Valencia win Spanish League

Valencia won the Spanish league title for the second time in three seasons after beating Sevilla 2-0 on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Spanish league leaders Valencia travelled to Sevilla on Sunday four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who slumped to a third successive defeat at home to Mallorca on Saturday. So with just two games remaining for Real, victory for Valencia would clinch La Liga title. First break Any concerns the pressure of expectation may hinder their game proved entirely unfounded, as Vicente made the breakthrough in the 12th minute. A superbly worked move saw the midfielder cut in from the left and angle his shot inside Sevilla goalkeeper Esteban Suarez. Despite Valencia taking the lead, the match remained finely balanced and both sides had the ball in the net before half time only to see the goals disallowed for offside. Victory sealed Sevilla continued to press after the break and on the counter-attack Jorge Lopez missed a great chance to increase Valencia's lead in the 59th minute. From then on Rafael Benitez's team sat back, relying on their defensive strength to protect the lead. They had goalkeeper Santiago Canizares to thank in the 77th minute when he got down brilliantly to turn aside a shot that seemed to come off the boots of both substitute Antonito and his Sevilla team mate Dario Silva. But Ruben Baraja, who had replaced striker Ricardo Oliveira on the hour, put the triumph beyond doubt in the final minute when, having been put through by Xisco, he stayed calm to fire home past Suarez. Second title The final whistle triggered wild celebrations among the Valencia entourage, with one or two of their modest band of travelling fans joining in for good measure. It's their second league title in three years and the sixth in their 85 year history. And they have the chance to end the season with a first ever domestic and European double. They meet Olympique Marseille in the final of the UEFA Cup on May 19. Real Madrid, meanwhile, have had to suffer the indignity of finishing the season without a major trophy for the first time in five years. (AP)