Soccer-Villarreal snatch dramatic 4-3 win at Atletico

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MADRID, Nov 4 (Reuters) Villarreal came from two goals down to snatch a dramatic 4-3 win at Atletico Madrid thanks to a late double from substitute Nihat Kahveci in an action-packed Primera Liga match today.

The win lifted Villarreal into second place, one point behind Real Madrid, who lost 2-0 at Sevilla yesterday, although Barcelona could overtake them on goal difference if they win their late match at home to struggling Real Betis.

Atletico got off to a roaring start at the Calderon, with centre-back Pablo Ibanez skimming home a header in the eighth minute and Portugal winger Simao Sabrosa curling a superbly struck shot into the corner midway through the half.

Villarreal hit back with two goals before the break, Italian striker Giuseppe Rossi hooking the ball over keeper Leo Franco and centre-back Fabricio Fuentes taking advantage of an error in defence to smash home from close range.

Atletico striker Maxi Rodriguez missed the chance to restore his side's lead when he fluffed a penalty early in the second half but fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero put them 3-2 up when he scored his seventh of the season with a 62nd-minute header.

True to form, however, they let their lead slip once more when substitute Nihat cashed in on another defensive error to clip the ball into the net and the Turkish international completed a dramatic comeback win with an angled strike in the final minute.

HAT-TRICK At the other end of the table, Italy striker Christian Rigano hit a first-half hat-trick to earn basement side Levante their first victory of the season with a 3-0 win at home to Almeria.

Rigano notched his first with just 20 seconds on the clock, coolly slotted past keeper David Cobeno after racing clear when Almeria lost the ball from the kickoff.

He added a second when he looped a clever shot into the net after stealing the ball from between two defenders and completed his hat-trick when he side-footed home after a great cross from Riga in the 34th minute.

Despite Rigano's efforts Levante remain anchored to the bottom of the table with just four points from 11 games.


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