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Laurens: Pastore matures for PSG

Ligue 1 15 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 26, 2006

La Liga: Real and Sevilla both win

MADRID, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Sevilla and Real Madrid kept the pressure on leaders Barcelona by recording away wins in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

Early goals from Luis Fabiano and Jose Luis Marti set UEFA Cup holders Sevilla on the way to a 3-1 victory over struggling Athletic Bilbao while a goal from captain Raul gave Real a 1-0 triumph at Valencia.

Valencia dominated for long periods but paid the price for profligate finishing when Raul took advantage of a rare Real venture into the penalty area to end the home side's unbeaten record at the Mestalla.

Champions Barcelona, whose 4-0 win over Villarreal on Saturday included a sublime overhead kick from Ronaldinho, lead with 29 points from 12 games, one ahead of Sevilla and three clear of Real.

Sevilla made a flying start at San Mames when Luis Fabiano powered in a bullet header in the fifth minute after Frederic Kanoute curled in a fine cross from the right.

Marti doubled the lead with a fluke goal six minutes later when his overhit free kick from the left looped over keeper Inaki Lafuente.

Bilbao pulled one back through striker Aritz Aduriz 21 minutes from time before Luis Fabiano made it 3-1 by capping a devastating counter attack with another cool finish.

TORRID TIME

Injury-ravaged Valencia made all the running at the Mestalla, giving Real's back four a torrid time in the first half.

But the hosts suffered a blow when David Villa, who strained his thigh in Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos, limped off after 15 minutes.

With Fernando Morientes also nursing a thigh injury, Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores decided to keep the former Real Madrid striker on the bench and hope his side would eventually cash in on their domination.

Raul gave the home side a lesson in finishing when he steered home a first-time shot from eight metres after Roberto Carlos slid the ball into his path in the 52nd minute.

Valencia should have equalised a minute later when Iker Casillas turned a Joaquin shot into Miguel Angel Angulo's path but the midfielder somehow contrived to miss from point-blank range.

Vicente and Angulo wasted more chances to score as Real hung on for victory over Valencia, who have not won in five games.

There were goals galore at El Sardinero, Serbian striker Nikola Zigic scoring twice and winning a penalty as Racing Santander beat in-form Recreativo Huelva 4-3.