Spanish Round-Up: Late penalty hands Seville spoils

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The Independent Online

Luis Fabiano showed why Manchester City were reportedly willing to pay £10m for his services last week with a cool final-minute penalty to earn Seville the three points against Osasuna at home on Saturday.

The chaos surrounding the penalty for a non-existent handball by the Osasuna midfielder Javi Garcia did not distract the Brazilian forward from dispatching the spot-kick not once but twice after the referee Iturralde Gonzalez had ordered the re-take for encroachment.

It was the stroke of luck Seville needed after another poor display as they continue to miss the talismanic striker Freddie Kanouté, away on African Nations Cup duty, leading their forward line. Fabiano did his best to carry the team although until the penalty he had been frustrated by some stubborn Osasuna defending. In a high-tempo first half he had a shot blocked by the goalkeeper Ricardo after following in a saved Jesus Navas effort. The visitors' keeper also turned a rasping shot from the Brazilian around a post as Seville failed to take advantage of their first-half possession.

In the second period the midfielder Christian Poulsen put Seville ahead from Javier Chevaton's free-kick only for Sola to score a spectacular equaliser. Seville looked to be heading for another disappointment when referee Gonzalez handed them the unexpected lifeline. After Fabiano scored the spot-kick police had to separate the rival benches.

Elsewhere, Valencia made it just six points from a possible 30 under Ronald Koeman with a 1-0 defeat at home to Almeria. The home fans gave the Dutch manager and his team the famous white-handkerchief protest on the final whistle after a goal from Felipe Melo had secured the points for the visitors.

There was disappointment for Atletico Madrid as they were beaten 1-0 by Real Mallorca. A 21st-minute goal from Juan Arango settled the match in the home side's favour.

Espanyol continued their recent slide when an 89th-minute strike by Edu saw them suffer a surprise home defeat at the hands of struggling Real Betis.

Another striker linked with an imminent move to the Premiership, Zaragoza's Diego Milito, was again on the scoresheet. But the Argentine's strike on the hour was not enough to earn Zaragoza three points. A goal from Mohamed Tchité in the 90th minute was enough to earn Racing Santander a share of the spoils.

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