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Llorente goals help Villarreal beat Tenerife 5-0

VILLARREAL beat Tenerife 5-0 yesterday to end its poor run of form and climb out of the relegation zone in the Spanish league.

Joseba Llorente scored twice, putting Villarreal ahead in the 15th minute with a well-taken right-footed shot and increasing the lead in the 52nd. French winger Robert Pires and Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi also got on the scoreboard in the 47th and 51st respectively. Ruben "Cani" Garcia scored the fifth two minutes from the end.

Despite the early advantage, Tenerife looked more likely to score throughout the first half. Villarreal, which had won only one match this season, struggled to settle until Pires tapped in Rossi's cross straight after the break and the goals started to flow.

"(Tenerife) has played better against us than any other team - yet we won 5-0," Villarreal coach Ernesto Valverde said. "This time our forwards were on target and that decided the game."

Also yesterday, Valencia beat last-place Malaga 1-0, Espanyol drew 1-1 with Valladolid, Mallorca edged Racing Santander 1-0, Zaragoza beat Almeria 2-1 and Deportivo La Coruna drew 1-1 with Sporting Gijon.

On Saturday, Real Madrid beat Getafe 2-0, reducing to one point the gap on leader Barcelona, which drew 1-1 at Osasuna. Atletico Madrid lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao.

At El Madrigal stadium, Villarreal looked vulnerable early on without defensive midfielder Marcos Senna and Tenerife's midfield was in control for much of the first half.

Tenerife's Alejandro Alfaro seemed certain to score when put through by Julian Omar in the 22nd, but he shot straight at goalkeeper Diego Lopez. Teammate Juan Francisco "Nino" Martinez missed another clear chance soon after.

Villarreal is now 13th in the standings.

At Malaga's La Rosaleda, David Navarro gave Valencia the lead in the 68th, heading into an empty net after goalkeeper Gustavo Munua was caught out of position by Pablo Hernandez's cross.

David Villa had spotted Munua off his line and attempted to lob him with a header in the fifth minute, but the goalkeeper managed to reach it.

Malaga enjoyed several clear chances early on with Antonio "Apono" Galdeano and Victor Obinna both coming close for the hosts.

Valencia threatened on the counterattack, yet failed to convert a string of decent chances.

Hernandez raced down the left in the 24th and, although he had David Silva and Villa well positioned in space to his right, he attempted a long shot that went wide.

Malaga pressured as the clock ticked down, with Obinna coming close on several occasions. However, Valencia held on for the win to give it 18 points, five behind Barcelona. Malaga stays bottom of the standings on four points.

Deportivo went ahead at its Riazor stadium in the 42nd, when Juan Rodriguez's header from a free kick bounced off the inside of the crossbar and Lassad Nouioui followed up to sweep in the ball.

The wet conditions influenced play. In the 69th minute, Deportivo goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia slid past Diego Castro as the forward burst into the area with the ball to equalize.


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