Renato sinks Villarreal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008


Renato sinks Villarreal

Brazilian Renato was the hero again as Sevilla followed up their Real Madrid scalp with a 1-0 home win over title rivals Villarreal on Sunday to go third in the table.
Renato had scored an 84th-minute winner as Sevilla overcame Real 4-3 last weekend and struck on the chime of half-time to secure a valuable three points and they move level on points with Valencia, eight behind leaders Barcelona.
Villarreal slip to fourth and trail Barcelona, who defeated Real 2-0 in 'El Clasico' at Camp Nou on Saturday, by nine points.
Atletico Madrid leapfrogged city neighbours Real with a 2-0 home win over Real Betis on Sunday.
Argentine duo Maxi Rodriguez and Sergio "Kun" Aguero grabbed a goal apiece as Atletico movde up to fifth, two points behind Villarreal, while Real slumped to sixth.
Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez stuck by the same system that defeated Real with Ivica Dragutinovic the only personnel change replacing Fernando Navarro at full back.
Luis Fabiano and Diego Capel, two of their biggest stars, started on the substitutes bench to their dismay.
Both sides had conceded three goals in their last matches against Real and Getafe respectively, so goals were expected, but it was scoreless with half-time close.
The referee was close to blowing up only for Renato to score with Frederic Kanoute's miscontrol of a high ball inadvertently setting up the Samba striker who looked borderline offside.
"Sevilla's goal was offside," said Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini. "The mistake opened the game up for Sevilla and they started to play better. It was always difficult with one man less."
Villarreal had seen Jose Llorente sent off on eight minutes into the second half for a second booking.
Kanoute and substitute Fabiano wasted great chances to extend Sevilla's lead but in the end the single goal proved enough.
Sevilla are now emerging as surprise title contenders to Barcelona who opened up a 12-point gap over champions Real with a 2-0 win in 'El Clasico' at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi in the final seven minutes sunk Real and sparked wild celebrations.
Elsewhere, Real Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano continues to feel the strain after his struggling team crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Getafe on Sunday.
Mallorca, who finished seventh last season, have now taken one point from their last 15 and the latest defeat sees them drop into the bottom three.
A Cosmin Contra penalty and a strike from Ikechuwku Uche put Getafe two goals up inside the first half an hour and Mallorca never recovered.
Manzano was furious at the opening penalty claiming Uche had deceived the referee.
Recreativo Huelva, second from bottom, moved level on 13 points with Mallorca after defeating Osasuna 1-0 in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday.
Adrian Colunga scored on 83 minutes to down Osasuna who are now four points adrift at the bottom.

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