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Sevilla beats Almeria, Valencia drops points

FREDERIC Kanoute scored one goal and created another to help Sevilla to a 2-1 home win over Andalusian rival Almeria in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

Sevilla's fourth league win in a row maintained its hold on third place, seven points behind Real Madrid, whose 10-match winning streak ended when it was held to a 1-1 home draw by city rival Atletico on Saturday.

Leaders Barcelona returned to winning ways and extended their advantage over Real to six points with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, their first win in six outings in all competitions.

With 12 matches left, Barcelona has 63 points, champion Real is on 57, Sevilla has 50 and Villarreal is five back in fourth after Saturday's 1-0 win at home to Espanyol.

Kanoute controlled a Ndri Romaric cross with his chest in the fifth minute and tipped it past keeper Diego Alves to open the scoring in Seville.

With just under half an hour left, the Mali striker crossed for Renato to scoop the ball over Alves into the net before Alvaro Negredo pulled one back from the penalty spot after Renato had chopped down Pablo Piatti.

Earlier, cash-strapped Valencia's hopes of a lucrative place in next season's Champions League were dented when they surrendered an early lead to lose 1-2 at relegation-threatened Numancia.

An error by goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas gifted Valencia a goal on 10 minutes when he spilled Vicente's tame long-range shot and the ball trickled into the net.

Carlos Aranda grabbed the equalizer before the break and Jose Barkero smashed home a free-kick to give the home side valuable three points and move them off the bottom of the table above Espanyol.

Vicente almost made it 2-2 in added time but his low shot cannoned off the post.


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