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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 6, 2009

Mathieu fires Valencia past Bilbao, up to third

Jeremy Mathieu grabbed a late winner for Valencia to put them third in La Liga as they overcame 10-man Athletic Bilbao 2-1 away on Sunday.

• Saturday's Spanish La Liga review

Bilbao's 16-year-old striker Iker Munian came off the bench to give the home side a 58th-minute lead, but three minutes later Spain's David Villa volleyed Valencia level, with his 11th of the campaign.

Bilbao had defender Koikili sent off in the 73rd and Valencia profited when French defender Mathieu scored with a rasping drive nine minutes later.

Valencia survived a torrid final few minutes when Bilbao's David Lopez missed a late penalty. Unai Emery's men moved up to third with 28 points.

Spain full-back Joan Capdevila struck twice, including an 86th-minute winner, as nine-man Villarreal twice hit back from being behind to beat Getafe in a highly entertaining encounter at El Madrigal.

Capdevila was not the only member of Spain's Euro 2008-winning side to shine for Villarreal either, with midfielder Santi Cazorla scoring a stunning 67th-minute equaliser just two minutes after entering the action on his comeback from injury.

Villarreal's victory, which came despite the dismissals of Ruben Cani and Angel Lopez at either end of the second half, was their sixth successive triumph at home in all competitions and lifts them up to 11th.

Goals from Pedro Leon and Roberto Soldado had twice put the visitors in front but their defeat means they have still not drawn a league game and stay in ninth spot.

Aritz Aduriz scored twice as Real Mallorca hammered Real Zaragoza 4-1 at home to keep the islanders in the European places in La Liga on Sunday.

Mallorca are sixth with 24 points from 13 games one behind Deportivo Coruna, who lost 3-1 to leaders Barcelona on Saturday, and fourth-placed Valencia, who visit Athletic Bilbao in Sunday's late game.

Barca have 36 points from 14 games, five ahead of Real Madrid, who have only played 13 after their 4-2 victory at home to Almeria on Saturday. Sevilla are third with 27.

Mallorca's problems off the field, where attempts to take over the financially troubled club have ended in acrimonious disputes, have not affected the team's form inside the Ono Estadi this season.

They have won seven from seven there under the wily leadership of coach Gregorio Manzano, and in striker Aduriz they have a proven goalscorer who has now scored seven this year.

The powerful frontman put away Mallorca's first just before the break after an error in the Zaragoza defence, and sprinted clear to double the lead in a one-on-one after 68.

Mario Suarez headed the third from a freekick and Alhassane Keita made it 4-0 before Ander Herrera pulled one back for the visitors at the end.

Racing Santander's new coach Miguel Angel Portugal earned his first win since taking the helm last month, the Cantabrians sweeping aside Espanyol 4-0 away. Their 18-year-old striker Sergio Canales scored twice helping them to only their second win this season.

For Espanyol it was their fourth defeat in a row without scoring, and they have now conceded eight in their last two outings. Racing climbed to 18th with 10 points, ahead of Malaga, who drew 1-1 with Osasuna, and bottom club Xerez.

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