The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Deportivo leapfrog into second spot

Madrid: Deportivo La Coruna displaced Real Sociedad from second spot in the Spanish first division after they came from behind to claim a 2-1 win against the Basque side in a pulsating match at the Riazor on Sunday.

The win allowed Deportivo to leapfrog their opponents by virtue of their better goal difference, as leaders Real Madrid who stretch their lead at the top of the table to six points as a result of the weekendís matches.

Substitutes Fernando Morientes and Javier Portillo came to Realís rescue on Saturday with three late goals to help them to a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Defending champions Valencia effectively said goodbye to their hopes of retaining the title after they lost 0-2 at Real Betis on Saturday and now trail 13 points behind Real in fourth.

In another match, Athletic Bilbao beat Atletico Madrid 1-0, with Santiago Ezquerro scoring the winner in the 84th minute.

At the other end of the table Recreativo Huelva hauled themselves off the bottom for the first time in six months thanks to a 1-0 win away to Valladolid.

Real Sociedad began aggressively as they pushed forward and pinned Deportivo back in their own area. But it was a lightning counter-attack that gave Sociedad the lead on 16 minutes when Nihat outpaced the Deportivo defence to pounce on a long ball from defender Aitor Lopez Rekarte, who stroked the ball into the open goal from just inside the area.

The early setback sparked Deportivo into action , but it was not until just before the break that Javier Iruretaís side managed to level the scores after they were awarded a controversial free kick when midfielder Lionel Scaloni appeared to slip just outside the area. Mauro Silva touched the ball to substitute Joan Capdevila and the defender fired a rasping drive into the far corner.

Two minutes later Sociedad were awarded a penalty after Scaloni was adjudged to have brought down Zuhaitz Gurrutxaga. Darko Kovacevic took the spot kick, but only succeeded in slamming his shot against the bar.

Deportivo were forced to change their line-up in the second half after injuries to Diego Tristan and Roy Makaay, but the entry of attacking midfielder Juan Carlos Valeron upset Sociedadís defensive formation. Winger Fran took full advantage of the disruption to score the winner seven minutes from time.

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