Real Madrid on top after another comeback win
May 13, 2007 - 2:17:12 PM
Madrid, May 13 - Real Madrid went atop of the Spanish league with another of their trademark come-from-behind wins, this time 4-3 against Espanyol in the Primera Liga football tournamnet.
Real were losing 3-1 at halftime Saturday and were seemingly out of the title race. But second-half goals by Raul Gonzalez, Jose Antonio Reyes and Gonzalo Higuain, however, gave them a memorable win - and top spot for at least a day.
The whites now have 66 points from 34 games, just one point more than troubled Barcelona.
In third place, now on 64 points, are Sevilla, who warmed up for the UEFA Cup final by beating Recreativo Huelva 2-1.
Real were stunned by a first-half hat-trick from Walter Pandiani, Espanyol's veteran Uruguayan striker.
Within 10 minutes of the second half, though, Real had pulled it back to 3-3, with goals from Raul and Reyes.
Espanyol coach Ernesto Valverde - who had left key men Ivan de la Pena and Raul Tamudo at home - then left his team crippled in attack by taking off Pandiani to rest him for the UEFA final.
Even so, Real did not get the winner until the 88th minute, when Reyes set up Higuain to score at the near post.
'I'm really happy,' said Real coach Fabio Capello, 'because I like the character of this team, their desire to turn results around.'
Later Saturday came the Sevilla-Huelva match. Unlike Valverde, Sevilla coach Juande Ramos didn't reserve any players for the UEFA final - and was rewarded with an important win.
The first goal, a handsome control and volley from Enzo Maresca, came after just 12 minutes.
Sevilla fans had to wait until the 80th minute for the second goal. Huelva defender Jesus Vazquez pulled down Luis Fabiano for a penalty, and the Brazilian got up to put away the spot-kick himself.
Seven minutes later, Vazquez made amends by converting a dubious penalty awarded to Huelva, but it came too late to save the visitors.
Despite the defeat, Huelva stay in seventh place with a chance of snatching a first-ever UEFA Cup place.
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