Despite recording another win, Real Madrid will have to wait at least one more round before possibly taking the league title. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Levante were the first team to be relegated after losing to Recreativo. Keep reading to get all the action from this weekend in La Liga from Felipe Bazon.
Deportivo La CoruÄ‚±a 2 vs. 0 Barcelona
Deportivo won their 5th consecutive league match, playing at home against a Barcelona side that seemed more intent on concentrating on this week’s Champions League semi final 2nd leg away to Manchester United. Frank Rijkaard rested Iniesta, Eto’o, goalkeeper Victor Valdez, Messi and Xavi who had picked up his third yellow card in the last match.
Without their top players, Barcelona were an easy target for Deportivo who went ahead in the second half through Juan RodrÄ‚guez after poor play by the visitors replacement goal keeper Pinto. Barcelona’s lack of options meant they rarely threatened and the home team wrapped up their win when Wilhelmsson guided a free kick to the far post for Pablo Amo to head home.
Murcia 0 vs. 0 Sevilla
In the only goal less game of this round, both teams showed a lack of determination in what was a poor encounter. Murcia needed to secure three points to aid their fight against relegation whilst Sevilla were looking for a maximum haul to garner a European spot next season. However, not even La Liga top scorer Luis Fabiano was able to break the deadlock and both teams had to share the points.
Mallorca 3 vs. 1 Racing Santander
Playing at home Mallorca were superior to Racing even though all the goal action happened late in the match. Nunes slotted home a cross from Boja Valero to give Mallorca the lead with three minutes played of second half and Mallorca’s second came 8 minutes from time after a misjudged pass back from Racing’s midfielder Colsa was converted by Tejo.
Racing got one back through Duscher from the penalty spot but Mallorca had the “archer” Guiza who hammered in the third in the last minute of play to seal Mallorca’s victory.
Valencia 3 vs. 0 Osasuna
Finally a good home performance from Valencia who were helped when Osasuna’s goalkeeper Ricardo was dismissed via a straight red card. David Villa fired home the resulting penalty with precision to give Valencia the lead.
Being a man down, Osasuna were there for the taking and Mata hammered home a left footer to put Valencia two up before Villa fed a nice ball through to JoaquÄ‚n who touched home the third and final goal of the match.
Espanyol 1 vs. 1 Zaragoza
Both teams needed all the points for different reasons, Espanyol for a place in Europe next season and Zaragoza to move out of relegation zone. After a goalless first half, Riera got the opener, the Espanyol striker was attempting a cross but the curling ball deceived everybody and ended up in the back of the net. 5 minutes from time the referee awarded a penalty to Zaragoza and Ricardo Oliveira made no mistake from the spot to level the match although a point wasn’t good enough to move them out of the relegation places. .
Recreativo 2 vs. 0 Levante
Recreativo showed no mercy against Levante, with both teams wanting maximum points to maintain their La Liga status for next season. Recreativo started the match with a more offensive formation than Levante and soon capitalized through Martin; the Turk slotting home a nice pass from Sinama Pongolle. Before the break CamuÄ‚±as double Recreativo’s advantage and with Levante not able to respond in the second period, they became the first team to be relegated from the top flight this season.
Valladolid 1 vs. 0 Almeria
Like other games this round, one side needed points for survival, the other for possible European exploits next season. But if the crowd were expecting to see an exciting match as a result, they were disappointed. The only goal of the game was scored in the second minute of stoppage time when AlmerÄ‚a’s goalkeeper Diego Alves was caught out of position and could only watch as a speculative shot nestled in the top corner. Three very important points for Valladolid who are now four clear from the relegation zone.
Getafe 1 vs. 1 Atletico Madrid
A poor start from the visitors who were soon behind to Getafe with Cortes supplying the ball for AlbÄ‚n to volley home the opener. But with five minutes of the first half remaining Atl'tico found their equalizer through Kun Aguero after a mix up between defender Belenguer and goalkeeper Pato Abbondanziere. Getafe had a chance to take all the points but Atl'tico’s goalkeeper L'o Franco saved De la Red’s penalty. The draw was good enough for Atl'tico Madrid to hold on to their Champions League spot.
Betis 0 vs. 1 Villarreal
Villarreal spoiled Real Madrid’s potential party this weekend, and made ‘los blancos’ wait at least another round to celebrate the title. Villarreal won with a spectacular goal from Spanish International Marcos Senna, the Brazilian born midfielder saw Betis goalkeeper out of position and fired home from the half way line a la David Beckham for Manchester United against Wimbledon in 1995/96. Betis failed with numerous chances to change the game as Villarreal walked away with the three points.
Real Madrid 3 vs. 0 Atheltic Bilbao
Real Madrid remain on course for their 31st league title and did so in some style. Real were in command of the game from start to finish. Saviola grabbed the opener after nice work from Sneijder, Raul and Robinho. At the other end, despite their dominance, Casillas secured a clean sheet with a couple of great saves, one from the penalty spot.
In the second half coach Schuster replaced captain Raul and Robinho for Higuain and Robben and the fresh pair soon capitalized, Higuain’s pass found the Dutch man inside the box and Robben hammered home the second for the champions elect and two minutes later it was Higuain’s turn to score, collecting a pass inside box and slotting home his second goal in two games.