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Football
Levante notch up third straight win
Levante continue their dream start in Spain's Primera Division with a 3-1 victory over Espanyol.
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2011 20:22
The win capped a dream week for Levante, starting with wins over Real Madrid, above, and Rayo Vallecano [EPA]

Ruben Suarez converted two penalty kicks to lead Levante to a 3-1 victory over nine-man Espanyol on Sunday and their third straight win in the Spanish league.

Suarez sent his first penalty into the right corner in the 14th at Ciutat de Valencia stadium after Espanyol striker Rui Fonte fouled Juanlu Gomez.

The Spanish forward doubled Levante's lead in the 58th following a red card for Espanyol defender Jordi Amat who pulled Suarez down with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Hector Moreno grabbed one back for Espanyol in the 73rd, but three minutes later Jose Barkero sealed the win with a curling strike from outside the area.

Espanyol's Walter Pandiani was sent off late on for headbutting Victoriano Rivas.

The undefeated Levante have 11 points, level with defending champions Barcelona and Sevilla and just one point behind league leaders Real Betis, who play Getafe on Monday.

Perfect week

Levante coach Juan Martinez said it had been a "perfect'' week for his team, starting with wins over Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.

"We talk about dreams, but I am happy for the overall effort my team has shown,'' said Martinez, who is in his first season in the topflight division.

"Nine points is truly a great haul for us.''

Earlier, Mallorca rallied to a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad to break their three-game losing streak.

Victor Casadesus cancelled out Sociedad striker Imanol Agirretxe's early opener to draw Mallorca even in the 20th, and forward Gonzalo Castro scored with a volley from outside the area to put the hosts ahead for good five minutes after the restart.

Agirretxe came close to snatching a late equaliser but his shot hit the crossbar.

"It is important to score, and two goals is a large quantity for us after three games without scoring,'' Mallorca coach Michael Laudrup said.

"I am happy the team won. We had a pair of chances to add to the result, but we have to recognise that Real also had theirs.''

Elsewhere, Osasuna drew 1-1 away at newly promoted Granada, while both Sporting Gijon and Racing Santander stayed winless after their 0-0 draw at El Molinon stadium.

Source:
AP
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