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Spain round-up: Deportivo challenge dented

Published: Sunday 12 January 2003, 22.57CET
RC Deportivo La Coruña slipped to fourth after a 3-1 defeat away to mid-table Club Atlético de Madrid.

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Published: Sunday 12 January 2003, 22.57CET

Spain round-up: Deportivo challenge dented

RC Deportivo La Coruña slipped to fourth after a 3-1 defeat away to mid-table Club Atlético de Madrid.

RC Deportivo La Coruña slipped to fourth place in the Primera División on Sunday when they were beaten 3-1 on their travels by mid-table Club Atlético de Madrid.

José Mari opener
José Mari gave the capital club a second-minute lead but Deportivo appeared to be back on track once Roy Makaay equalised three minutes later. But the side from the Riazor stadium failed to find the net again and goals a minute apart from Fernando Torres and Fernando Correa late in the second half gave the home team all three points and meant Deportivo slipped below Valencia CF on goal difference.

Betis miss out
Real Betis Balompié missed the chance to go third themselves when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Deportivo Alavés. A three-point haul would have allowed the Seville club to climb three places but Jesús Ángel Turiel's last-minute equaliser robbed them of a victory, which had looked likely after Joaquín Sánchez's 89th-minute goal for the home side. Fernando had given Betis the lead on the stroke of half-time, only for Magno Mocelin to level the scores 12 minutes into the second half.

Mallorca improved
Elsewhere, RCD Mallorca ended their four-match losing streak by fighting back from a goal and a man down to defeat Rayo Vallecano 2-1. The islanders were reduced to ten men when defender Poli was dismissed for his second booking shortly after half-time and the Madrid side took the lead when Bosnian striker Elvir Bolic headed in from the ensuing free-kick. But the double setback sparked the visitors into life, Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani levelling with a powerful header before forward Carlos grabbed the winner six minutes from time.

Dream debut
Meanwhile, new signing Javier Farinos helped Villarreal CF to their first away win of the season when he scored the only goal of the game against Athletic Club Bilbao in the San Mamés stadium. Struggling RCD Espanyol recorded a comprehensive 3-0 home win against Racing Santander - with goals from Antonio Soldevilla and Savo Milosevic either side of a Raúl Tamudo penalty - but it was still not enough to move them out of the relegation zone.

Barça stalemate
In the day's late game, FC Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Málaga CF in La Rosaleda stadium.

Last updated: 13/01/03 12.33CET

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