Menu

SOCCER

Levante sinks Villarreal to claim La Liga lead

Levante continued its unbeaten start with 0 thrashing of Villarreal at the El Madrigal on Sunday, as it climbed into sole possession of first place in La Liga.

Juanlu scored twice in the first half, and Arouna Kone added the third goal in the second half, as Levante emerged from Week 8 alone atop the standings.

Levante and Barcelona started the week level on 17 points, but Barca was held to a 0-0 tie by Sevilla on Saturday, and the surprise package in Spain grabbed its chance.

Juanlu volleyed a cross-field pass from Valdo to the bottom-right corner after just 15 minutes, then added his second brilliant finish in the 43rd when he used a back heel to flick Kone's cross in from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Kone added the third goal with a toe poke from the right corner of the 6-yard box to the near post in the 58th, and Levante cruised to its sixth win against just two draws this season.

Villarreal was unbeaten in four straight, but continued to struggled as it has just a single win in league play this season, and has lost all three of its Champions League matches.

Valencia 1, Athletic Bilbao 1

Valencia, Spain - Roberto Saldado scored his sixth goal of the season in the final minute of normal time, and Valencia tied Athletic Bilbao 1-1 on Sunday at the Mestalla in Spain's La Liga.

Muniain scored earlier in the second half as Bilbao took the lead and had its third win in its last four in sight, but Saldado converted from a tight angle in the closing minutes to split the points.

Bilbao is still unbeaten in four, but has tied its last two games. Valencia is unbeaten in three, two of which are draws.

Atletico Madrid 1, Mallorca 1

Madrid, Spain - Tomer Hemed converted a penalty kick in the second minute to help Mallorca earn a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon in La Liga on Sunday.

Mallorca moved its unbeaten streak to four games, three of which are ties, and Atletico saw its winless run reach four, three of which are draws.

Atletico already has four draws this season and is 10 points off the pace of leaders Levante. Mallorca has nine points, and is 11 points off the pace.

Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Betis 0

Seville, Spain - Lass and Sergio Koke scored in the final 10 minutes of normal time and Rayo Vallecano won its second game of the season, 2-0 over Real Betis on Sunday at the Benito Villamarin in La Liga.

Vallecano snapped a four-game winless streak that included three losses, while Betis dropped its fourth straight after starting the season with four straight wins.

Rayo has nine points from eight matches, while Betis is on 12.

Real Sociedad 0, Getafe 0

San Sebastian, Spain - Getafe earned its third result in its last four matches after a five-match winless skid, 0-0 against Getafe on Sunday at the Anoeta in Spain's La Liga.

Getafe secured its sixth point of the season, and is two points off the bottom of the table. Sociedad ended a three-match losing streak, but is still winless in four and just four points off the bottom.

Osasuna 3, Real Zaragoza 0

Navarra, Spain - Raul Garcia, Nino and Javad Nekounam scored in a 12-minute stretch of the first half and Osasuna defeated Real Zaragoza, 3-0, on Sunday in La Liga to snap a five-game winless streak.

Osasuna last won on Sept. 9 against Sporting Gijon, but has 10 points and sits just 10 points off the pace of leaders Levante. Zaragoza had its three-fixture unbeaten streak snapped, and is 11 points off the pace of the leaders.