Barcelona salvages draw in Spain

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ronaldino scored in the 43rd minute to help FC Barcelona salvage a 1-1 draw at Valladolid on Thursday in the Spanish league.

Updated: November 04, 2007 12:17 IST
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Ronaldino scored in the 43rd minute to help FC Barcelona salvage a 1-1 draw at Valladolid on Thursday in the Spanish league.

The Brazil forward took a pass from Xavi Hernandez before shooting over Alberto Lopez for his third goal of the season and first in league play in nearly two months.

Valladolid opened in the 16th, Jonathan Sesma picking out Joseba Llorente with a pass through the middle, Llorente scoring his fourth of the campaign.

"Valladolid played better as a team. We didn't sacrifice enough for each other," Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said.

"We played better collectively in the second half but we still need to learn from this in order to improve."

Barcelona improved to 21 points - same as Villarreal - to remain in second place behind Real Madrid, which has 25 points after 10 rounds played.

Madrid handed Valencia its worst defeat at the Mestalla in over 74 years in a 5-1 win on Wednesday.

Also Thursday, Espanyol climbed into a fifth-place tie with Valencia on 18 points after a 0-0 draw with Murcia.

On Wednesday, Atletico Madrid held off Sevilla 4-3 and Villarreal beat Levante 3-0. In other games, it was Zaragoza 1, Almeria 0; Osasuna 3, Real Betis 0; Deportivo La Coruna 1, Mallorca 1; Getafe 2, Athletic Bilbao 0; Recreativo Huelva 0, Racing Santander 0.

Teenage striker Bojan Krkic started in place of Thierry Henry and nearly scored his second goal with the Catalan club after the start, Lopez coming out to deny after Lionel Messi sent him in alone.

Hitting the post

Krkic also hit the post in the 58th, two minutes after flashing a shot wide acoss goal.

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes kept Barcelona even by thwarting Sesma three times, including a header in the 63rd and shot in the 83rd.

Regardless, Valladolid remained winless since the season opener, having let a lead slip away for the sixth time this season.

Valladolid, which fell to 19th place in the 20-team first division with seven points, drew 1-1 with Madrid at the Municipal Jose Zorrilla stadium in September despite leading with three minutes remaining.

At the Olimpico Lluis Companys stadium, Murcia controlled the play but Espanyol had the better chances.

Raul Tamudo redirected just wide from point-blank in the 20th and Albert Riera hit the crossbar with a long-range effort in the 48th.

Tamudo cleared off the line in the 55th for mid-table Murcia's best chance.

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