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High-flying Levante hits four past Sporting Gijon

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Time to celebrate: First half strikes from both Thiago Silva (left) and Pato resulted in a 4-0 scoreline for AC Milan. — Photo: AFP
Time to celebrate: First half strikes from both Thiago Silva (left) and Pato resulted in a 4-0 scoreline for AC Milan. — Photo: AFP

Arouna Kone netted a brace as modest Levante consolidated its position among the top four in La Liga with a crushing 4-0 victory over Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

The Valencia-based club is more accustomed to fighting relegation battles, but a run of seven straight wins earlier in the season made it the surprise league leader.

The bubble appeared to have burst, though, and Levante came into this game on the back of three defeats on the trot.

However, it responded with a convincing performance against an improving Sporting side which had not lost in five games.

Milan thrashes Chievo

In Rome, AC Milan sent out an ominous warning to their title rivals with a 4-0 thrashing of Chievo at the San Siro on Sunday that moved it into second place in Serie A.

On eight minutes it went in front as Thiago Silva took a pass from Kevin-Prince Boateng and sent a precise shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner.

On 16 minutesIbrahimovic took a pass from Alberto Aquilani and curled a delicious shot from 20 yards into the top corner for his 100th goal in Serie A.

Aquilani met a corner on the volley from outside the area, his shot hitting Luciano and falling into space where Pato was by far the quickest to react to slot the ball into the empty net after 33 minutes.

The fourth seemed unfortunate as Pato crumpled in the area when going shoulder to shoulder with Luciano and the referee pointed to the spot.

Ibrahimovic made no mistake from 12 yards, finding the same top corner as earlier.

The results: La Liga: Levante 4 (Barkero 20, Valdo 46, Kone 52, 62) bt Sporting Gijon 0; Real Betis 2 (Pereira Rodriguez 81, 85) lost to Real Sociedad 3 (Agirretxe 55, Vela 77, Martinez Berridi 90); Espanyol 1 (Vazquez 55) lost to Osasuna 2 (Lamah 43, Nekounam 49); Real Mallorca 2 (Torrejon 45-og, Victor 58) bt Racing Santander 1 (Nahuelpan 75); Athletic Bilbao 0 lost to Grenada 1 (Lopez 32); Real Zaragoza 0 lost to Sevilla 1 (Negredo 23-pen).

Serie A: AC Milan 4 (Silva 8, Ibrahimovic 16, 44, Pato 33) bt Chievo 0; Cagliari 1 (Conti 81-pen) drew with Bologna 1 (di Vaio 75); Cesena 2 (Mutu 70-pen, 80) bt Genoa 0; Palermo 2 (Miccoli 22, Ilicic 73) bt Fiorentina 0; Siena 0 lost to Inter Milan 1 (Castaignos 89) . — AFP

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