MADRID - Ten-man Sevilla climbed to second in the Primera Liga with a 3-1 comeback win at Deportivo Coruna on Saturday, moving above Valencia who were held to a 3-3 draw at home by Villarreal. Trailing 1-0 and with a man less at the start of the second half, Frederic Kanoute was sent on as a Sevilla substitute and set up Luis Fabiano and then Renato for goals before Diego Capel sealed the win. Sevilla have 35 points from 18 games and trail runaway leaders Barcelona by nine. Barca, who have played a game less, visit bottom club Osasuna on Sunday. Valencia are third with 34 points, two ahead of champions Real Madrid who are away to Real Mallorca on Sunday. Villarreal are sixth with 30. At the Riazor, Rodolfo Bodipo gave Depor the lead after 34 minutes and soon after Sevilla lost midfielder Enzo Maresca to a straight red card for elbowing. Despite having only 10 men, visiting coach Manolo Jimenez brought on striker Kanoute for a defender at halftime and the Mali international crossed for Luis Fabiano to equalise just after the restart. Kanoute, fined 3,000 euros ($4,038) by the Spanish Football Federation on Friday for revealing an undershirt with "Palestine" written on it after scoring against Depor in the King's Cup earlier this week, also laid on the second. Renato's diving header 12 minutes from time set up a frantic finale and Sevilla goalkeeper Andres Palop pulled off a string of saves before substitute Capel made sure of the points after a stoppage-time counter attack. Jimenez said: "Kanoute had an Achilles problem but was prepared to risk it because he could see the side were struggling with 10 men. He has made the difference." Sevilla hold a 2-1 advantage over Depor for next week's King's Cup last-16 second leg at the Riazor. Ruben Baraja and David Villa put Valencia two-up inside 10 minutes at the Mestalla as they ran Villarreal ragged in the first half, but Fabricio Fuentes pulled one back with a header just before the break. Joseba Llorente levelled for the visitors in the 76th minute before Edu restored Valencia's lead three minutes later with a great header. Giuseppe Rossi grabbed Villarreal's equaliser from the penalty spot six minutes from time, ending a run of three straight defeats. "It was very tough here but we showed we are a good team," Italian striker Rossi told television station La Sexta. "It's a very important point for us. We are very pleased."
10 January 2009
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