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Roberto Carlos keeps Madrid on course

A late winner by veteran galactico Roberto Carlos earned Real Madrid a 3-2 victory at Huelva to keep them on top of the Spanish League.

sports Updated: May 21, 2007 15:43 IST

A late winner by veteran galactico Roberto Carlos earned Real Madrid a 3-2 victory at Huelva on Sunday night to keep them on top of the Spanish League.

Goals by Real stars Robinho and Ruud van Nistelrooy had put Madrid two goals ahead before a late flurry by Huelva in the final quarter-hour drew them level. The Brazilian then finished off the home side in the first minute of extra time.

It was Real's fifth consecutive victory leaving them ahead of Barcelona, regardless of whether the Catalonians win at Atletico Madrid in the late match.

Real Madrid have 69 points, the same as Barcelona who thrashed Atletico Madrid 6-0 in the late match. Though Barca have a much better goal difference, Madrid are top because they are ahead when looking at results between the two sides.

It was simply a goal feast by Barcelona with two goals from Lionel Messi and other strikes from Gianluca Zambrotta, Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Andres Iniesta.

It was a revenge victory for Madrid who had lost 3-0 at the hands of Huelva in their previous fixture at the Santiago-Bernebeu stadium.

A Robinho header opened the scoring in the eighth minute before van Nistelrooy added a second in the 54th minute from the spot -- his 22nd goal of the season -- and at that point the match seemed over.

But a 74th-minute penalty from Jesus Vazquez then an equaliser from Uche four minutes from time meant Madrid, conscious that they needed three points to put pressure on Barcelona, had a tense final few minutes.

But the experienced Roberto Carlos cropped up with a winner when it mattered most.

Sevilla, who beat Espanyol on penalties to win the UEFA Cup on Wednesday, moved back to just two points behind Madrid in third spot with a late fightback against Deportivo La Coruna.

Sevilla did not make is easy for themselves but they can still dream of a UEFA Cup, Spanish League and Cup treble.

Juande Ramos's men found themselves a goal down in the 72nd minute after a goal from Rodolfo Bodipo, who has been out of action for most of the season with a right knee injury.

Sevilla, probably tired after their UEFA Cup win in Glasgow, really mustered up some energy to equalise with a quarter-hour to go through Brazilian Renato and then saw Frederic Kanoute hit the winner in the 83rd minute.

Joaquin Sanchez's late goal shot Valencia to victory at Real Mallorca on Saturday night.

Valencia, who were without injured striker Fernando Morientes, left it till the 89th minute to hit the winner.

First Published: May 21, 2007 15:20 IST