LA LIGA REVIEW - 14TH APRILLa Liga is in the final run in and things are starting to take shape. Certainly at the top of the table as Real Madrid now hold a nine point advantage following their win against Murcia. Felipe Bazon has all the details.

Valencia 1 vs 2 Racing

Valencia lost their third consecutive league game and with the final of “Copa del Rey” just around the corner, it wasn’t exactly a confidence builder. Racing confirmed their status of ‘good on the road’ and dominated the first half although they had to wait until the second period to take the lead through Colsa. However Valencia were level just four minutes later as Spanish international David Villa equalized from the penalty spot. The goal spurred the home side on and their performance improved, however they were caught on the break and Tchité nicked the winner. Not for the first time this season, Valencia were booed off the pitch by their frustrated supporters.

Recreativo 2 vs 2 Barcelona

It looks like Barcelona have thrown the towel in La Liga as they are now nine points behind the leaders Real Madrid. It started well for the visitors however and they were one up within 60 seconds through Samuel Eto’o. Recreativo found an equalizer with a little help from an eagle eyed linesman. A header from Ruben was ‘saved’ by Victor Valdez but the official adjudged the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal. As in the first half, it only took a minute of play for Barca to restore their advantage with Eto’o again the man on target. But his efforts were matched by Ruben who grabbed his second of the game for a share of the points.

Getafe 0 vs 0 Zaragoza

The only goal less draw in this round in La Liga which disappointed Getafe who deserved more after dominating the whole game. The home team created numerous chances and even contrived to miss an open goal as they failed to score for the fourth consecutive league game. Despite taking a point, Zaragzoza are still in the relegation zone three points behind Recreativo.

Mallorca 2 vs 3 Sevilla

Sevilla won an important three points to keep their European dream alive for next season. They went one up through midfielder Renato but before their celebrations had a chance to subside, Spanish international Guiza equalized for Mallorca. In the second half Kanouté came on for Luis Fabiano giving the visitors a further attacking option which they exploited to great affect as Kanouté got in on the end of a Dani Alves cross to give the them the lead. Ten minutes later a long range effort from Dani Alves sealed the victory. Mallorca got one back through Webó but it was too little, too late.

Espanyol 0 vs 1 Osasuna

With Espanyol looking to qualify for Europe and Osasuna desperately requiring points to move away from the relegation zone, this was a game of huge importance. And it was Osasuna who bossed the game from start to finish to quite deservedly take all 3 points. Astudillo scored the only goal of the match on the half hour mark in what was a game devoid of too much incisive attacking action.

Deportivo La Coruña 3 vs 0 Athletic Bilbao

Deportivo had little problem in winning this one. With their defence holding strong, they were soon a goal to the good after a header from Coloccini. With out many offensive options and a shaky looking back four, the visitors became an easy target for a well focused Deportivo. Their second goal came from the penalty spot, converted by Sergio and ten minutes from time, Filipe rounded the keeper with ease to slot home number three. With the victory Deportivo moved nine points clear from the relegation zone and now have the same number of points as Athletic Bilbao.

Betis 0 vs 1 Levante

Levante seem determined to go back to the second division with pride. After a relatively quiet first half Levante scored in the first minute of the second half through Pedro Léon. Betis will have to wait a few more games to secure their La Liga status for next season.

Valladolid 1 vs 1 Atlético Madrid

Atlético Madrid and Valladolid created little in the first period which was poor to say the least. However, Atlético Madrid were more focussed in the second half and went one up through Maxi Rodriguez. The visitors failed to press home their advantage, and in so doing secure a Champions League spot for next season, and they were made to pay as Valladolid hit back with a late goal to take a share of the spoils.

Real Madrid 1 vs 0 Murcia

Real Madrid weren’t at their best in front of their home fans and were down to 10 men as early as the 19th minute after Torres was dismissed after a crude tackle from behind on Aquino. However, Los Blancos were good enough to score the only goal of the game, a second half effort from Sneijder who reacted well in the box to plant an unstoppable shot in to the top right hand corner. With just six games left, Real Madrid are close to securing the title as they now have a nine point lead at the top.

Almería 1 vs 0 Villareal

Villareal played almost the entire game with ten men after losing goal keeper Diego López to a red card after a foul on Crusat. However the resulting penalty was skied over the bar by Negredo who didn’t have the best of games. Being a man down, Villareal’s coach Pellegrini rearranged their defensive format and they seemed well up for the job, as they continued to frustrate the home team. However, it was only a matter of time and a cross from the right to the far post found Acasiete who touched home the one and only goal of the match.

La Liga’s top 10

1 R. Madrid 69
2 Barcelona 60
3 Villarreal 59
4 Atlético 54
5 Racing 53
6 Sevilla 51
7 Almería 45
8 Espanyol 45
9 Deportivo 43
10 Athletic 43

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