Liga - Zaragoza stun Valencia, Athletic woes continue

Wed, 21 Mar 21:43:00 2012

Basement club Real Zaragoza fired their slim hopes of avoiding relegation with a stirring comeback win at high-flying Valencia and a double from Radamel Falcao gave Atletico Madrid a 2-1 victory at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Valencia's forward Roberto Soldado (C) reacts during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF vs Real Zaragoza on March 21, 2012 at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia - 0

Valencia stayed third in the table with 47 points, but city rivals Levante closed to within three points in fourth after they won 3-1 at Real Sociedad.

Zaragoza, who finished the match with nine men, humbled high-flying Valencia 2-1 despite falling behind to a Pablo Hernandez goal after only nine minutes.

They had defender Pablo Alvarez sent off in the 21st minute but Apono levelled from the penalty spot at the half hour mark.

The midfielder bagged the winner in the 76th and Zaragoza had midfielder Franco Zuculini sent off near the end of the match.

The home side left to a barrage of whistles as the pressure mounted on their coach Unai Emery.

Colombia striker Falcao pounced on a loose ball to grab the opener for Atletico just after halftime at the Calderon, and stooped low to head in the second in the 70th.

Javi Martinez pulled one back for Bilbao at the end, but the side who knocked Manchester United out of the Europa League last week, slipped to their third successive league defeat.

Atletico were seventh with 39 points, ahead of Bilbao in ninth with 37.

Real Mallorca were 3-2 winners over Sporting Gijon which left Sporting 19th on 24 points, two more than Zaragoza and with the same as 18th-placed Racing Santander, who host Sevilla on Thursday.

Reuters

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