Espanyol recover to see off Atletico

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The Independent Football

Espanyol came from behind to beat nine-man Atletico Madrid 2-1 away to climb to third in La Liga yesterday.

Simao Sabrosa gave Atletico a first-half lead with a superb free-kick, despite their being down to 10 men following a red card shown to Sergio Aguero.

Raul Tamudo levelled just after the restart and with Atletico reduced to nine soon after when Mariano Pernia was dismissed, Luis Garcia raced on to Ivan de la Peña's pass to strike the winner with five minutes left.

Espanyol have 33 points, one ahead of Villarreal, who were held 1-1 at home by Recreativo Huelva. Atletico slip to fifth with 31.

On Saturday, Valencia came back from two goals down to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw at Real Zaragoza. Diego Milito had put the home side ahead from the penalty spot early on and the Valencia goalkeeper Juan Luis Mora the scored a comical own-goal on the half-hour to give the home side a two-goal advantage at the break.

But Valencia hit back late on through Nikola Zigic and David Silva to earn a point.

Getafe claimed a 2-0 victory over 10-men Almeria in a bad-tempered match at the Estadio del Mediterraneo, while Seville signed off for 2007 with a 4-1 beating of Racing Santander.