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First Division - Day Twelve

Deportivo de La Coruña - 5 Sevilla 2

Deportivo: Songo'o; Manuel Pablo, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Flavio; Víctor, Djalminha, Turu Flores; Pauleta. 4-2-3-1.
Sevilla: Valencia; Prieto, Corona, Marchena, Nando; Quevedo, Francisco; Jesuli, Alfredo, Moya; Zalayeta. 4-2-3-1.

Deportivo moved to the top of the first division with an incident packed victory over a Sevilla side who were the better team in the first half. Referee Andradas Asurmendi gave three penalties, the first of which was saved by Songo'o from Zalayeta's kick early in the first half after Naybet had fouled Alfredo. Sevilla took the lead in the 35th minute however through Moya, one of four changes in Marcos Alonso's side. Five minutes later they were behind, with Djalminha scoring first from a curling free kick, then Pauleta following up after Turu Flores headed on. Djalminha laid on Deportivo's third for Romero in the second half with a clever pass which sent the defence the wrong way, and Pauleta made it 4-1 when he pushed Fernando's cross past Valencia. Deportivo's captain Fran came on to a standing ovation fifteen minutes from the end, his first game for six months since picking up a serious injury. Ten minutes from time Songo'o was sent off for a foul on substitute Otero, and with all three substitutes on the field Flavio took over in goal. He could do nothing to stop the resulting penalty, which another substitute Tsartas placed wide and low. Five minutes later Andradas awarded another penalty, this time for a dubious foul by Corona on Jaime, and Pauleta stepped up to complete his hat-trick. Deportivo move top on goal average ahead of Celta, the first time that two Gallician teams have headed the first division. Sevilla sink further at the bottom, and Marcos Alonso must now be on his way out. Deportivo fans from the Riazor Blue fan club paid a tribute to Nando and Alfredo before the match. Both players played in Coruña before moving to Sevilla. Jokanovic and Makaay were both injured and didn't play.

Valladolid 1 - Celta 3

Valladolid: César; Chema, Santamaría, García Calvo, Marcos; Vizcaino, Eusebio, Lozano, Rodrigo; Víctor, Peternac. 4-4-2.
Celta: Dutruel; Velasco, Cáceres, Djorovic, Juanfran; Giovanella, Celades; Karpin, Mostovoi, Gustavo López; Turdó. 4-2-3-1.

Celta moved top for a couple of hours (before Deportivo played their match) after beating Valladolid in a freezing Nuevo Zorilla stadium. Víctor Fernández left Mazinho out of the squad, and was also was without Revivo who was injured playing for Israel during the week. Turdó continued up front, with McCarthy on the bench alongside Makelele, who escaped without injury from a serious car crash a few days ago. Valladolid were able to count on Peternac after the club successfully appealed his one match suspension for being sent off in the cup. Djorovic opened the scoring on the half hour, heading past César from a corner, and Rodrigo brought the sides level from a well struck free kick early in the second half. Karpin broke the equilibrium ten minutes from time, taking Mostovoi's pass in a possible offside position before beating César, and substitute Benni McCarthy rounded off the victory with a goal five minutes from time again from Mostovoi's pass, only his second goal in the league. Valladolid are now second from bottom, and Manzano is another manager whose days appeared to be numbered.

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