Manucho hits winner for Valladolid

Angola striker gives former Spain boss Javier Clemente home debut win over Sevilla.

    Angola striker Manucho scored the winner as Valladolid sprung a surprise [AFP]

    Real Valladolid coach Javier Clemente enjoyed a winning home debut as the relegation-threatened side beat European Champions League hopefuls Sevilla 2-1.

    Sevilla have had a change of coaches themselves after faltering in their charge for Europe.

    And while Valladolid moved three points from safety, the defeat on Tuesday was a major setback for Sevilla with the club staying fourth -  although Real Mallorca can go three points ahead of them with victory over Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.

    Valladolid had just one win in the last 16 games before the game but 60-year-old veteran coach Clemente - who coached Spain from 1992 to 1998 - has made it four points from his two games at the helm to enhance their chances of beating the drop.

    Attacker Diego Costa headed his eighth goal of the season on 41 minutes to put Valladolid ahead and Angolan striker Manucho, briefly on Manchester United's books, struck a second on 53 minutes.

    "This was a big win for us and gives us more confidence to try and fight to stay in the top-flight," said Costa.

    Juan Cala got a late goal back for Sevilla with a sweet 25-yard strike but Valladolid clung on with goalkeeper Jacobo Ovejero making two big saves in the closing stages.

    Fading chances

    It was a ninth defeat on the road and the performance and result does little for the fading chances of interim manager Antonio Alvarez, who replaced Manolo Jimenez, to get the job on a permanent basis.

    Results & fixtures

    Tuesday April 13

    Valladolid 2-1 Sevilla
     Gijon 0-2 Tenerife
     Getafe v Villarreal

    Wednesday April 14

    Atl Madrid v Xerez
     Osasuna v Malaga
     Santander v Espanyol
     Zaragoza v Mallorca
     Barcelona v Deportivo

    Thursday April 15

    Almeria v Real Madrid
     Valencia v Athl Bilbao

    Elsewhere Tenerife finally won their first away game of the season triumphing 2-0 at Sporting Gijon to move two points from safety.

    Late goals from Roman Martinez and Alejandro Alfaro helped promoted Tenerife win away after 16 failed attempts and fourth from bottom Malaga, two points ahead of Tenerife, are now looking over their shoulder nervously.

    Europa League rivals Villarreal and Getafe were playing later on Tuesday.
    Villarreal are two points off sixth spot, currently occupied by Athletic Bilbao, while Getafe are one place and two points further back.

    Table-toppers Barcelona take to the field on Wednesday when they host Deportivo La Coruna at the Nou Camp.

    Barcelona are three points clear of Real Madrid after beating their arch rivals 2-0 in Saturday's El Clasico, putting them in the box seat with seven games left.

    The champions suffered a blow on Tuesday when midfielder Andres Iniesta tore a muscle in training and is out for a month meaning he misses the title run-in and faces a real battle to make the Champions League final on May 22 should semi-finalists Barca get past Inter Milan.

    "It is one of the most difficult moments I have had to experience but life has shown me never to give up," said Iniesta.

    Real Madrid are in action on Thursday when they travel to Almeria knowing they will have to win all seven games and hope Barca slip up to have a shot at winning the league title.



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