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Villarreal loses 1-0 at Deportivo in Spain

VILLARREAL lost 1-0 at Deportivo La Coruna yesterday to stay without a win in the Spanish league after five games - it's worst ever start to a season in the top-flight.

Deportivo midfielder Juca scored what turned out to be the winner in the eighth-minute from a freekick. The result leaves Villarreal in 19th place, with just two points from its opening five games.

Villarreal, which has finished in the top five in the past three seasons, has made a calamitous start that has piled pressure on coach Ernesto Valverde. Valverde took charge after Manuel Pellegrini left to join Real Madrid in the offseason.

Also, Mallorca rose to fourth place by beating Valladolid 3-0.

Central defender Jose Carlos Nunes seized on a loose ball and shot Mallorca's first goal in the fourth minute, with striker Aritz Aduriz firing the second from Mario Suarez's pass in the 69th.

Midfielder Borja Valero sealed the win following a 72nd-minute counterattack as Mallorca extended its perfect record at its Ono Stadium this season to three victories.

Meanwhile, last-place Xerez gained its first point with a 0-0 draw at Espanyol although the southern team has still not scored in any of its five games in its first ever season in the top tier.

Also, it was: Zaragoza 3, Getafe 0; Osasuna 1, Sporting Gijon 0; and Almeria 2, Racing Santander 2.

On Saturday, defending champion Barcelona won 2-0 at Malaga, Madrid beat promoted Tenerife 3-0, Sevilla trounced Athletic Bilbao 4-0 and Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 at Valencia.

After five games, Madrid leads the league on goal difference from Barcelona. Each has 15 points, three more than Sevilla. Mallorca has 10, while Deportivo has nine.

Zaragoza's two first-half goals against Getafe both came from Jorge Lopez corners, with defender Francisco Pavon heading the opener in the 17th minute. Seven minutes later, Pavon headed the ball again, this time across the goal for midfielder Abel Aguilar to nod home.

Getafe's assistant coach Juan Eduardo Esnaider, a former Argentina striker who had two spells with Zaragoza, received a red card just before the interval for protesting.

Aguilar crowned Zaragoza's biggest win since its return to the first division this season by firing home from susbtitute Ewerthon's pass in the 81st.

Osasuna gained its first home win this season by edging Gijon courtesy of Javad Nekounam's 57th-minute penalty.

Almeria striker Kalu Uche's last-minute equalizer earned the home team a draw with Santander.

Almeria midfielder Albert Crusat opened the scoring in the 17th minute, with Santander replying through striker Mohamed Tchite in the 58th and midfielder Mehdi Lacen in the 72nd.


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