Depor back in title chase


  • Other Sport
  • Monday, 06 Jan 2003

MADRID: Deportivo Coruna beat Celta Vigo 3-0 in a fast-paced Galician derby on Saturday to move back into the top three in the Spanish First Division. 

Diego Tristan opened the scoring three minutes before halftime, the Spanish international striker shrugging his way past two defenders and lashing in from the edge of the box. 

The second goal came via a corner three minutes after the break, with midfielder Sergio managing to turn the ball past Pablo Cavallero with a toe-poke from the far post. 

Celta pressed forward and Albert Luque struck on the counter-attack to round off the scoring in the final minute. 

Victory for Javier Irureta’s side took them up from sixth to third with 29 points from 16 matches. Celta slip one place to fifth. 

Real Betis missed the chance to get back among the Champions League qualification places when they went down 3-0 at Valladolid on Saturday. 

The Andalucian side had the better of the first half but with leading striker Alfonso and the Brazilian Marcos Assuncao both missing there was a lightweight look about their attack. 

Joao Tomas missed their one clear chance in the first half, the Portuguese forward’s header striking the bar, then bouncing up and hitting the bar again before being cleared. 

Fernando Sales gave Valladolid the lead five minutes into the second half and the Spanish midfielder made it 2-0 with a neat finish to a flowing move on 65 minutes. 

As Betis chased the game with increasing desperation, young midfielder Oscar scored his first goal for Valladolid on the counter-attack. 

With 16 games played, Betis slip to sixth on 26 points. 

Like Betis, Celta Vigo ended up well beaten on Saturday because of a failure to take their chances. 

Deportivo had a good early spell, with Roy Makaay having a brilliant strike ruled out for a dubious offside on 10 minutes. 

Celta started to threaten more midway through the first half, though, and Catanha might have done better with two chances inside the area. 

Catanha missed another clear opportunity with a weak header late in the first half and within a couple of minutes Deportivo were ahead through Tristan’s excellent turn and shot. 

Sergio’s quick reaction to a ball that looked set to fly out of play made it 2-0 on 48 minutes but still there were chances for Celta to get back into the game. 

Jesuli’s shot forced a good save from Juanmi on 52 minutes and Gustavo Lopez had the Depor keeper scrambling back to clear with a snap shot on the hour. 

Lopez looked to have Juanmi beaten again 10 minutes from time but his shot hit the post and Deportivo were able to extend their advantage in the final minute through Luque’s run and shot. – Reuters 

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