La Liga

Negredo earns point for Sevilla

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Fri, 07 Dec 2012 22:58:00

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay lavished praise on Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson after the veteran duo inspired the Championship leaders to a resounding 4-1 win over Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Bellamy scored Cardiff's second, while Helguson provided late assists for Lee Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung as the Bluebirds made it five wins in six unbeaten games.

Mackay said: "You can't treat everyone exactly the same in terms of how we train them.

"The 19 and 20-year-olds are trained slightly differently to the 34 and 35-year-olds - I wish it had been like that in my time but it wasn't.

"Craig and Heidar will have a day during the week where they'll go to the pool and do some stretching and not go out on the grass but come 7.45pm on a midweek night and 3pm on a Saturday they show that experience.

"Craig's been out for four weeks this season with a swollen ankle and a couple of weeks with a knock to his knee but I want bravery.

"He shows it every day in training. He wants to train every day and I have to pull him back and say 'no, you're going to the pool today'.

"The work that him and Heidar did for the second goal was incredible - he flicks it on to Heidar, Heidar flicks it back to him and he puts a magnificent finish in.

"They've both got their heart on their sleeves and that's what I like."

The Spain striker has been linked with a move away from Sevilla, with president Jose Maria Del Nido warning players may have to be sold to make up for a deficit in the cash-strapped club accounts.

But the 27-year-old proved his worth by coming off bench in the 65th minute, having missed the previous three games with a hamstring problem, and converting a Coke cross to silence the Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

The draw represented a huge opportunity missed for the Catalan side, who led twice through Joan Verdu's early penalty and Simao's header after an hour and were a man up from the 39th minute following the dismissal of Jose Antonio Reyes.

Ivan Rakitic's penalty midway through the first half made it 1-1 at the break, but it was Negredo's last-gasp leveller which really hurt the hosts, denying them the chance to move out of the bottom three.

Espanyol had their goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez to thank for preventing them falling behind after only five minutes as he produced a fine parry to keep out Emir Spahic's angled shot from the right side of the area.

And the hosts went in front after 13 minutes when Fernando Navarro fouled Verdu in the area and the midfielder took full advantage by coolly placing the penalty low down the middle.

The lead lasted just 11 minutes, though, as Espanyol handed their opponents a penalty of their own.

Christian Stuani was adjudged to have fouled Baba Diawara at a free-kick and Rakitic sent the resulting spot-kick into the bottom-right corner.

But, just when it looked as though the momentum had swung in the visitors' favour, they shot themselves in the foot.

Reyes was sent off after being shown his second yellow card in the space of seven minutes.

Espanyol appeared to sense this was an opportunity they could not afford to pass up and Verdu volleyed weakly wide from inside the area soon after the restart.

But they went back in front on the hour mark as 5ft 7in Simao headed an inswinging Wakaso Mubarak corner from the right low into the net.

At the other end Alvarez had to save with his feet to keep out a fierce Rakitic effort.

But, just as it looked as though they would hold on for victory, Coke crossed from the right and Negredo - on for Diawara - powered a header high into the net.

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