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Barça and Sevilla stumble at last

Published: Sunday 24 September 2006, 23.33CET
FC Barcelona were held 1-1 at home by Valencia CF while Sevilla FC also lost their 100 per cent league record in dramatic fashion at Club Atlético de Madrid. features

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Published: Sunday 24 September 2006, 23.33CET

Barça and Sevilla stumble at last

FC Barcelona were held 1-1 at home by Valencia CF while Sevilla FC also lost their 100 per cent league record in dramatic fashion at Club Atlético de Madrid.

FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC both lost their 100 per cent records in the Primera División after the European champions were held at home by Valencia CF and Club Atlético de Madrid staged a late comeback to overcome the UEFA Cup holders.

Villa strike
Barcelona went behind after David Villa scored a fine goal following excellent work down the right from Luis Miguel. Villa almost got a second only to see his shot rebound off a post before Frank Rijkaard's side got back into the game early in the second half. A delightful passing move three minutes after the restart saw Ronaldinho pick out Samuel Eto'o, whose cushioned header was buried by Andrés Iniesta. The hosts increased the pressure on Valencia's goal throughout the second period but failed to produce a winner.

Maxi double
The result leaves tonight's Camp Nou opponents level at the top of the standings on ten points alongside Real Madrid CF, who prevailed 1-0 at Real Betis Balompié on Saturday. Sevilla, meanwhile, are down to fifth after Atlético tarnished their perfect start as Argentina's Maxi Rodríguez struck twice in the last five minutes to give his side a 2-1 success in the capital. Sevilla dominated the first half and took a deserved lead five minutes before half-time when midfielder Renato fired low past keeper Leo Franco after Atlético had lost possession in midfield. But after Sevilla defender Julien Escudé and fellow centre-back Javi Navarro were sent off in the second half, Maxi scored twice. His first goal was a thundering 20-metre drive past Andrés Palop in the 85th minute and the visitors barely had time to dust themselves down before the Argentinian international struck again, prodding home from close range after good work from Fernando Torres.

Villarreal recovery
Real Zaragoza missed the opportunity to join Atlético and Sevilla on nine points as they went down 3-2 at Villarreal CF. Things looked promising for Zaragoza when Pablo Aimar registered midway through the first half. However, last term's UEFA Champions League semi-finalists recovered through second-half goals from Rubén Cani and Diego Forlán and a Juan Román Riquelme penalty 12 minutes from time, before Gerard Piqué notched a late consolation. There was another five-goal thriller in San Sebastian where Real Sociedad de Fútbol lost 3-2 against RC Recreativo de Huelva, Antonio Calle scoring twice for the visitors before Garikoitz Uranga and an Álvaro Novo penalty brought Real level. However, Florent Sinama-Pongolle had the last word with a 90th-minute clincher.

Depor defeat
RC Deportivo La Coruña also slipped up when they were defeated 2-0 at Levante UD. Two goals from Olivier Kapo in either half gave Levante their second straight league victory in a match which saw Mathieu Berson and Fabián Estoyanoff sent off. Elsewhere, there were wins for CA Osasuna, 2-0 at RC Celta de Vigo thanks to a first-half strike from Valdo and an injury-time goal by Juanfran, and RCD Mallorca who overcame RCD Espanyol courtesy of Maxi López's effort 14 minutes from time. CG Tarragona and Real Racing Club Santander shared a 2-2 draw while Getafe CF against Athletic Club Bilbao ended goalless.

Last updated: 25/09/06 10.57CET

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