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29.11.2019 06:53
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Villarreal used a quick goal and Ruben "Cani" Gracias playmaking to earn a hard-fought 2-1 win at home over Espanyol on Thursday, keeping the promoted side undefeated through six rounds in the Spanish league. Villarreal stayed in fourth place and two points behind third-place Real Madrid. Leader Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are a further two points ahead. "We hope we can keep this up and stay in the Champions League spots," Cani said. "We are not going to settle for less. Although we do remember that we have just come up from the second division." Striker Jeremy Perbet needed 30 seconds to put Villarreal ahead at El Madrigal Stadium by volleying in a cross by Hernan Perez that Cani had headed down to him in the area. Despite the early blow, Espanyol hung in the match thanks to Kiko Casillas goalkeeping to stop two shots by Giovani Dos Santos before halftime. Javier Aguirres team, which was full of second-choice players, then pressed Villarreal into its area at the start of the second half. But Cani set up substitute Jonathan Pereira to tap in the hosts second goal off the break in the 67th after streaking down the left flank. Espanyol, however, wasnt done and forward Sergio Garcia pulled one back in the 80th when he spun away from his marker and drilled a shot past goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to leave the result in doubt until the final whistle. It was Espanyols first loss of the season. "Both goals that we conceded could have been prevented," Aguirre said. "We can lose a game but maintaining a sense of order is a priority for us. We scraped and played well, but Villarreal had the answer. We can only congratulate them because theyre on a great run." Also, Athletic Bilbao fought back for an entertaining 2-1 win over Real Betis, while Getafe beat visiting Celta Vigo 2-0. Bilbao dominated the match at the new San Mames Stadium, which has sections of seating still under construction, with forward Ibai Gomez peppering Betis area with crosses from the left wing and hitting the crossbar twice before halftime. But Betis goalkeeper Guillermo Sara saved a penalty kick taken by Benat Etxebarria in the 58th when Markel Susaeta wrong-footed Xavi Torres and was tripped by the midfielder in the box. In a rare excursion into Bilbaos area, Betis forward Jorge Molina poked his own rebound from a header saved by Gorka Iraizoz under the keeper from a tight angle to snatch the lead in the 62nd. Bilbao kept pushing forward and the 73rd-minute equalizer came through Oscar de Marcos, who went on in the 70th and soon raced in to head Benats cross between Saras legs. Defender Mikel San Jose was then left unmarked to head in Gomezs cross-- the first one he sent in from the right side-- to take Bilbaos winner in the 82nd. Molina almost grabbed a draw for Betis, which was left with just one victory this season, with a shot off the post four minutes from time. "To be fair, Athletic should have gone into halftime ahead," said Betis coach Pepe Mel. "From there on, with the saved penalty, the sensation that I take away is that we did enough to take a point." Getafe centre back Lisandro Lopez scored one goal and set up a second to give the Madrid-based team its second victory of the season. Lopez headed in a cross by Pedro Leon one minute before halftime, and the Argentine flicked on Leons corner kick for Alvaro Arroyo to double the advantage five minutes after the break. "We should have won by a wider margin," said Getafe coach Luis Garcia. "We had the game under complete control throughout. This is the line we have to continue in, playing with this degree of intensity." Cheap Nike Shoes From China . Yup, he definitely needed this one. Craig homered twice and had three RBIs Wednesday night to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Craig went 4 for 5 and Yadier Molina added three hits for the Cardinals, who salvaged the final game of a three-game set in hopes of staying within shouting distance of front-running Milwaukee in the NL Central. Discount Nike Shoes . Canada Day is here and with it comes Free Agent Frenzy as the NHLs 30 teams storm out of the gate for signing season. Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. Cheap Nike Shoes Authentic .J. -- While Martin Brodeur wasnt willing to say he stole one for the New Jersey Devils against the Columbus Blue Jackets, almost everyone else was. Cheap Nike Shoes . -- Canadas Nicole Vandermade won the Four Winds Invitational on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title, closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory.BROSSARD, Que. -- Without Carey Price, the run for a first Stanley Cup in 21 years got steeper and longer for the Montreal Canadiens. Coach Michel Therrien looked grim and even angry as he delivered the news Monday morning that the goaltender who backstopped Canada to gold at the Sochi Olympics will miss the rest of the NHL Eastern Conference final. He gave no details of the injury, a suspected right knee problem, but suggested Price would be back if the Canadiens can get past the New York Rangers and reach the Stanley Cup final. "Carey Price wont be able to play, not only for tonight but for the rest of the series," said Therrien. "Really disappointed. Hes our best player. "We need to rally around Carey. We need to give him a chance to play again this season." According to Bodog, those words sent betting money went flying off the Canadiens bandwagon and onto New Yorks as Montreal pondered the notion of winning with either backup Peter Budaj or third stringer Dustin Tokarski in goal. The coach would not say which of them would start in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Monday night. Budaj has been with the NHL club all season, but has a terrible career playoff record that includes an 0-2-0 record and an .843 save percentage. Tokarski had never played an NHL playoff game, but the 24-year-old has excelled at every level, winning a Memorial Cup with Spokane in 2008, a world junior championship with Canada in 2009 and an AHL title with Norfolk in 2012. He was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2008 and acquired by Montreal Feb. 14, 2013 for Cedrick Desjardins in a swap of minor-league goalies. He spent most of the season with AHL Hamilton, but played three games for Montreal this season and posted a 2-0 shutout against Buffalo. Price clutched his right knee when Rangers forward Chris Kreider crashed into him skates-first at 3:15 of the second period of New Yorks shock 7-2 win in the series opener on Saturday afternoon. The Canadiens goaltender got up and finished the period, but didnt look comfortable as he allowed two goals in the final 1:01. He was replaced in the third by Budaj, who allowed three goals on eight shots. After the game, Therrien said he took Price out not because of an injury but because there was no use leaving him in with the team playinng poorly.dddddddddddd He was angrier the next day when it became clear the injury was worse than first suspected, saying Kreider could have tried to avoid the collision. And he was simmering on Monday, pointing out Kreiders history of hitting goalies. Kreider left Ottawas Craig Anderson with a knee injury when he crashed the crease during the regular season and he also elbowed Marc-Andre Fleurys head in Game 6 of the conference semifinals, although the Pittsburgh goalie was not hurt. "Looking at the incident, its a reckless play," said Therrien. "Thats the truth. "And Kreider, thats not the first time hes going at goalies. So we end up losing our best player. But our group faced a lot of adversity throughout the course of the season. We have the attitude to respond really well and thats what Im expecting, starting tonight." Kreider said his main regret was that he missed the net with his shot as he went in on a breakaway and lost his footing. "Obviously, I was trying to score a goal," the speedy six-foot-three, 226-pound forward said. "Im here to play my game and play hard and I think Im a clean player. "I dont go out with the intent to hurt anyone, ever, so Im going to continue to try and get to the net and score goals." In the third period, Montreals Brandon Prust slashed and cross-checked Kreider, earning two minor penalties and a misconduct. But Therrien said the Canadiens were more concerned with trying to win the series than with vengeance. "We know what happened with Kreider, we know his history, we know a lot of things," said Therrien. "But our main focus is to make sure we play a solid game. "Make sure we play hard, we play with passion, that we be disciplined, and play the way we are capable of playing." The Canadiens are now in the same predicament as Tampa Bay, their first round opponent that was missing injured starting goaltender Ben Bishop. Montreal swept the series. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it wont change their game plans against Montreal. "Prior to the series, we had prepared for three possible goaltenders, obviously, spending more time on Price," he said. "Its very unfortunate what happened to him. "But for us, its business as usual." ' ' '

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