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Levante slip-up in third-place pursuit
Published : 18 Dec 2011 17:47:12
Levante missed the chance to move into third place in La Liga on Sunday when they lost 2-1 at Granada.
Granada were fortunate to get a dubious penalty on 35 minutes after the referee signalled that Jose Barkero had handled in the box.
Guilherme Siqueira cooly slotted the penalty home and Abel Gomez made it two on the stroke of half-time, converting the rebound after Odion Ighalo has struck the post.
Levante rallied and Arouna Kone scored with a near-post header from a corner on 60 minutes but Granada held on for an important victory that lifted them to 13th position in the table.
Real Betis won 2-0 away at Atletico Madrid with second half goals from Alejandro Pozuelo, who was sent off late on for two yellow cards, and Roque Santa Cruz to inflict the first home defeat of the season on the team from the capital.
The result created more doubt over the future of Atletico coach Gregorio Manzano who has struggled to find any league form all season.
Atletico are struggling in 10th position, a huge 21 points behind city rivals and leaders Real.
Real finish the year three points ahead of Barcelona -- who won the Club World Cup in Japan on Sunday -- at the top of La Liga.