La Liga Round-Up by Felipe Bazon
Weekly Round Up – 24th Feb 08
This week’s highlights are Sevilla’s five nil victory over Real Zaragoza, Barcelona’s victory at home with a hat trick from Samuel Eto’o and Real Madrid’s defeat at home to Getafe.
La Liga is alive and on fire now, with only two points between leaders Real Madrid and second place Barcelona.
Valencia 1-1 Recreativo
In one of the best matches Valencia played this season, they still could not manage to keep the three points. Valencia opened up the scoring at the end of the first half with a nice strike from left winger Mata, but a spectacular strike, outside the box from midfielder Martins meant Recreativo drew the match and took a point home.
Sevilla 5-0 Real Zaragoza
Sevilla blew away Real Zaragoza on Saturday with a five nil victory at home.
Sevilla opened up the scoring fest with Luis Fabiano, after a nice cross from the right by captain Daniel Alver. Luis Fabiano also scored the second after a perfect one-two with Daniel Alves. He chipped the ball over Zaragoza’s goal keeper, the other two goals were scored by Zaragoza’s own defenders, first Ayala scored an own goal when the ball accidentally hit his leg and went in. Then Diogo trying to block a strike from Luis Fabiano, kicked the ball in his own goal. Keita finished the count with a header.
Sevilla maintain their fifth position, two points away from the Champion’s League spot and Zaragoza are now 15th .
Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Villareal
Villareal travelled to Bilbao with only one thing in mind, to come back home with the three points. But before the fourth minute Athletic Bilbao were one up with a goal from forward Llorente. Atheltic Bilbao dominated the first and deserved the result at half time. The second half was a totally different story, Villareal turned things around, first with left forward Guille Franco and then with left back Capedevilla.
With the victory Villareal consolidated their third place, moving 5 points away from fourth place Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao are 14th.
Osasuna 3-1 Atlético Madrid
Before the first minute of play Osasuna were one nil up with a goal from centre forward Kike Sola. Four minutes later it was the left winger’s turn, Vela scoring the second for Osasuna. Not even a goal from ex Man Utd striker Forlan in the 26th minute could get Atlético back into the game. Osasuna’s third goal was scored in the 75th minute with right winger Hector Font and it sealed the victory and kept the three points.
Atlético Madrid are still fourth and Osasuna are now 13th.
Deportivo La Coruña 2-0 Espanyol
Even with three points Deportivo are still in the relegation zone, but this victory was important to give them more confidence and keep them fighting to move away from danger.
In a match that was never going to be a easy, Deportivo killed the game in the first half with two goals. The first one was scored by defender Colocini and the second by left winger Lafita. Deportivo maintain last week’s place at 17th and Espanyol drop a place and are now 6th with the same number of points as Sevilla.
Mallorca 1-1 Real Betis
With a first half without much action, Mallorca and Betis scored a goal apiece in the second, taking a point each.
Mallorca struck first, with right winger Varela on the 55th minute, but Betis got one back with Brazilian forward Edu 15 minutes later. Mallorca haven’t won a match since the second stage of the league started and are now 12th, Betis are 16th.
Murcia 0-1 Valladolid
In a match where both teams needed the three points to enhance their La Liga security, it was Valladolid that managed to take the bacon.
Again Valladolid’s centre forward was decisive and scored the only goal of the match.
Murcia are still second from bottom and Vallodolid breath better now, moving four points clear from the relegation zone and are now 11th.
Racing Santander 1-0 Almería
Racing Santander won their first game of the second stage whilst Almería finished the game with nine players.
The first half was quite even with both teams creating, but not finishing with any accuracy.
Racing Santander boosted their chances of a place in Europe next season, when Mohamed Tchite struck on 61 minutes. Almería sememd to lose the plot after the goal, Cisma Domingo and Veljko Paunovic both seeing red for the visitors late on after collecting two bookings each.
Almería drop a place and are now 8th and Racing Santander move up a place and are now 7th.
Barcelona 5-1 Levante
Goals galore was the tale at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona played possibly their best football in the La Liga this season. Messi was unstoppable running in from both sides, but it was Xavi that scored the first for Barça in the 14th minute. After Zambrotta’s hand ball inside the box, the ref assigned a penalty and Levante’s strikers Riga drew Levante level.
Barça’s response came straight away, a one-two from Messi and Xavi, a nice strike with his left foot, and Messi put Barça two one up just before half time.
The second half was a show apart from Cameroon international Samuel Etoo. With a hat trick he lead Barça to the victory. Barcelona with the victory heat up the fight for the title and are now only two points away from leaders Real Madrid, Levante are still bottom of the table with only 16 points.
Real Madrid 0-1 Getafe
Real Madrid started the match with only one thing in mind a win!
Knowing that Barcelona had won their match earlier, “Los Blancos” needed the three points at home more than anything. They were also looking for their 19th straight league victory at home.
Madrid dominated the whole of the first half, with the return of van Nystelroy to the starting eleven helping, but there were only two real go opportunities both of them with Julio Baptista, one was a free kick that the ball passed really close to the cross bar and the second was header that the ball hits the back of the head of Getafe defender and goes out. Second half again was all about Real Madrid, but after Robben scoring a goal in offside position, without noticing that the lines had given the offside almost all the Madrid players went to celebrate with Robben, Getafe took the free kick and caught Madrid’s defence wide open and Uche scored the only goal of the match. Madrid are still top but with only two points between them and Barcelona, Getafe are now 10th.
La Liga top ten standings
01 Real Madrid 25 56
02 Barcelona 25 54
03 Villareal 25 46
04 Atlético Madrid 25 41
05 Sevilla 25 39
06 Espanyol 25 39
07 Racing Santander 25 38
08 Almería 25 36
09 Valencia 25 35
10 Getafe 25 32