Pepe own goal sinks Real Madrid, Sevilla rise to fourth

( dpa ) - Spanish leaders Real Madrid lost 1-0 away to lowly Deportivo Coruna Saturday on an own goal from defender Pepe, while Sevilla moved up to fourth in the Spanish Liga with a 2-0 win in Valencia.

Real's sixth league defeat leaves them with 62 points from 28 games, and gives Barcelona the chance to reduce their lead to five points if they win away to Almeria on Sunday.

Real turned in their dullest display of the season, creating only one clear chance all match. Deportivo put out a cautious 5-4-1 formation and a 0-0 draw seemed on the cards.

In the 57th minute, though, Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis centred from the left and Pepe - the most expensive defender in world football - clumsily turned the ball into his own net.

Wesley Sneijder came close to equalizing for Real at the end, but the whites deservedly left empty-handed. They have not won in Riazor since 1991 and have lost on their last five visits.

The morale-boosting win takes Deportivo up to 12th, with 34 points.

Later on Saturday, Sevilla's win came thanks to two early goals from league top scorer Luis Fabiano.

The in-form Brazilian shot Sevilla ahead with a powerful free-kick in the 11th minute. In the 22nd minute Fabiano made it 2-0 by deflecting in a shot from Seydou Keita, after good work down the right by Jesus Navas.

Fabiano is now way out on top of the scorers' chart with 22 goals and it will be difficult for anyone to catch up with him.

Once again, Valencia were short on confidence, precision and penetration. Sevilla should have added to their lead in the second half, with the Mestalla crowd chanting for coach Ronald Koeman to be sacked.

Valencia defender Raul Albiol pulled back a late goal in the 89th minute after the Sevilla defence had failed to clear a corner, but it came too late to save the dismal hosts, who stay in ninth place.

Sevilla now have 45 points, one more than Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander, who both play on Sunday.

New Valencia president Agustin Morera will almost certainly sack Koeman unless his troubled team beats Barcelona in the semi-finals of the King's Cup on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the clash between relegation strugglers Betis and Athletic Bilbao was abandoned after Bilbao keeper Armando was hit by a bottle in the 71st minute.

Armando was stretchered off and needed six stiches in his cheek.

Bilbao were winning 2-1 at the time, with the crowd angry about a dubious penalty given to the visitors in the 67th minute, transformed by David Lopez.

Bilbao will probably be given the three points, which will keep them well above the relegation zone.

Betis, in contrast, are in big trouble now. They are fourth from bottom with 32 points and facing a stadium closure.

Their Ruiz de Lopera stadium was closed last season after a similar bottle-throwing incident in a cup match against crosstown rivals Sevilla.

Saturday's other early game was a 4-2 win for Recreativo Huelva over troubled Murcia, with two classy goals from Florent Sinama-Pongolle.

The handsome win takes Huelva up to joint fourth from bottom, level on 32 points with Betis.

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