Osvaldo at the double as Espanyol rescue point

Madrid: Argentine striker Pablo Osvaldo
scored a brace as Espanyol twice came from behind to snatch a
point in a 2-2 draw with European rivals Atletico Madrid at
the Cornella-El Prat stadium.

Osvaldo scored in each half to take his league tally to
ten goals after teenager Koke and Argentine Sergio "Kun"
Aguero had twice put Atletico ahead yesterday.

Atletico stay seventh, level on points with sixth-placed
Sevilla, while Espanyol are a point behind in eighth place.

Teenage midfielder Koke, a 19-year-old from the youth
system, put Atletico ahead in the first minute following a
mistake from Ernesto Galan, but Espanyol equalised on 37
minutes thanks to a fortunate deflection.

Argentine Osvaldo claimed his ninth league goal of the
campaign with a deflection leaving goalkeeper David de Gea
with no chance.

Argentine Aguero, captain for the day, put Atletico 2-1
up with his 14th league goal of the season, producing a fine
chipped finish to beat Carlos Kameni.

Osvaldo may have had some luck with his first goal, but
there was nothing fortunate about his second as he latched on
to a cross with a powerful header to peg back Atletico again
on 57 minutes.

Earlier teenager Iker Muniain scored a dramatic 90th
minute winner as 10-man Athletic Bilbao came from behind to
defeat Osasuna 2-1 in the Basque derby on Saturday.

The 18-year-old winger capitalised on a defensive mix-up
to curl home the decisive goal from distance as Bilbao did
their European hopes the power of good, moving two points
above Sevilla into fifth place.

"We only had two chances and scored both," said Bilbao
coach Joaquin Caparros.

Osasuna, two points above the relegation zone, had taken
the lead through Kike Sola on 51 minutes and Bilbao were
reduced to ten men on 58 minutes when Xavi Castillo was given
his marching orders for a second yellow card.

However, Spain international Fernando Llorente scored his
16th league goal of the season with a header on 69 minutes to
equalise and Muniain, who holds the record of being the
youngest player to score in the Spanish top-flight, floated in
a sensational winner in the final minute after goalkeeper
Ricardo Lopez made a mess of a clearance.

Earlier, promoted Levante continued their shock late bid
for a top six finish with a 2-1 home win over strugglers

First half goals from Ruben Suarez and Juanlu Lopez
helped Levante stretch their unbeaten run to eight games and
the league newcomers, who started the season as one of the
favourites to be relegated, are just four points off the
Europa League places.

Hercules, another of the promoted teams, stay second from
bottom, three points from safety.

In other matches, Sporting Gijon saw a run of three
consecutive wins come to an end with a 2-1 loss against Real
Sociedad on Sunday.

A brace from Frenchman Antoine Griezmann on 32 and 79
minutes helped promoted Sociedad move five points above the
drop zone.

Elsewhere Deportivo La Coruna took a giant stride towards
safety with a 2-0 home win over Racing Santander at the Riazor
stadium on Sunday.

Two goals in three minutes from Lassad Nouioui (45 min)
and Xisco (48) moved Depor five points above the bottom three.

At the top of the table champions Barcelona stayed in the
box seat to retain their title with a 1-1 draw Saturday at
arch rivals Real Madrid in a heated `El Clasico` at the
Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona stay eight points clear of Real with six games
left and it could gave been worse had Cristiano Ronaldo`s 82nd
minute penalty not cancelled out Lionel Messi`s 53rd minute

"They allowed us to control the whole game," said
Barcelona midfielder Xavi. "We didn`t expect that, we thought
they would pressurise us high up the field.”

"It is a small step further towards the title, but it`s
not over yet."

Real and Barcelona will face off again on Wednesday in
the Kings Cup final at the Mestalla stadium.

Bureau Report

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