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Arango 'tricks' for Mallorca

September 18, 2005 15:36 IST

Deportivo Coruna maintained their impressive start to the season under new coach Joaquin Caparros when they came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw at Valencia that sent them top of the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday.

The result put Deportivo a point clear of Galician rivals Celta Vigo who play Racing Santander on Sunday and are now the only team left in the league with a 100 percent record.

The performance of the day, though, came from Venezuelan striker Juan Arango who scored a second-half hat-trick to help Real Mallorca claim their first points of the season in their entertaining 5-2 win at home to Real Sociedad.

With his side trailing 2-1 at halftime, Arango turned the game with two quick-fire headers in the space of three minutes and then helped himself to a spectacular third when he controlled a long throw with his chest on the right side of the area and smacked an unstoppable volley into the far corner.

Greek striker Lampros Choutos completed the rout when he steered in at the far post in injury time just a few minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Barcelona face a tough away game at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, while Real Madrid, who lost 3-2 to Celta last weekend and were then thrashed 3-0 by Olympique Lyon in the Champions league, will be looking to put a miserable week behind them when they travel to Espanyol.


Deportivo took the lead against the run of play at the Mestalla when Diego Tristan scored his first league goal in five months with a cool finish into the far corner after a succession of errors in the Valencia defence in the 24th minute.

The home side almost equalised eight minutes later when Ruben Baraja shaved the post with a powerful free kick but the midfielder was given his marching orders soon after when he was red carded for a reckless challenge on Depor defender Manuel Pablo.

Tempers flared on the stroke of halftime when Pablo Aimar and Joan Capdevila clashed challenging for the ball and the Argentine spat at the Depor player.

There was further controversy at the start of the second half, this time after referee Eduardo Iturralde had signalled a penalty for a clear handball from Depor defender Jorge Andrade.

Jose Molina saved David Villa's spot kick, but Iturralde inexplicably ordered the penalty to be retaken and this time the Valencia striker sent the ball the other way to make it 1-1.

The visitors also found themselves down to 10 men just before the hour, winger Pedro Munitis being dismissed for picking up a second booking for a handball.

Valencia looked to have secured victory 10 minutes from time when Portugal defender Miguel Monteiro, who joined the club from Benfica at the start of the season, cracked in a stunning drive from the corner of the area after a fine cross-field pass from Fabio Aurelio.

But midfielder Sergio allowed Depor to grab a valuable away point when he got behind the Valencia defence to finish off a slick counter-attack with a simple tap-in three minutes later.


Simon Baskett
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