With only nine games to go La Liga is red hot. Real Madrid lost at home to Valencia and with Barça winning, Rijkaard’s team are now just four points behind “los blancos. Atlético Madrid and Sevilla, two teams fighting for the last Champions League spot, played each other and you can find out exactly what happened in this week’s La Liga Round up by Felipe Bazon.
Mallorca 1 vs 0 Deportivo La Coruña
In the first match of the weekend things got off to an interesting start with both teams fighting to stay in La Liga next season. Mallorca tried to dominate from the start and inside 20 minutes of the first half Mallorca went ahead when a free kick taken from the right by Arango eluded everyone in the box including the keeper. Deportivo tried to respond as the match went on but Mallorca remained in control to take a vital win.
Sevilla 1 vs 2 Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid won a very important match to enhance their Champions League chances for next season. Atlético were the first to score through Argentinian Maxi Rodríguez but Sevilla’s managed an equaliser in the second half after good work from Kanoute and Luis Fabiano that Capel finished off. But Atlético had the decisive player in Kun Aguero who after a cross from Antonio López popped up at the far post to score the wining goal. After that, the game got rather heated and Maresca from Sevilla was sent off after he head butted Aguero.
Real Zaragoza 1 vs 1 Almería
In a very even match with both teams sharing the control, Almería managed to steal a point away from home with a very late goal. Zaragaoza focused most of their attacking through Diego Militio but it was Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira who gave the lead to the home side, heading home from a corner. But if Zaragoza thought they had the three points in the bag they reckoned without Uche who touched home a corner taken by Mané in the 89th minute.
Levante 1 vs 2 Villareal
Villareal won their fouth consecutive match after beating bottom side Levante. Matías Fernández gave the visitors the lead with a fizzing shot from outside the box but the home team fashioned a second half equaliser through a powerful header from Miguel Ángel. Pellegrini made three decisive changes, Cani, former Arsenal midfielder Pires and Guille Franco came on, and a few minutes later they provided the winning moment as Cani passed to Pires who dummied allowing Guille Franco to score.
Murcia 4 vs 0 Espanyol
Murcia won their first match under new coach Javier Clemente over a poor Espanyol team that gave away two penalties. Iván Alonso started the scoring from the spot and added a headed seconf. Murcia’s third also came from the penalty spot before Richi ended thr rout after an assist Iván Alonso.
Racing Santander 2 vs 0 Recreativo
Racing deservedly took three points from this game although all the scoring happened late on. Just ten minutes remained when substitute Orteman, on for Colsa, broke the deadlock. Polish international Smoralek scored the second for Racing in the fourth minute of injury time after a classic counter attack that started from a Recreativo corner.
Osasuna 0 vs 1 Real Betis
Betis finally got their revenge over Osasuna, after losing to them on the last three occasions to move away from relegation zone. The match was full of action if not goals with Osasuna going close first off through Delporte and minutes later Montreal’s free kick found Betis’s woodwork, Betis only had a couple of chances in the first half but with the home team running out of ideas and steam in the second period, the visitors made them pay with Mark Gonzáles hammering in the winner from outside the box.
Barcelona 4 vs 1 Valladolid
Two goals and two assists from one of Spain’s biggest new talents saw barca back to winning ways after their midweek loss to Valencia in the “Copa del Rey”. Looking to prove themselves in front of their passionate home fans, it took 23 minutes for wonder kid Bojan to find Samuel Eto’o with a pin point pass for the first goal. At the half hour mark Vallodilod’s striker Llorente produced a swan dive which was bought by the officials and Sesma levelled the scoresfrom the spot. At the beginning of the second half Iniesta scored to put Barça ahead again before Bojan took over to score number three and four to crown a man of the match performance.
Real Madrid 2 vs 3 Valencia
In what was this week’s most exciting game in La Liga, Real Madrid lost in front of their home fans to Valencia. In a fast paced match it was Valencia who scored first through David Villa after Madrid’s defensive frailties were once again laid bare. Madrid’s response was immediate as Ra úl headed home the equaliser before they went ahead 10 minutes in to the second half , Julio Baptista rand Guti setting up Raul for a left foot strike and his second of the game. Valencia were back on level terms through Villa who slotted home from the spot after Canavarro had fouled David Silva inside the box. With 12 minutes to go on the clock, Hildebrand denied Ra úl a hat trick with a fantastic one hand save and with that proved important as with 2 minutes of normal time left Arizmendi received a deep ball on the right, went past Canavarro and scored with style beating Casillas at his left post.
La Liga’s top ten
1 R. Madrid 29 62
2 Barcelona 29 58
3 Villarreal 29 56
4 Atlético 29 50
5 Racing 29 47
6 Sevilla 29 45
7 Espanyol 29 45
8 Athletic 29 39
9 Getafe 29 39
10 Almería 29 39