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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 28, 2008

La Liga: Villa brace for table-topping Valencia

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Two second-half goals from David Villa and one from Joaquin put Valencia top of the Primera Liga when they came from behind to beat Deportivo Coruna 4-2 on Sunday.

Valencia have 13 points from five games, with Villarreal second on goal difference after they defeated newly promoted Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

Reigning champions Real Madrid lie third a point behind after grabbing a 2-1 away win over Real Betis on Saturday.

Depor took an early lead when Valencia defender Emiliano Moretti failed to clear a centre from Pablo Alvarez and put the ball in his own net. Juan Mata came close to levelling with a powerful right-footer which keeper Daniel Aranzubia failed to cover, but the ball went just over the bar.

Mata was on target in the 35th minute, however, when he headed home inside the far post after Depor defender Albert Lopo's awkward goalmouth clearance.

Valencia went ahead just after the break as a neat pass by Mata found Villa, who turned two markers inside the area to beat Aranzubia from close range.

Joaquin made it 3-1 on 69 minutes by running in to receive a goalmouth cross from Mata and beat Renan from close range.

Villa - the league's top marksman - bagged his second of the match and sixth of the season in the 82nd by slotting home a Mata cross.

Angel Lafita snatched a consolation goal for the visitors with five minutes to go.

Injury-hit Atletico Madrid, who will host Marseille in a Group D Champions League clash on Wednesday, went down 1-0 at home to Sevilla.

Luis Fabiano scored for the visitors in the 20th minute by curving a free kick around the Atletico wall and inside the near post from 20 metres out.

Earlier, Almeria beat nine-man Recreativo Huelva 1-0 when Alvaro Negredo scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time by converting a deflection off the far post from team mate Albert Crusat.

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