[QODLink]
Sport
Mallorca remain real contenders
Early-season relegation contenders beat Valencia to continue battle for Champs League.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2010 22:52 GMT
Mallorca have failed to win just two of their home matches this season [AFP]

Real Mallorca continued their surprise European Champions League push with a narrow 3-2 home win over rivals Valencia to move level on points with fourth-placed Sevilla.

Mallorca made it 13 league wins from 15 at their fortress Ono stadium and capped a miserable week for Valencia who lost their Europa League quarter-final to Atletico Madrid on away goals on Thursday.

Gonzalo Castro put Mallorca into a sixth minute lead on Sunday and Cameroon forward Pierre Webo scored a second on 21 minutes as Mallorca went in 2-0 up at the break.

Jordi Alba pulled a goal back for Valencia two minutes after the interval but an own goal from Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes, who was later sent off, made it 3-1 on 63 minutes.

Pablo Hernandez netted on 85 minutes to pull a goal back for Valencia and Mallorca survived a hairy few final minutes to net three vital points.

In the reckoning

Mallorca were expected to be fighting relegation from the Spanish Primera Division this season but coach Gregorio Manzano has pushed the islanders into the Champions League reckoning with just seven games left.

La Liga results

Saturday April 10

 Tenerife 0-0 Valladolid
 Malaga 1-2 Sevilla
 Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
 Villarreal 1-0 Gijon
 Xerez 0-1 Getafe

Sunday April 11

 Ath Bilbao 4-1 Almeria
 Deportivo 1-1 Santander
 Osasuna 2-0 Zaragoza
 Espanyol 3-0 Atl Madrid
 Mallorca 3-2 Valencia

Despite the defeat Valencia are nestled in third five points ahead of Sevilla and Mallorca.

Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao surged back into the top six with a resounding 4-0 win over Almeria to move two points ahead of Villarreal as the race for Europe intensified.

It was a 10th home victory of the season for Bilbao who were four goals up after just 51 minutes with Javi Martinez grabbing a brace while Igor Gabilondo and Fernando Llorente were also on the
scoresheet.

Spanish international Llorente also missed a penalty as Bilbao ran riot and Almeria only had a consolation goal from Argentine Pablo Piatti to show for their efforts.

Deportivo La Coruna fell five points behind Bilbao with a frustrating 1-1 home draw against struggling Racing Santander.

Ivan Riki scored in the first minute for Deportivo, who travel to Barcelona on Wednesday, but substitute Toni Moral levelled on 83 minutes to secure a valuable point for Racing.

Racing climbed up to 15th, six points above the drop zone while Deportivo's European hopes are fading fast after just one point from the last 15.

Atletico Madrid may be in the Copa del Rey final and Europa League semi-finals - where they face Liverpool - but their league form is erratic and the club fell to a 3-0 defeat at Espanyol to fall eight points off sixth-placed Bilbao.

Victor Ruiz, Argentine Pablo Osvaldo and Ivan Alonso were on target for Espanyol who now finally look safe, 11 points above the relegation zone.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
Libya has seen a blossoming of media outlets, but the media landscape is as polarised as the politics on the streets.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
join our mailing list