Surprise leaders Levante
continued their remarkable early-season run when Ruben Suarez
netted a powerful stoppage-time free-kick to snatch a 3-2
comeback victory at home to Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
In-form Real Madrid reclaimed second spot from Barcelona
thanks to a crushing 3-0 win over struggling Villarreal, while
Valencia climbed above Sevilla into fourth after Jordi Alba
struck an 82nd-minute winner in a 1-0 victory at Real Zaragoza.
Six straight wins had lifted unbeaten Levante, whose annual
budget of around 20 million euros is one of the
smallest in the league, above Barca and Real to the top of the
standings for the first time in the 102-year history of the tiny
Their latest success, the first time any club other than
Barca and Real have won seven in a row since 2002, gives them 23
points from nine matches, one more than Real and two ahead of
Barca following the champions' 1-0 win at Granada on Tuesday.
"This run we are on is almost impossible," Levante coach
Juan Ignacio Martinez, who revealed this week that he used to be
a bodyguard for a Spanish singer, said at a news conference.
"Having to talk so much about being top of the table is
quite difficult psychologically so coming back to win tonight is
even more impressive," added the 47-year-old, who is in his
debut top-flight campaign.
LIVING THE DREAM
Daniel Estrada put San Sebastian-based Sociedad ahead in the
fourth minute at Levante's Ciutat de Valencia stadium.
Nano levelled for the home side nine minutes after the break
with a deflected shot and Valdo nodded Levante in front seven
minutes later before Inigo Martinez drove the ball through a
crowd of players for an 86th-minute equaliser.
Suarez smashed in a superb long-range free-kick deep into
second-half added time to ensure Levante can live the dream for
a few more days at least.
Jose Mourinho's Real, who crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat at
Levante last month, turned in another impressive performance at
their Bernabeu stadium for their fifth win in a row, a run in
which they have netted 21 goals.
Defeat for Villarreal heaped more pressure on their coach
Juan Carlos Garrido, whose side are 17th with only seven points
and are on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.
Karim Benzema starred for Real, netting a sixth-minute
opener and sending Angel di Maria clear for the home side's
third just after the half hour. Brazilian playmaker Kaka scored
the second with a fine strike from just outside the penalty area
in the 11th minute.
In Wednesday's other games, 10-man Malaga lost 2-0 at Rayo
Vallecano and stay sixth, Getafe drew 2-2 at home to Osasuna and
Real Mallorca surrendered the lead to lose 2-1 against visiting
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