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Rediff.com  » Sports » Baptista late show brings cheer back to Malaga

Baptista late show brings cheer back to Malaga

April 14, 2013 09:55 IST

Julio Baptista scored in added time to lift Malaga to a 1-0 home win over Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday, helping the club shake off some of the disappointment from their midweek Champions League exit.

The Brazilian was left unmarked near the penalty spot as a free kick was nodded down in the area and he swept the ball past Andres Fernandez in the 93rd minute.

The timing of the goal was significant as it was two added time strikes from Borussia Dortmund that put them out of Europe's elite club competition at the quarter-final stage 3-2 on aggregate on Tuesday.

Julio BaptistaAt the end, Baptista and the Malaga players stood on the pitch at the Rosaleda and applauded their fans, who in turn chanted their support for the team after an impressive debut campaign in the Champions League.

Manuel Pellegrini's side moved up to fifth place on 50 points with seven games left to play, the same as Valencia who slipped down to sixth after Ernesto Valverde's side drew 3-3 at Espanyol.

Fourth-placed Real Sociedad, in the last Champions League qualification berth on 51 points, visit Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

At Cornella El Prat, Espanyol levelled with the last kick of the game to draw against Valencia, after four goals were scored in a frantic final 10 minutes in Barcelona.

Espanyol striker Sergio Garcia muscled his way past Victor Ruiz to shoot high into the net in the 94th minute, after Valencia looked to have snatched all three points with two quick goals at the end.

Jonas fired in from the edge of the area from Roberto Soldado's knock down to make it 2-2 in the 87th-minute and Spain striker Soldado then lifted the ball over Kiko Casilla for what looked like the decider in the 91st.

Espanyol had twice led through Wakaso and then Joan Verdu in the 82nd, Sergio Garcia having a hand in setting up both, while Sergio Canales grabbed Valencia's first equaliser in the 53rd.

"It's a draw that feels like a defeat, but the game was evenly-balanced," Valverde told a news conference.

Earlier, Deportivo La Coruna's 37-year-olds Juan Carlos Valeron and Manuel Pablo combined for the opener in a 4-0 win at Levante, as Depor's bid to avoid relegation from La Liga gathered pace.

Valeron, and the Portuguese trio of Pizzi, Nelson Oliveira and Bruno Gama helped Depor out of the relegation places up to 16th in the standings with 29 points, two above the drop zone.

Promoted Depor, in administration and on their third coach of the season, were set on course for their fourth straight win after only 12 minutes.

A veteran of their 1999-2000 La Liga title-winning campaign, Manuel Pablo, crossed from the right and fellow former Spanish international Valeron half-volleyed inside the far post for his first goal of the campaign.

A swift counter-attack led to Pizzi lashing a second past Gustavo Munua in the 20th and Nelson Oliveira notched a third eight minutes later. Gama drilled a fourth at the end.

"(Valeron) is the oil in the engine," Depor coach Fernando Vazquez told a news conference.

"He's an impressive player with a magnificent talent, and he proved it again today. He works and trains as hard as the best of them."

Real Valladolid ended a run of five games without a victory to comeback and beat Getafe 2-1 at home, climbing to 13th with 38 points, two short of Levante in 12th and Espanyol in 11th.

Paco Alcacer headed the visitors in front against the run of play but Valladolid stormed back with two goals in five second-half minutes from Oscar and substitute Javi Guerra.

The visitors, who had not conceded a goal in five previous outings, ended with 10 men after defender Alexis was harshly sent off in the 76th minute. They stayed eighth with 44 points.

Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

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