Valencia lose again; Sevilla march on

Pressure is growing on Gary Neville after Valencia once more failed to win in La Liga, with Sporting Gijon recording a 1-0 victory at the Mestalla on Sunday.

Gary Neville - cropped

Valencia coach Gary Neville is under pressure after a loss against Sporting Gijon

Pressure is growing on Gary Neville after Valencia once more failed to win in La Liga, with Sporting Gijon recording a 1-0 victory at the Mestalla on Sunday.

The former Manchester United man took charge of Valencia after their 1-1 draw with Barcelona in early December, but has since gone eight league games without a win.

Valencia's poor run of form has seen them drop to 12th place in the table with 25 points from 22 games, a massive 19 points off the Champions League places.

Neville's men fell a goal behind shortly after the interval when Antonio Sanabria converted a penalty to break the deadlock.

Alvaro Negredo hit the post shortly after, before wasting another huge chance with 15 minutes to play as Valencia ended up empty handed once more and their 22-match unbeaten home run was consigned to history.

>Real Madrid destroyed Espanyol 6-0 for the second time this season as Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick. The Portugal international netted five times in the reverse fixture and proved once more unstoppable at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday to move Madrid within a point of second-placed Atletico in the table.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring early on after a fine cross from James Rodriguez, before Ronaldo slotted home a penalty he had earned himself. James made it three after just 16 minutes of play with a shot that took a deflection off an Espanyol defender. Ronaldo doubled his personal tally shortly before the break with a powerful shot after a sublime individual action, only to net his 19th league goal of the season late on after some good work from Jese Rodriguez. 

The latter also played a key role in Madrid’s sixth, sending in a dangerous cross from the left that was deflected past his own goalkeeper by Oscar Duarte.

Elsewhere Sevilla made it seven wins from their last eight games in all competitions as they beat Levante 3-1.

Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring in the first minute after some great work from Vicente Iborra, before the latter made it two early in the second half.

Giuseppe Rossi pulled one back for Levante in the 55th minute, but Yevhen Konoplyanka eventually made it three in the 76th minute to put the match to bed.

Celta Vigo spilled important points in the race for European football as they were beaten 2-1 by Las Palmas. Theo Bongonda gifted Celta an early lead, but Jonathan Vieira restored parity in the 33rd minute when he converted a penalty. 

The Vigo side were then reduced to 10 men when Fabian Orellano received his second booking, before Willian Jose netted the winner in the dying seconds of the game.

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