This week’s highlights in La Liga include an historic comeback from Betis against BarÄ‚§a, Villareal moving up to second after beating Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid increasing their lead at the top of the table after beating Sevilla at home.
Felipe Bazon has all the details.
Betis 3 vs 2 Barcelona
Another disaster for Barcelona as they threw away a chance to put pressure in the leaders Real Madrid. BarÄ‚§a started the match at a high tempo and were 2 up inside 20 minutes with goals from young talent Bojan and their experienced centre forward Samuel Eto’o.
After the break though it was a different story. Betis pulled a goal back just after the hour mark with Edu getting on the end of a cross from Sobis. Minutes later Victor Valdez saved a penalty from Edu but Betis were not to be denied and equalised through Juanito before Edu gave them the lead with a shot from outside the box.
Villareal 3 vs 0 Atletico Madrid
Home advantage did the trick for Villareal as they won the clash against the team just below them. Villareal put in an almost perfect performance – Carzola gave them the lead and minutes before the break, after a nice combination between Rossi, Carzola set up Nihat for the second. 20 minutes later it was Nihat again who punished the visitors as Villareal over took Barca in the table to move up to second woth Atleitco maintaining fourth place.
Almeria 2 vs 1 Levante
Almeria were one up in this game within 2 minutes as Soriano chested home a corner taken by Man' which was completely misjudged by the visiting keeper. Their second came much the same way, Man' again the provider from the corner and this time Felipe Mello heading home.
Levante tried to respond and pulled a goal back through Iborra but it was too little, too late as AlmerÄ‚a took all three points to secure their place in La Liga next season.
Deportivo La CoruÄ‚±a 3 vs 1 Murcia
The visitors, through De Luca, were ahead in this game within 60 seconds but a hat trick from Xisco gave the victory to the home side. First Xisco got in on the end of a cross from Wilhelmsson before two more second half goals from Xisco within 3 minutes of each other made the game safe. The victory moved the home side four points clear of the relegation battle.
Valencia 0 vs 3 Mallorca
Another hugely disappointing home display by Valencia who started brightly but faded as mallorca gained the upper hand. Spanish international Guiza put the vistors in front and they increased that advantage ten minutes later through Ramis.
Guiza popped up again on the hour mark to seal the win as Mallorca took another step to keeping their top flight status. Valencia meanwhile were once again booed from the pitch amid shouts of “Koeman vete ya” (leave now Koeman).
Espanyol 0 vs 3 Racing Santander
Espanyol were poor as Racing won three easy points away from home. Two first half chances resulted in two goals for the visitors – the first from Oscar Serrano and the second from Munitis. Espanyol did create four good chances but couldn’t put any of them away and Ivan Bolado made them pay as he hit Racing’s third deep in to injury time. The victory puts Racing equal on points with Atletico Madrid.
Recreativo 1 vs 1 Athletic Bilbao
In the only draw of this round in La Liga, relegation threatened Recreativo dominated the match from start to finish and took the lead in lucky circumstances as a dubious corner from MartÄ‚ns was put through his own net by Amorebieta. The home side continued to control the game but a late goal by Aduriz levelled the scores and Athletic took a point back to Bilbao.
Getafe 0 vs 2 Osasuna
Osasuna won an important victory with the three points moving them away from the relegation zone. Getafe enjoyed the lions share of possession but rarely threatened with their minds, perhaps, on this week’s clash with Bayer Munich in the UEFA Cup. Coach Laudrup rested many of his star players and paid the price in front of their home fans. Osasuna went one up just before the break with a goal from defender Miguel FlaÄ‚±o and penalty in the second half taken by Punal sealed the victory for the visitors.
Valladolid 2 vs 1 Zaragoza
Valladolid came from behind to win this match and three precious points to assist in their fight for survival. Zapater opened up the scoring for Zaragoza who went in to break with a 1 – 0 lead. Valladolid’s response was prompted by the referee who awarded them a questionable penalty which was converted by Victor. The home team then upped the pace and their efforts were duly rewarded when Llorent scored the winner from a Sesma cross.
Real Madrid 3 vs 1 Sevilla
Real Madrid went six points clear at the top of the table as they forgot past failures to ease past a Sevilla side that has struggled in recent time to recapture the form of a few months ago. Real Madrid went one up through former Manchester United player Heinze, only for the visitors to equalise through another former Premier League star, Freddy Kanoute.
Sevilla weren’t on terms for long though as Madrid captain Raul restored their advantage with his 290th goal for the club – only the great Di St'fano has more than him. Sevilla’s goal keeper Palop maintained the visitors’ hopes with a string of good saves before he was beaten for a third time in the game by HiguaÄ‚n.