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By ESPN Staff

La Liga: Pressure grows as Real crash at Valladolid

Real Madrid's week went from bad to worse as the champions went down by a single goal to Real Valladolid in the Primera Liga tonight.

Fabian Cannobio's rocket just after the break was enough to separate the two sides and complete a miserable week for Madrid which leaves coach Bernd Schuster clinging onto his job by an ever thinning thread.

The Spanish champions had already been heavily criticised following Tuesday night's embarrassing Copa del Rey exit at the hands of third-division Real Union, while they had been dealt a major blow by the news that striker Ruud van Nistelrooy would miss the rest of the season with a serious knee ligament injury.

Talk of a crisis appeared premature as they went into the match just two points adrift of leaders Barcelona, but the Catalan giants can now open up a five point gap on fourth-placed Madrid if they beat Recreativo Huelva tomorrow.

Valencia remain level on points with Madrid after they fell to only their second loss of the season - a 3-2 defeat at home to Sporting Gijon.

Luis Moran fired Sporting in front in the 20th minute and David Barral doubled their lead seven minutes after the break.

David Villa grabbed one back for Valencia from the spot with his 100th goal for the club in the 69th minute but Diego Castro restored Sporting's two-goal advantage with a fantastic goal nine minutes from time.

There was some cheer for the hosts as Valencia youngster Juan Mata continues to show promise, grabbing his sixth goal of the season in injury time.


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