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By ESPN Staff
Sep 24, 2006

Nine-man Sevilla suffer first defeat

MADRID, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid ended Sevilla's perfect start to the season on Sunday when Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez struck twice in the last five minute to give his side a 2-1 win at the Calderon.

Sevilla dominated in the first half and took a deserved lead five minutes before halftime when Brazilian midfielder Renato fired low past keeper Leo Franco after Atletico had gifted them the ball in midfield.

There were eight bookings, however, before the break and Sevilla defender Julien Escude was sent off when he picked up another yellow card at the start of the second half.

Sevilla were reduced to nine men 20 minutes later when fellow centre-back Javi Navarro followed him down the tunnel after being shown red for a high challenge on Atletico winger Martin Petrov.

Atletico threw caution to wind after the sendings off and laid siege to the Sevilla area in the final 20 minutes.

Maxi fired a thundering 20 metre drive past Andres Palop to level the scores in the 85th minute and the visitors barely had time to dust themselves down before the Argentine struck again, this time prodding home from close range after good work from Fernando Torres.

The victory ended Sevilla's winning run of 12 matches in all competitions and was the Andalucians' first defeat since early April.

Last season's Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal found the net for the first time this season when they came from behind to clinch a 3-2 win at home to Real Zaragoza.

Racing Santander gained their first points of the season after a 2-2 draw, both goals coming from giant Serbia striker Nikola Zigic.

Levante inflicted a first defeat of the season on Deportivo Coruna, former Juventus midfielder Olivier Kapo earning his side a 2-0 win with classy goals in either half.

League champions Barcelona and Valencia, the only other teams with a 100 percent record this season, were playing at the Nou Camp later on Sunday.