Sevilla's title hopes fade

Teenage sensation Canales scores double against Sevilla as Atletico win at Valladolid.

    Man of the moment Sergio Canales celebrates his second goal [AFP]

    Teenage midfielder Sergio Canales showed why he is being coveted by clubs across Europe after scoring both goals to lead Racing Santander to a 2-1 win over Sevilla in Spain's Primera Division, which was without several regulars due to injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    An impressive build-up play put Canales clear through on goal in the 26th and the 18-year-old forward calmly strode into the area before lobbing goalkeeper Andres Palop.

    Canales then showed excellent control in the 38th, using a stepover to go past Palop before cutting back to score again, his fourth goal of the season.

    Real Madrid, Sevilla and several English clubs are reportedly interested in the Spain Under-19 international.

    Jose Antonio Reyes scored a goal and set up another as Atletico Madrid bounced back from an embarrassing midweek defeat with a 4-0 victory at Valladolid.

    Title hopes fading

    Ndri Romaric scored in the 63rd as Sevilla rallied but Racing goalkeeper Fabio Coltorti ensured Racing's victory by diving to keep Adriano's swerving shot out in injury time as the Andalucian club's title hopes continued to flounder following a third straight defeat.

    Liga results

    Saturday January 9

     Sevilla 1-2 Racing  Valladolid 0-4 Atletico
     Villarreal v Almeria

    Sunday January 10

     Deportivo v Osasuna
     Espanyol v Real Zaragoza
     Malaga v Athletic Bilbao
     Real Madrid v Mallorca
     Sporting Gijon v Getafe
     Tenerife v Barcelona
     Xerez v Valencia

    Barcelona top the table with 40 points, Real Madrid have 38, Valencia 32 and Mallorca and Sevilla have 30.

    Reyes found Jose Manuel Jurado for the 16th minute opener before the former Arsenal winger sent a low shot through a crowd for the third in the 58th.

    Diego Forlan scored from a break in the 32nd and late substitute Sergio Aguero completed the rout in the 90th as Atletico rallied from Wednesday's 3-0 Copa del Rey loss to second-division Recreativo Huelva.

    "I'm very happy my players reacted,'' coach Quique Sanchez Flores said.

    "We played with intelligence.''

    Sanchez Flores, who publicly lambasted his players following the midweek loss, said his team needed to build on their most complete performance of the season.

    "We couldn't continue playing as badly as we have been playing,'' he said.

    "We've got good players who will grow in confidence after this win and who will take advantage going forward.''

    Atletico moved away from the drop zone with a second straight win and are now on 20 points, Racing have 19 and Valladolid 16 - three above the relegation zone - after a second straight loss.



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