Deportivo continue fightback

Madrid, April 14 (IANS) Although FC Barcelona and Real Madrid were off for the day in Spain’s La Liga, there was plenty of action and plenty of goals in the games that were played Saturday.

Deportivo la Coruna continue to make the headlines with their fourth consecutive win as they crushed a disappointing Levante 4-0 away from home to climb out of the bottom three. The game was as good as over as soon as the 28th minute as goals from Juan Carlos Valeron, Pizzi and Nelson Oliveira took advantage Saturday of some poor defending from a rival that has little to play for the rest of the season, reports Xinhua.

Bruno Gama added Deportivo’s fourth at the end of a dull second half and what looked almost impossible for the side coached by Fernando Vazquez, who had not coached in the Spanish top flight for five years, now looks like it could become a reality. Deportivo still have to fight hard for their survival but Valladolid’s 2-1 win at home to Getafe just about assures their place in La Liga for next season.

Although Valladolid had fallen behind to a goal from Paco Alcazar on the stroke of halftime, they showed the personality to turn the game around in the second period. Oscar Gonzalez equalised with 22 minutes remaining and Javi Guerra scored the goal that leaves Valladolid with 38 points four minutes later.

Espanyol are safe from relegation while Valencia are fighting to qualify for next season’s Champions League and the two sides produced a six goal thriller in Cornella-El Prat with the last two goals coming in injury time. Espanyol had twice taken the lead through Mubarak Wakaso and Joan Verdu, who scored in the 82nd minute, but Sergio Garcia and Jonas Goncalves, who made it 2-2 in the 87th minute, twice pegged them back.

Roberto Soldado appeared to have given Valencia all three points when he netted Valencia’s third in the first minute of injury time but Sergio Garcia’s seventh goal of the campaign with virtually the last kick of the game saw a share of the points in a game neither side deserved to lose.

Thousands of Malaga fans turned out to cheer their team in the La Rosaleda Stadium ahead of their game at home to Osasuna to thank them for their impressive Champions League campaign.

Sadly the match didn’t live up to pre-game events but the Malaga fans were rewarded for their support and patience as Julio Cesar Baptista netted a 92nd minute winner that keeps Malaga fighting for a rapid return to Europe and keeps Osasuna in danger of relegation.

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