Sevilla rallies to draw Malaga; Valencia held 1-1
Luis Fabiano's two second-half goals helped Sevilla rally for a 2-2 draw against Malaga, while Borja Valero's late penalty ensured Mallorca left Valencia with a 1-1 draw in the Spanish league. Fabiano, making up for two earlier misses, headed home Sevilla's first in the 58th minute before equalizing 15 minutes later.sports Updated: Nov 29, 2009 21:03 IST
Luis Fabiano's two second-half goals helped Sevilla rally for a 2-2 draw against Malaga, while Borja Valero's late penalty ensured Mallorca left Valencia with a 1-1 draw in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Fabiano, making up for two earlier misses, headed home Sevilla's first in the 58th minute before equalizing 15 minutes later, swiveling to fire a shot past goalkeeper Gustavo Munua. Malaga opened through Fernando Fernandez in the 22nd before Sergio "Duda" Barbosa beat Javier Varas with a low shot just after the start of the second half.
The host had a chance to win it with two minutes to play but defender Sebastien Squillaci headed straight at Munua from a yard (meter) out as Sevilla stayed third with 26 points, one better than Valencia.
An unnecessary foul by Bruno Saltor set up an 85th-minute spot kick that Valero sent into the top of goal. David Villa's league-leading 10th goal had put Valencia ahead in the 48th. Mallorca goalkeeper Dudu Aouate denied several scoring chances, and Valencia had a goal disallowed in the ninth minute when Villa pushed David Silva's goal-bound header in from an offside position. TV replays showed the ball may have already crossed the line when Villa nudged it.
Real Madrid leads the Spanish standings with 28 points, one better than Barcelona ahead of their "clasico" matchup on Sunday. Fabiano said Sevilla had missed a great chance with the two leaders in action.
"We played really well but we just missed some chances that we don't normally miss," Fabiano said. "We had a chance to go to bed tonight as joint leaders, but ... "
At the Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla strikers Fabiano and Alvaro Negredo had several chances before and after Fernandez opened from a perfectly placed spot at the near post to score from a rebound. Munua saved a Negredo chance, Fabiano headed into the side netting and then later off the post with Negredo heading that rebound wide of the open goal.
Former Sevilla player Duda beat Varas with a crossgoal shot, but Fabiano began the rally by glancing Jesus Navas' corner over the outstretched Munua.
Varas stretched to get a fingertip to Antonio "Apono" Galdeano's swerving shot three minutes before Fabiano turned on Frederic Kanoute's short pass to score his seventh of the season. "The goal was good," Fabiano said.
Malaga was tied with four other teams in last place with seven points.
At the Mestalla, Villa was the host's main threat and somehow missed high from in front of goal in the fourth minute. Joaquin Sanchez came on for Silva in the 29th after the Spanish international went off with a knee injury.
The tide then turned in Mallorca's favor with Victor Casadesus shooting a good chance over in the 43rd and then Josemi sent a free kick wide just before Villa opened.
Villa shook off his marker to move into the area and stuck out his left foot to redirect Ever Banega's shot into the net. Aouate saved Villa's hard shot in the 61st and another from Juanma Mata nine minutes later.
Saltor then barged over Chori Castro in the area in a battle for a high ball to set up Valero's equalizer.
"This is a great point," Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano said. "All of our effort was worth it."
Earlier Saturday, Mate Bilic scored from a saved penalty and later missed a penalty as Sporting Gijon beat 10-man Villarreal 1-0. Bilic pounced in the 75th minute after goalkeeper Diego Lopez had kept out Alberto Rivera's penalty to score his third of the season to stretch Sporting's unbeaten run to nine games. The penalty had been awarded after Gonzalo Rodriguez kicked out at Miguel de las Cuevas, earning the defender a red card. Sporting dominated the chances although Villarreal substitute Joseba Llorente nearly equalized in the 79th minute when he burst past two defenders into the area, only to see goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas save a low shot.
Bilic had a chance to score his second goal of the match but his 89th-minute penalty was saved by Lopez.
Sporting remained in seventh with 20 points, one behind Mallorca, while Villarreal is 11th with 12 points.
First Published: Nov 29, 2009 21:00 IST