Real Madrid moved up to third

Madrid, October 27:

Real Madrid moved a point behind leaders Valencia with a hard-fought 3-2 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice, in the 28th and 58th minutes, to down Bilbao who had come back to level at 2-2 through a Jose Exteberria strike and an Andoni Iraola penalty after Wesley

Sneijder had put Real in front on 12 minutes.

Bilbao had Fernando Amorebieta sent off for a crude foul 14 minutes from time while Real’s defender Marcelo was fortunate to escape a straight red for a brutal tackle at the end of the first half. Fernando Llorente hit the post for Bilbao late on but Real, beaten 2-1 by Juventus in their midweek Champions League match, snatched the points.

Real moved above Villarreal into third but are below Barcelona on goal difference while Valencia lead the standings after a 1-1 draw with Recreativo Huelva maintaining their unbeaten start. Villarreal and 10-man Atletico Madrid served up the best game of the season with a thrilling 4-4 draw.

Atletico went two goals up after 22 minutes through Simao and Diego Forlan but the dismissal

of Argentine Ever Banega after 37 minutes turned the game on its head. Villarreal scored three times in the first nine minutes of the second half with a Leo Franco howler allowing Marcos Senna’s shot to creep in three minutes after the interval, before Jose Llorente equalised on 51 minutes. Gonzalo Rodriguez then put the hosts ahead on 57 minutes and Giuseppe Rossi, on 68 minutes, added a fourth as Atletico collapsed. But there was yet another twist as Simao pulled one back for Atletico with his second goal on 83 minutes and Raul Garcia equalised in the 85th minute to make it 4-4. Villarreal stay unbeaten and lie two points behind leaders Valencia. Atletico languish in 10th after the draw.

Sevilla tasted their first defeat of the season with a surprise 1-0 home loss at the hands of promoted Malaga and they fall three points behind Valencia in fourth.


LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur, in their first match since former Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp became manager after the Saturday sacking of Juande Ramos, won for the first time in the Premier League this season by beating 10-man Bolton 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Spurs’s first victory in nine league games, which featured Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko’s first Premier League goal for the club, still left them at the foot of the table but now they are just one point behind second-bottom Newcastle United. Portsmouth looked like bouncing back from Redknapp’s shock exit with a win before Clint Dempsey’s late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw for Fulham.

Arsenal moved to within four points of leaders Liverpool after a 2-0 win away to West Ham. Aston Villa defeated Wigan 4-0 while Robinho grabbed his first hat-trick in English football as Manchester City beat Stoke 3-0.