News Archive

Match round-up - First Division, Day 32

Despite their weekend defeat against Barcelona, Real Madrid have still not given up the fight, and they stay within three points of their rivals after coming from behind to beat Almería 1-2 on Thursday evening. Crusat put Lillo's side ahead on the quarter hour mark after Uche rolled the ball across the area, and Casillas had to be on his toes to tip a Cisma free kick round the post soon afterwards. But Cristiano Ronaldo produced a moment of magic to ghost past three defenders before beating Diego Alves with an angled shot a few minutes later, and Guti almost made it two when he drove a shot against the foot of the post, Higuaín only able to fire the rebound wide of the target. Uche wasted a good chance before the break, but Higuaín had a shot cleared off the line by Michel before Van der Vaart picked up a pass from the Argentinian striker to drill a low shot past the excellent Alves for the winner. Six games to go, but nothing decided so far.

The win did at least make mathematically sure that Madrid will at least finish second, and third placed Valencia consolidate their position with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao later in the evening. The Chés dominated the first half, Gorka saving from Joaquín and Baraja heading wide before David Silva opened the scoring following a corner. The visitors didn't trouble César throughout the first half, although the keeper had to be at his best to turn away a Llorente header early in the second half. Silva scored his second of the night however on the hour mark, and César did the rest to take his side a step closer to an automatic Champions League spot. Athletic still ended the round of midweek games in sixth spot, although they are now only a point ahead of Getafe and two above Villarreal. (15.04.10)

Barcelona move six points clear of Real Madrid pending their game tomorrow after beating Deportivo 3-0 on Wednesday night. Pedro hit the post before Bojan opened the scoring after Xavi put him through on the quarter hour mark. And after that it was like watching the "Harlem Globetrotters", Messi almost catching out Aranzubia with a clever chip and Dani Alves hitting the bar with a spectacular scissors kick from wide out. Riki could have equalised after the restart, but with twenty minutes to go Aranzubia came out of his goal to clear from the charging Alves, and Pedro looped the ball back over the keeper's head from just over the halfway line. Three minutes after that Touré Yaya blasted a third past the keeper after Keita head on a Xavi corner, and it was game over.

Mallorca move up to fourth in the table after a 1-1 draw at Zaragoza earlier in the evening. Rubén headed in Borja Valero's corner to put the Islanders ahead early on, but Suazo equalised for the locals soon afterwards. Atlético Madrid are virtually out of the running for the European spots however, via the league at least, after a surprise 1-2 defeat the hands of bottom club Xerez. Armenteros headed the winner for the Andalusians after Forlán had cancelled out Bermejo's early strike.

Osasuna are just a couple of points behind Atlético after a 2-2 draw against Málaga, Caicedo and Baha equalising twice for the visitors after Pandiani had given the locals the lead both times. And Racing Santander moved away from the danger zone after a 3-1 win over Espanyol, Tchité converting two penalties and Arana getting a last minute third after Iván Alonso had opened the scoring for the Catalans. (14.04.10)

Sevilla could drop out of the Champions League spots after a 2-1 defeat at Valladolid in the first of the midweek round of matches. Veteran coach Javier Clemente has injected life in to his new side after taking over from Onésimo just under a week ago, and they should have been well ahead by the break, with Nauzet in particular hitting the bar and failing to convert another chance. With three minutes to go to half time though Diego Costa headed Nauzet's free kick past Palop, and a few minutes after the restart Costa set up Manucho for him to score the second. Cala got one back with an impressive shot in to the far top corner of the net though, and only a last minute save from Jacobo prevented Jesús Navas from equalising.

Valladolid are now only three points away from safety, but they stay a point behind Tenerife after the Canary Islanders beat Sporting Gijón 0-2. The visitors had not won away from home all season, but they had the better of the first half, Nino bringing a good save out of Juan Pablo and then hitting the post. Aragoneses pushed an effort from Miguel against the woodwork soon after the restart, but Román tested the keeper again before finally beating him after controlling a long ball from Pablo Sicilia. And with the game coming to an end Alfaro added the second to keep alive his side's hopes of survival.

Later in the evening Getafe beat Villarreal 3-0 to move above their opponents to seventh in the table. The heavy rain meant that there were few chances in the first half, but after the interval the visitors came out strongly, with Rossi firing a shot against the upright. A few minutes later though Miku opened the scoring after Diego López failed to hold on to a long shot from Mané, and Mané himself got the second with a free kick which the keeper could only push on to the post and in. And with four minutes to go Miku got his second of the night from Manu's cross to take his side to within a point of the European spots. (13.04.10)