Spanish league: Atletico reclaims sixth place

Maxi Rodriguez scored twice and Luis Garcia and Diego Forlan once each on Sunday to lead Atletico Madrid 4-0 over Zaragoza.

updated: October 25, 2007 06:46 IST
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Madrid, Spain:

Maxi Rodriguez scored twice and Luis Garcia and Diego Forlan once each on Sunday to lead Atletico Madrid 4-0 over Zaragoza and reclaim sixth place in the Spanish league.

Garcia took advantage of Forlan's defense-splitting pass to steer the ball past goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez in the 10th minute.

The goal was Garcia's first in the league since he rejoined Atletico from Liverpool in July.

Forlan then ran on to Rodriguez's chipped pass and used his toe to lift the ball over the advancing Cesar to increase Atletico's lead in the 35th.

Zaragoza, without an away win this season, slipped further behind in the 64th. Rodriguez converted a penalty kick awarded after he was tripped by Sergio Fernandez inside the area.

Rodriguez then angled a shot home in injury time for Atletico's fourth goal after a swift counterattack.

Trailing Atletico on goal difference is seventh-place Mallorca, which beat Recreativo Huelva 2-0 for its first victory away from home this season.

Daniel Guiza scored first in the fourth minute by flicking the ball over advancing goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino after receiving Borja Valero's delicate through ball for his fourth goal of the season.

Substitute Antonio "Tuni" Adrover added the other with an 80th-minute long shot.

Mallorca moved up to 14 points from eight games, while Recreativo's third straight loss left it with eight points.

Defending champion Real Madrid leads the league with 19 points. Villarreal and Valencia are next with 18 points each. Barcelona has 17 points.

Also, it was: Real Betis 1, Racing Santander 1; Almeria 2, Osasuna 0; Getafe 2, Murcia 0; and Valladolid 1, Athletic Bilbao 2.

Betis forward Xisco Munoz scored the opening goal in the 62nd for the hosts.

Santander's Jorge Lopez missed a 77th-minute penalty, awarded when Spain defender Juanito Gutierrez fouled striker Euzebiusz Smolarek and was ejected.

However, Lopez atoned for his mistake by scoring Santander's equalizer in the 87th.

Almeria won at home for the first time this season to cheer coach Unai Emery, who was in charge of the promoted team for the 50th league game.

Osasuna goalkeeper Juan Elia was ejected in the 50th minute for a foul on Almeria striker Alvaro Negredo. Felipe Melo converted the resulting penalty.

Negredo doubled Almeria's lead with a deft chip in the 70th.

Getafe beat promoted Murcia for its first win of the season, relieving the pressure on coach Michael Laudrup, who took charge in July.

Substitute Kepa Blanco headed in a goal in the 55th, and midfielder Javi Casquero scored the second five minutes later.

Kepa was red-carded in the 67th for an off-the-ball kick at Murcia defender Alvaro Mejia.

Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz scored two goals against his former club to leave promoted Valladolid without a win at home this season.

Aduriz scored with an angled shot in the ninth minute and then headed in another the 32nd.

Valladolid striker Victor Fernandez reduced the deficit with a 71st-minute penalty.

On Saturday, Madrid lost at Espanyol 2-1, while Barcelona went down at Villarreal 3-1. Also, Valencia beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-2, while Sevilla won at Levante 2-0.