost in 17 league games this season. However, that record looked set to end as Real defender Agustín Aranzábal doubled the deficit on the hour, misdirecting a pass back to goalkeeper Sander Westerveld and rolling the ball into an unguarded net.

Dramatic comeback
The leaders battled back, however, and pulled a goal back nine minutes later through Yugoslavian striker Darko Kovacevic. Real were deservedly level eleven minutes from time, as Turkish forward Nihat Kahveci struck to preserve both his side's unbeaten run and the league leadership

Early winner
Earlier, Ronaldo's early opportunist strike gave in-form Madrid their sixth straight victory - a 1-0 win at RC Celta de Vigo. The Brazilian striker capitalised on an error by Pablo Cavallero in the seventh minute, prodding into the net from close range after the Celta goalkeeper had failed to hold Raúl González’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Promising attacks
Celta came more into the game as the match wore on, but badly missed the creative influence of injured Russian midfield player Aleksandr Mostovoi as they failed to find the finishing touch to a series of promising attacks. Nevertheless, it took a fine reflex save from Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas to deny midfield player Edu an equaliser with 20 minutes left as Madrid sought to protect their slender advantage. 

Last updated: 12/01/03 20.03CET

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