Sevilla beats Zaragoza 3-1 in Spanish league

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Associated Press

Posted on April 3, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 3 at 2:06 PM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sevilla rose to fifth place in the Spanish league after beating Zaragoza 3-1 on Sunday, and Diego Costa scored a hat trick to give Atletico Madrid a 3-2 win over Osasuna.

Sevilla led 1-0 in the 43rd minute at Sanchez Pizjuan stadium when Diego Perotti got behind the defense to tap in a low cross from Jesus Navas at the far post.

Jiri Jarosik leveled for Zaragoza in the 47th, heading a cross from a free kick inside the near post.

But Frederic Kanoute restored Sevilla's lead from the penalty spot in the 55th after Leonardo Ponzio had fouled Martin Caceres.

Nicolas Bertolo fired wide in the 75th with only the goalkeeper to beat in Zaragoza's best chance to level again.

Sevilla forward Alvaro Negredo converted a spot kick in the third minute of injury of time after being fouled by Paulo Da Silva to cap the win.

Sevilla is undefeated in its past six home games and is two points ahead of sixth-place Espanyol.

In Pamplona, Osasuna striker Enrique Sola volleyed in a cross from Alvaro Cejudo in the 31st for his third goal in as many games.

With Sergio Aguero suspended and Diego Forlan on the bench, Costa led Atletico's comeback.

The Brazilian striker equalized in the 38th when former Osasuna forward Juanfran Torres played him through with a perfectly weighted long pass.

Atletico's pressure enabled the team to steal possession twice to score, Costa coolly shooting past goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez in the 60th and 63rd minutes.

Lopez saved a penalty by Jose Antonio Reyes in the 70th following a foul, and Javad Nekounam reduced the deficit for Osasuna from the penalty spot in the 79th after Tiago Cardoso had handled in the box.

Osasuna's Sergio Gonzalez was shown a red card in the 83rd for elbowing Costa.

The win put Atletico level on points with seventh-place Athletic Bilbao, which plays Almeria on Monday.

Earlier in Valencia, Christian Stuani scored a double as Levante continued its excellent second half of the season with a 3-1 win over Malaga.

Stuani put Levante ahead in the sixth minute by scoring from a pass by Ruben Suarez, who doubled the lead three minutes later.

Malaga's Sebastian Fernandez halved the deficit in the 61st, but Stuani sealed Levante's seventh win in 10 games from a loose ball inside the six-yard box in the 71st.

"The important thing is that this team is a unified group that knows what it wants to do and is capable of dying for its style of play," Levante coach Luis Garcia said.

At Anoeta stadium, Royston Drenthe scored twice as Hercules beat Real Sociedad 3-1 in coach Miroslaw Djukic's debut. It was the team's first away win since week two and first away goals since Oct. 24.

Javier Portillo headed home a cross from Francisco Femenia in the 70th for Hercules' first away goal by a player other than Nelson Valdes this season.

Drenthe doubled Hercules' lead with a great individual effort in the 85th, and four minutes later put the game out of question with a left-footed shot.

Diego Ifran scored Sociedad's consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time.

Hercules' first win in five weeks lifted it out of last place.

"This is only the beginning of the journey and there are still eight stations left, so we cannot relax," Djukic said referring to the eight weeks left in the league.

Also, Racing Santander rallied to beat Espanyol 2-1, and Deportivo La Coruna came from behind to down Mallorca 2-1.

Espanyol went ahead at Cornella-El Prat stadium through Pablo Osvaldo's spot kick in the 37th. Gonzalo Colsa stabbed in a ball flicked on by Henrique to equalize in the 50th, and Giovani Dos Santos capped Racing's comeback by heading in from close range in the 75th.

At Riazor stadium, Pierre Webo scored Mallorca's opener in the 27th, rifling in Jose Marti's cross from near the penalty spot.

Deportivo playmaker Juan Carlos Valeron came on at halftime and soon played Xisco Jimenez through to level the score in the 55th. Lassad Nouioui scored the hosts' winner, finishing off a rebound in the 67th.

Webo was shown a late red card for arguing with another player.

On Saturday, front-runner Barcelona beat Villarreal 1-0 to open up an eight-point lead over Real Madrid after Jose Mourinho's side lost its first home match of the season, going down 1-0 to Sporting Gijon.

Also, third-place Valencia moved three points ahead of Villarreal through its 4-2 win at Getafe.

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