Valencia loses to 10-man Getafe, trails Barcelona by 5 pts
MADRID (AP) Valencia failed to take advantage of Barcelona’s stumble at the top of the Spanish league, losing 1-0 to Getafe despite playing most of the match with an extra man on Sunday.
A day after Barcelona was held to a 2-2 home draw against Celta Vigo for its second consecutive setback, Valencia lost for the first time this season and squandered its chance to move closer to the lead after conceding a second-half goal by Markel Bergara.
Valencia trails Barcelona by five points and is only one point ahead of third-place Atletico Madrid, which gained ground by defeating Real Sociedad 2-1 on Saturday.
Fourth-place Real Madrid drew 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
It was Valencia’s first loss in 16 games in all competitions this season. It had won nine straight before a league draw against Barcelona last weekend.
It was the first time Valencia was held scoreless since a 0-0 home draw against Atletico Madrid in the third round.
Valencia played with an extra man from the 25th minute at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez as Mauro Arambarri was sent off for a foul that prompted his second yellow card in a four-minute span. The Uruguay midfielder had been shown his first card in the 21st after another foul.
Not long before the red card, midtable Getafe had a goal disallowed for offside.
Valencia struggled to create significant scoring opportunities despite the extra player, while Getafe kept threatening on counterattacks.
Bergara netted the winner with a shot from outside the area in the 66th. The ball changed direction after hitting a defender, fooling Valencia goalkeeper Neto.
Valencia nearly equalized less than 10 minutes later when Dani Parejo struck the post with a free-kick shot that was barely redirected by Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Guaita also made a great save on a long-range shot by Carlos Soler in injury time.
Getafe came close to opening the scoring in the 52nd when Angel Luis Rodriguez entered the area with only Neto to beat but his shot was just wide of the far post.
It was the third straight home win for Getafe, which moved to eighth in the standings with 19 points.
Leganes scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to defeat Villarreal 3-1 and halt a four-game losing streak.
The southern Madrid club moved from 11th to seventh in the standings, only one point behind sixth-place Villarreal.
The last league win for Leganes had been against Athletic Bilbao in October, although it recently had two Copa del Rey victories against second-division club Valladolid in the Round of 32.
Daniel ”Raba” Rabaseda put Villarreal ahead in the 60th at Butarque Stadium, but the hosts recovered with goals by Diego Rico in the 72nd, Nabil El Zhar in the 81st and Gabriel Pires in injury time.
Leganes had scored only once in its last four league games.
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