Xerez stun Villarreal; Atletico collapse

Football: Foreign round-up: Alexandre Patos winner helps Milan edge Roma


Sucker Punch: Espanyol's Ivan Alonso celebrates after scoring against Tenerife during their Spanish League match on Sunday. Reuters

Promoted Xerez came from behind to beat Villarreal 2-1 and notch up their first ever La Liga victory, sending the visitors to the foot of the standings.

Atletico were torn apart 3-0 by Osasuna, conceding all three goals inside the first half hour in Pamplona.

Xerez, who had scored one goal and collected just two points from their first six matches in the Spanish top flight, fell behind to a 17th-minute goal from Robert Pires.

But Villarreal, who were also seeking their first win under new coach Ernesto Valverde this season, were full of nerves and were pegged back to 1-1 when Mario Bermejo headed in at a corner before the break.

Against the run of play, Xerez scored a controversial winner 10 minutes from time when Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez's clearance struck an attacker's arm and Antonito lobbed the ball back into the empty net.

Xerez climbed to 18th with five points, one ahead of Malaga, who lost 2-1 to Almeria, and Villarreal who have three.

"We were lucky but you have to go looking for luck," Xerez coach Jose Angel Ziganda told reporters.

"This is a small step, but very important from a psychological point of view...now we aren't bottom anymore."

Valverde bemoaned the referee's decision for the winning goal and brushed off questions over his future.

"Coaches are always playing for their positions," he said. "Now we are bottom and we can't go down any further, so the only way is up."

Atletico's defence was unable to cope with the aerial power of Walter Pandiani against Osasuna, the Uruguayan striker diving to head the first after only four minutes.
He headed his second from a free-kick in the 25th minute and Carlos Aranda put away the third four minutes later to leave Atletico with just one league win this season. Abel Resino's side lie 15th with six points from seven matches.

Elsewhere, a brace from Ivan Alonso helped Espanyol overcome Tenerife 2-1. Alonso put Espanyol in the lead in the 11th minute. Though, four minutes later, Alejandro Alfaro equalised for Tenerife, Alonso netted the winner in the 60th.

Pato rescues Milan

Striker Alexandre Pato earned AC Milan a 2-1 comeback win over AS Roma on Sunday to slightly lift the air of gloom hanging over the San Siro.

Roma winger Jeremy Menez, deputising up front for the injured Francesco Totti, ran on to Thiago Silva's mis-hit backpass to slot in the opener on three minutes.
Ronaldinho again offered little in open play but levelled from the penalty spot on 56 minutes after Nicolas Burdisso was adjudged to have fouled Alessandro Nesta despite Roma protests.

Brazilian Pato soon chested down a long ball and finished calmly to give Milan only their third Serie A win of the campaign before Wednesday's Champions League trip to Real Madrid, lifting them to eighth in the standings.

Milan's Massimo Ambrosini was harshly dismissed late on.

Earlier, surprise pacesetters Sampdoria failed to rejoin Inter Milan at the top after being denied a strong late penalty shout in a 1-1 draw at Lazio.

Luigi Del Neri's side took the lead in an open game thanks to Giampaolo Pazzini's powerful header on 40 minutes following a cute cross from Marco Padalino.  However, Lazio hit back quickly when Matuzalem burst into the box to score and the second half seemed to be fizzling out once Padalino and Lazio's Roberto Baronio were sent off.

Inter, who crushed Genoa 5-0 on Saturday, hold a two-point lead over Sampdoria with Juventus and Fiorentina four points behind the champions in joint-third after Saturday's 1-1 draw.

Christian Maggio's late goal gave Napoli a 2-1 win over Bologna on Sunday in Walter Mazzarri's first game in charge.

Udinese, who had to start with Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale on the bench because of a knock, lost 3-1 at home as Antonio Conte's Atalanta won their first game of the season.

In other results, Catania beat Cagliari 2-1, Bari won 2-1 at Chievo and high-flying Parma overcame Siena 1-0.

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