La Liga: Milito scores as Zaragoza go fourth

December 10, 2006

MADRID, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Argentine striker Diego Milito scored his 11th goal of the season as he helped Real Zaragoza to a 2-0 win at Racing Santander that pushed them up into fourth place in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the table to two points after a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp on Saturday while Sevilla moved into second spot after a 2-1 comeback win at home to Real Madrid.

Milito broke the deadlock in a dour match when he fired an angled shot inside the far post after playmaker Pablo Aimar had surged through the Racing midfield on the hour.

Midfielder Angel Lafita added a second 20 minutes later, drilling under keeper Tono after he had beaten the offside trap to latch on to a fine through ball.

Milito spurned the chance to add a third when Tono saved his spot kick after the referee awarded a penalty for a dubious foul on Lafita seven minutes from time.

Zaragoza held on to fourth spot thanks to Atletico Madrid's 2-1 defeat at home to an improving Espanyol.

Striker Raul Tamudo scored his sixth goal of the season to put Espanyol in front at the Calderon, steering into the open net after Ivan de la Pena and Luis Garcia had outflanked the Atletico defence with a slick passing move.

Fernando Torres equalised with a powerful header early in the second half, but Luis Garcia secured the win for the visitors five minutes later when he whipped a superbly struck free kick over the wall and high into the net.

Barca top the pile with 33 points, Sevilla have 31 and Real 29. Zaragoza are three points further back on 26, two clear of Atletico.

Leading striker David Villa scored twice as Valencia notched up their first win in seven outings and moved up to ninth position with an emphatic 4-0 victory at home to 10-man Deportivo Coruna in Sunday's late match.

URZAIZ DOUBLE

The game of the day was at San Mames where centre-forward Ismael Urzaiz struck twice as struggling Athletic Bilbao hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with a 4-2 victory at home to high-flying Recreativo Huelva.

Athletic were gifted their opener when Recre defender Dani Bautista headed into his own net in the seventh minute after failing to see that his keeper Javier Lopez Vallejo had strayed off his line.

Urzaiz netted his first with a spectacular strike before the half hour when he used an acrobatic Johan Cruyff-style volley to reach a Javi Martinez cross that was speeding past the far post.

The burly striker added a third before the break with a trademark header, paving the way to his side's first victory under new coach Mane and their second of the season.

Athletic are now fourth from bottom with 11 points, one ahead of Real Betis who drew 1-1 at Getafe and three ahead of Gimnastic Tarragona who came from a goal down to claim their first home win of the season, 2-1 against Levante.

Real Sociedad bring up the rear with just six points from 14 games.