La Liga Round Up by Felipe Bazon
La Liga Weekly Round up – 16 March 08
This week in La Liga, the two top teams Real Madrid and Barcelona had a bad weekend. Both teams without their major stars struggled away from home. All the jostling in La Liga surrounds mid table, where teams are constantly swapping places for those European spots for next season, keep reading to get all the action from this weekend in La Liga.
Deportivo la Coruna 1-0 Real Madrid
In what was Real Madrid’s ‘worst match’ of the season, “los blancos” lost away from home to Deportivo. With Robinho and Julio Baptista on the bench and van Nistelroy injured, Real Madrid were unable to create many goal scoring opportunities. The first half was quiet with little action but after the break Deportivo started with the greater motivation, but Madrid, against the run of play, had the first opportunity.
Madrid then came into the game, having much of the possession and it seemed that it was only a matter of time before Real scored. Then the pendulum swung back to Deportivo and their leftback Filipe drove down the left, crossed in and Pepe of Madrid diverted the ball into his own net. After the goal Schuster brought in Robinho and Higuain and shortly after Julio Baptista, but even that wasn’t enough to help Real Madrid.
Real Betis 1-2 Athletic Bilbao (abandoned)
Once again Spanish football was spoilt with bad news. 70 minutes into the match Athletic’s goalkeeper was struck in the face by a bottle thrown from the crowd. The keeper had his right eye cut and had to be treated on the field, the ref suspended the match straight after the incident.
Before then, a good match was being played out, with many goal opportunities from both sides, Athletic opened up the score with 8 minutes with Yeste, Betis got one back with Mark Gonzales ten minutes before the end of the first half and 20 minutes into the second half Athletic Bilbao went one up with David Lopez.
The Spanish football federation ( FEF ) haven’t decided what will happen with regards to this game, a decision should be made this week.
Recreativo 4-2 Murcia
A real goal fest this one, with the home side gaining the three points. Recreativo took no notice of visitors Murcia, although it was the visitors that scored first, with right forward De Lucas. The home side responded very quickly and four minutes later they levelled the scores with centre forward Sinama Pongolle. That was all the action in the first half.
In the second period, Ruben received a nice pass from Pongolle and touched away to put the home side one up. Ten minutes later Pongolle scored his second of the night and the third for the home side. Murica managed to cut distance with a goal from left forward IvÄ‚Ë‡n Alonso and with five minutes to go Marquitos scored Recreativo’s fourth and sealed the victory for the home side.
Valencia 1-2 Sevilla
Once again Valencia disappointed their home fans. With the decisive Luis Fabiano, Sevilla took the three points back to Andalucia.
It was La Liga top scorer Luis Fabiano who scored the first for the visitors, he took a free kick with precision into Hildebrand’s top right corner. Ten minutes later Luis Fabiano scored again after he deflected in a strike from Keita. Valencia got one back, a corner taken by David Villa, Edu headed the ball to Albiol who found the back of the net, but it was to late for the home side and the visitors Sevilla won the three points
Villareal 2-0 Zaragoza
Villareal won an important match at home over Zaragoza and are now only two points from second placed Barcelona. Zaragoza played the better football in the match, but as we know football is not always about deserving, to win you need goals to win a match and that was what Villareal did.
With ten minutes on the clock, Nihat gave the lead to the home side. After the goal a personal duel took place between Villareal’s goalkeeper Diego Lopez and Zaragoza’s striker Ricardo Oliveira.
With two brilliant saves and the help of the woodwork Villareal’s goalkeeper Diego Lopez won the duel. A penalty assigned in the second half to Villareal taken by Rossi, sealed the victory for the home side.
Getafe 2-1 Racing Santander
Clashing again in midweek, both teams rested players in this La Liga fixture, the semi-final of the Copa del Rey obviously taking priority. All the goal action happened in the second half, the visitors were the first ones to score with a header from Smolarek.
After the goal, Laudrup brought in the Nigerian Uche and after a cross from the right from Pable HernÄ‚Ë‡dez the Nigerian scored Getafe’s first and levelled the scores. Ten minutes later Gavillan gave Getafe the lead and the three points.
Espanyol 2-1 Mallorca
Espanyol are back on the European spot hunt after beating Mallorca at home. The visitors were the first ones to score with Spanish international Guiza. Espanayol’s reaction came in the second half with two from Luis GarcÄ‚a. The first one from the penalty spot and the second after receiving a pass from Ä‚ngel, he found the back of the net with a precise strike.
Valladolid 0-0 Osasuna
The only nil nil of the week in La Liga, nothing really happening in a dull game, apart from a couple of opportunities from both sides with out any success. The home side had more first half possession but Osasuna levelled possession up in the second half.
AlmerÄ‚a 2-2 Barcelona
Once again BarÄ‚§a dropped points and the chance to close the gap on the leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona scored first with young talent Bojan after AlmerÄ‚a’s goal keeper Deigo Alves could not hold on to the ball after a strike from outside the box from Iniesta.
On 32 minutes Almeria equalised with Pulido who headed in a corner from Corona. Rijkaard replaced Edmilson for Henry and after being on the pitch a minute, the French man assisted Samuel Eto’o, who put Barcelona ahead for the second time in the match.
Barcelona then lost Gabriel Milito, who picked up two yellow cards. With ten men, Barcelona almost got their third with Henry, but he was stopped by AlmerÄ‚a’s goal keeper Diego Alves. Then with five minutes to go, another mistake by BarÄ‚§a’s defence. AlmerÄ‚a levelled the scores with Uche again from a corner taken by Corona.
Atl'tico Madrid 3-0 Levante
Playing against bottom side Levante and in front of their home fans Atletico won the match to keep their Champions League spot. Simao scored first for Atletico after a mistake from Levante’s defence. From another mistake by Levante’s defence came Atletico’s second. This time with former Man Utd striker Diego Forlan, who also scored the third after nice play by Aguero. He let one fly and Kujovic couldn’t hold on to the ball, Forlan put it home to seal the victory for Atl'tico Madrid.
1 Real Madrid 28 62
2 Barcelona 28 55
3 Villarreal 28 53
4 Atletico Madrid 28 47
5 Sevilla 28 45
6 Espanyol 28 45
7 Racing Santander 28 44
8 Getafe 28 39
9 Almeria 28 38
10 Valencia 28 36