The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Real Madrid, Sociedad suffer shock defeats

Madrid: Real Sociedad lost 2-3 at Real Betis to a last-minute penalty but the Basques stayed two points clear at the top of the Spanish league after their closest rivals Real Madrid were also beaten on Sunday.

Sociedad were looking to re-establish a five-point lead at the top following Real Madridís surprise 0-1 defeat at Osasuna.

With four minutes to go they were firmly within sight of their target as Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci struck twice to put them 2-1 ahead.

A looping header from Iulian Filipescu brought Betis level, though, and Fernando earned all three points for the home side when he stroked in from the spot with what was almost the last kick of the game.

Defeats for the top two left Real Sociedad clear at the top with 44 points from 22 matches, followed by Real Madrid on 42.

Valencia are third, behind Real Madrid on goal difference, after their 2-0 win at home to Malaga on Saturday, while Deportivo Coruna stay fourth thanks to a 1-0 win at Valladolid.

Further down the table, Barcelona eased their relegation fears with a much needed 2-0 derby victory away to Espanyol featuring goals from Philip Cocu and Xavi.

Christian Manfredini got the only goal on 38 minutes and as Real chased the game they had Luis Figo sent off just past the hour mark.

Juve share top spot

Italian champions Juventus moved level with Inter Milan at the top of Serie A after a 2-1 win at Parma while third-placed AC Milan came back for a 2-2 draw in a pulsating game with Lazio.

First-half headers from Marco Di Vaio and Alessio Tacchinardi gave Juventus a two-goal lead at the break and, though Parma pulled a goal back in the final minute through Romanian Adrian Mutu, the outcome was never in doubt.

Juve join Inter, who lost 1-2 at Chievo on Saturday, on 45 points while Milan trail by two points after their draw in the game of the day.

Lazio took the game to Milan at the San Siro and should have gone ahead in just the fifth minute when Bernardo Corradi broke down the right flank and found Claudio Lopez unmarked at the back post but the Argentine blasted high and wide from an excellent position.

Roberto Manciniís side were by far the livelier of the two teams and took a deserved lead in the 21st minute when Milan keeper Dida blocked a shot from Lopez but Dejan Stankovic pounced to drive home the loose ball.

Nine minutes later Lazio were 2-0 up after referee Pierluigi Collina awarded a penalty and Lopez smashed it in.

The Milan comeback began in the 62nd minute when halftime substitute Filippo Inzaghi turned Paolo Negro inside the area as he latched on to a ball and beat Angelo Peruzzi with a low shot.

Inzaghi was the provider for the equaliser, just keeping the ball on play before he burst down the left flank and played a well-placed low cross into the path of Rivaldo who made no mistake from close range.

Leeds, Chelsea through

Premier League clubs reached the FA Cup quarter finals in contrasting styles with Leeds United controversially beating Crystal Palace 2-1 and Chelsea cruising to a 2-0 win at Stoke City.

Fulham were held 1-1 by first division Burnley in their fifth round clash, lining up a replay at Turf Moot, while Wolverhampton Wanderers beat third division Rochdale 3-1.

Meanwhile, the French Cup magic continued for Lorient coach Yvon Pouliquen when his second division team beat top flight Lille 1-0 to qualify for the quarter finals.

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