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October 19, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Real wins, Valencia holds Barca

CHAMPION Barcelona dropped its first La Liga points of the season when it was held 0-0 at Valencia on Saturday.

Barcelona had won six on the trot before its trip to the Mestalla but struggled to get any rhythm going in the face of intense pressure from the hosts.

Keeper Victor Valdes made some decisive interventions and all Valencia lacked was the cool finishing of top scorer David Villa, who failed to recover from injury in time for the game.

"Valencia have very good players and a very good coach and caused us a lot of problems," Barca coach Pep Guardiola told reporters. "We have to be happy with the point."

Barca stays top with 19 points from seven matches, one point ahead of Real Madrid, which returned to winning ways with a 4-2 home win over Valladolid.

Deportivo la Coruna is fourth on 15 points, the same as third-placed Sevilla, after Juan Rodriguez's spectacular strike gave Depor a 1-0 home win over the in-form Andalucians.

The midfielder crashed in a 30-meter drive in the 38th minute and Depor's well-organized defense kept the visitors at bay to end Sevilla's run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions.

Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to settle Real's jitters with a superb lob that completed its victory over Valladolid.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, which was without injured forward Cristiano Ronaldo, had suffered its first defeat of the campaign in Sevilla last time out.

Raul scored twice in quick succession against Valladolid and Marcelo added a third before the break after Nauzet Aleman had netted a superb free kick for the visitors.

Marquitos put Valladolid back in the game again early in the second half and it grew in confidence until Argentine substitute Higuain lifted the ball over the 'keeper 11 minutes from time.


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