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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 7, 2006

Baptista saves Real in Zidane send off

MADRID, May 7 (Reuters) - A dramatic late equaliser from Julio Baptista moved Real Madrid up to second place in the Primera Liga on Sunday after they came from behind to draw 3-3 with Villarreal in the Bernabeu.

Two goals from Baptista either side of a header from Zinedine Zidane on his last home appearance in a Real shirt secured a point after Diego Forlan had threatened to upstage the Frenchman with two goals to put Villarreal in front.

Real have 70 points with one game left to play, 12 short of champions Barcelona, who beat city rivals Espanyol 2-0 in the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Valencia are third with 69 after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Atletico Madrid.

Fourth-placed Osasuna failed to make sure of playing in the Champions League for the first time next season when they let slip a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at Racing Santander.

At the other end of the table Cadiz were relegated back to the second division after only one season in the Primera Liga when they fell 3-1 away to Getafe.

Alaves, in 18th place with 36 points, must beat Deportivo Coruna at home in their last game to have any chance of catching King's Cup winners Espanyol, in 17th with 38, and avoid joining relegated Cadiz and Malaga.

Real took the lead after 23 minutes when Raul headed Robinho's cross into the path of Baptista who let fly with a scorching volley.

The visitors were soon back in contention when Juan Roman Riquelme's corner was nudged into his own goal by Real defender Alvaro Mejia in the 31st minute.

Forlan burst down the right eight minutes later and fired across Iker Casillas into the far corner to put the visitors in front.

Zidane equalised in the 67th minute, pulling wide at the far post to meet David Beckham's cross with a looping header back across the goal.

With five minutes left Villarreal broke and Javi Venta's goal-bound shot was blocked by Sergio Ramos using his hands. The Real defender was sent off and Forlan made no mistake from the penalty spot.

But they only held the lead for two minutes before Baptista rose to head home Beckham's free kick.

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