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November 24, 2009

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Valencia keeps pace with leaders in Spain

VALENCIA beat Osasuna 3-1 with goals from David Villa, David Albelda and Carlos Marchena on Sunday to stay in touch with the Spanish league leaders.

With 24 points Valencia is fourth in the standings, four points behind leader Real Madrid, three behind Barcelona and one behind Sevilla.

Villa scored his ninth league goal in the 12th minute from a Marchena assist.

In the 20th Albelda spotted goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez slightly off his line and judged his lob to perfection. Marchena's 25-yard volley early in the second half made it 3-0.

A well-organized Valencia always looked a threat when going forward, while Osasuna was subdued for most of the game. It was only after striker Walter Pandiani was sent off on the hour for his second yellow card that the hosts struck. Iran striker Masoud Soleimani took advantage of a rare attack by his team and headed in from close range.

Miguel Flano was sent off in injury time for a reckless challenge to leave Osasuna with nine men.

Earlier, Nilmar scored twice as Villarreal beat Valladolid 3-1.

The Brazil striker headed both goals, in the seventh minute from Damian Escudero's cross and in the 47th, when he latched on to a long pass out of defense and lobbed onrushing goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi made it 3-0 in the 58th before Valladolid's Diego Costa cut the deficit three minutes later, taking advantage of a defensive error to shoot home from a tight angle.

The win gives Villarreal 12 points and lifts the team further away from the relegation zone where it was mired for most of the first part of the season.

In a bad-tempered game at La Rosaleda stadium Malaga drew 1-1 against Zaragoza, with both sides reduced to 10 men for most of the second half.


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