Levante lose out in eight-goal thriller

19 February 2012 09:47

Levantes miserable form continued when they dropped out of the European places on Sunday after losing 5-3 at home to Rayo Vallacano.

The modest side from Valencia have spent most of the season among the top four after a surprising start which also saw them briefly lead the table, but they now havent won in two months and have tumbled down to seventh place.

In a keenly-fought opening, Lass Bangoura put the visitors ahead but Jose Barkero brought Levante level at the start of the second half with a penalty after substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal was felled in the area by Jorge Pulido.

Levante were in the ascendancy but against the run of play Diego Costa hit a quickfire double and then Lass gave them a commanding lead after 69 minutes.

Rubin Suarez pulled a goal back and then Andrija Delibasic added a fifth for Rayo.

There was still time for Suarez to score again for Levante with a spot kick and Pulido was sent off for a second yellow card after giving away a second penalty.

Atletico Madrid squandered the chance to move up to fourth in La Liga as they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon under new coach Javier Clemente.

The visitors have set their goal on winning a place in the Champions League following an impressive start under coach Diego Simeone with the side unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.

Atletico striker Radamel Falcao missed the first opening inside the first five minutes when he shot straight at keeper Juan Pablo and then Diego Godin headed over from close range.

Atletico did take the lead after 20 minutes but it was through a stroke of good fortune as Adrian Lopez scuffed a shot and the ball came off Roberto Canella for an own goal.

Sporting did get back into the game through a scrappy goal from Sebastian Eguren before half time but after the break Atletico continued to waste chances with Falcao in particular guilty.

Later Sunday, Barcelona entertain third-placed Valencia looking to find a way back into the title race after Real Madrids 4-0 win over Racing Santander on Saturday put them 13 points clear.

Source: AFP