Comeback kings Real win Madrid derby once again

Other News Materials 29 March 2010 03:59 (UTC +04:00)
Real Madrid went back atop of the Spanish table on Sunday with a colourful 3-2 home win over crosstown rivals Atletico,
Comeback kings Real win Madrid derby once again

Real Madrid went back atop of the Spanish table on Sunday with a colourful 3-2 home win over crosstown rivals Atletico, dpa reported.

The same as against Sporting Gijon and Sevilla in their previous home matches, Real had to come from behind to win. Atletico have not beaten their more illustrious neighbours since 1999.

Remarkably, they have won all 15 of their home matches, the only team in the major European leagues to achieve this. They have triumphed in their last 11 league games.

"It was a difficult game for us," said Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa, who scored one of Real's goals.

"They took the lead, then they really pressed us at the end."

Arbeloa said: "If we continue like this, we have a really good chance of winning the league."

Real are now level on 74 points with Barcelona, who won 1-0 Saturday at fourth-place Mallorca.

Never before in the history of La Liga have the top two accumulated so many points at this stage of the season.

Former Real winger Jose Antonio Reyes gave Atletico a lead in the 10th minute, after being set up by Sergio Aguero. But Real dominated from then on, and Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo missed good chances to equalize before half-time.

Xabi Alonso made it 1-1 four minutes into the second half after Raul Albiol had headed on a corner. Arbeloa made it 2-1 with the most handsome goal of his career, taking the ball on his chest and scoring with a precise low drive.

With Atletico unable to get out of their own half, Higuain added the third after a bad mistake by Atletico midfielder Tiago.

Diego Forlan reduced arrears for Atletico from the penalty spot, after a needless handball by Xabi Alonso. Even so, Real had few problems in holding out for yet another home win.

Earlier Sunday, Sevilla's foul form continued with a 3-0 thrashing at resurgent Villarreal, who move up to eighth.

It was a bad start for new Sevilla coach Antonio Alvarez, who took over Wednesday from Manolo Jimenez.

Guiseppe Rossi opened the scoring for Villarreal after just five minutes, and Joseba Llorente made it 2-0 in the 18th minute.

Shell-shocked Sevilla never looked capable of turning the match around, and veteran Robert Pires made it 3-0 in injury-time on a pass from man-of-the-match Rossi.

"We really must come out of this crisis straight away," Sevilla midfielder Renato said.

Sevilla have not won for six matches and are two points behind fourth-placed Mallorca.

Sevilla are three points ahead of Deportivo Coruna, who crashed 3- 1 at home to Getafe, for whom Venezuelan striker Miku was the two- goal hero.

Getafe's third goal was an own goal from Deportivo defender Ze Castro. Riki pulled back a late goal for the hosts, but it came too late to save Deportivo from a third consecutive defeat.

The latest loss leaves Deportivo in seventh place, level on 42 points with Athletic Bilbao. Getafe are two points behind in eighth place.

Osasuna, meanwhile, were beating Almeria 1-0 on an early goal from veteran striker Walter Pandiani.

Bottom team Xerez, for their part, thrashed fellow strugglers Valladolid 3-0, with goals from Victor Sanchez, Michel and Mario Bermejo.

Xerez stay bottom with just 22 points. Then come Valladolid on 24, Tenerife on 25, Zaragoza on 29 and Racing Santander and Malaga on 31.

Sunday's other early game was a midtable 0-0 draw between Espanyol and Sporting Gijon.

The 29th round of matches will finish Monday with a north coast derby between Athletic Bilbao and Racing Santander.