Nadal winner for Barcelona


DEPORTIVO La Coruna failed to grab a share of the lead in the Spanish First Division when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon yesterday, leaving them two points adrift of Real Madrid.

Brazilian striker "Rivaldo" Vito gave La Coruna a ninth minute lead but they were then pegged back by Julio Salinas' 23rd minute equaliser which forced the visitors to be content with a share of the spoils.

Barcelona leapfrogged the north westerners into second spot with a hard earned 1-0 win at home to Celta Vigo, defender Miquel Angel Nadal scoring a minute before the break.

But Barcelona's workmanlike performance still fell some way short of satisfying the Catalan club's demanding fans, who have demonstrated their unhappiness with manager Bobby Rob son in recent days.

Two weeks ago, Robson's men committed what in Catalonia ranks as the cardinal sin, losing to hated rivals Real and sending the Madrid side four points clear at the top. Real's draw in Valladolid on Saturday and Barcelona's win 24 hours later meant that lead was cut to two points.

A goal by Croatian international striker Davor Suker put the title favourites a held but Rafael Alkorta's own goal on the hour secured a point for Valladolid.

UEFA Cup quarter finalists Tenerife moved up three places to ninth after they thrashed Espanyol 5-1 courtesy of a hat-trick by "Felipe" Minambres and a brace from "Chano" Cruzado.

Fourth placed Bet is took the honours in the Seville derby as they whipped third bottom Sevilla 3-0, with goals from Alexis, Alfonso and Olias to stay on course for a UEFA Cup berth.

In The Netherlands, Wim Jonk and Luc Nilis hit goals as PS Eindhoven humiliated Ajax 2-0 in Amsterdam yesterday. The victory kept PSV top, three points ahead of Feyenoord, heading into the Dutch winter break.

Jonk opened the scoring just before half time and leading marksman Luc Nilis doubled the tally with his 15th goal of the season in the dying seconds.

Ajax's injury jinx struck again 10 minutes into the second half when Mario Melchiot went off. Brazilian Marcio Santos replaced him but was sent off a minute later after a professional foul on Nilis.