Córdoba end week 26 some four points adrift at the foot of the table after losing 1-2 to Getafe in the Monday night game. The visitors themselves started the match just two points above the drop zone after the rest of the weekend’s results, and caretaker coach Pablo Franco brought back keeper Guaita, who had to make important saves from Campabadal and Andone either side of half time. Ghilas wasted a couple of chances before that, Saizar had to keep out Diego Castro, and Pedro León fired a shot just wide, but with a quarter of an hour to go the Andalusians appeared to be en route to ending a run of six defeats in a row when Andone battled through to put them ahead. However with the game coming to an end Fede Vico scored a freak own goal, looping the ball back over his own keeper with his heel from a Pedro León cross, and in the second minute of injury time Juan Rodríguez headed in a Sarabia corner to sink Djukic’s side even further. (09.03.15)
Barcelona are back on top of the first division after thrashing Rayo Vallecano 6-1 on Sunday lunchtime! Luis Suárez opened the scoring early on after Xavi put him through, and the striker felt himself unlucky not to have a penalty when Ba brought him down soon afterwards. Trashorras curled a free kick just wide at the other end, but Messi went close with a clever flick, and four minutes after the restart Piqué got the second, following up after Jordi Alba’s header came off the post from a Xavi corner. After that Messi helped himself to a twelve minute hat-trick, the first with a twice-taken penalty after Tito was given a second booking for a foul on Suárez (Cristian Alvarez saving his first spot kick, but referee Gil Manzano ordering a retake). Seven minutes later Messi finished with an easy tap-in after the keeper pushed out a shot from Suárez, and soon afterwards he added the fifth, picking up Alba’s cross and nipping past two defenders and the keeper to score. Numbers were evened up with ten minutes to go when Dani Alves was also red carded for giving away another penalty on Alberto Bueno which Bueno himself converted, but Suárez completed the “set” in injury time after Messi put him through.
Later in the evening third placed Atlético Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia, who remain just a point behind them in the table. It was a hard fought match, with no less than twelve yellow cards and one red, Javi Fuego getting his marching orders in the last minute for a second bookable offence. The first chance fell to the visitors, Negredo’s overhead kick hitting Feghouli and bouncing clear, but with just over half an hour gone Koke opened the scoring, drilling a low shot past Diego Alves after Fernando Torres and then Tiago played on a Gabi free kick. Tiago should have added a second after the interval, the midfielder shooting against the bar from two yards out after Godín headed back another corner, but with twelve minutes to go Dani Parejo’s long free kick floated over the advancing Moyà on to the crossbar, and Mustafi was on hand to head in the rebound.
Villarreal bounced back from their midweek cup defeat against Barcelona, a 4-1 win against Celta keeping them just a point behind Sevilla in sixth spot. Honours were even for most of the first half, Gerard Moreno bringing an early save out of Sergio Alvarez, and Nolito testing Sergio Asenjo a couple of times in reply. However with five minutes to go to the break Giovani picked up a Moreno pass in midfield and ran on to open the scoring, and with half time approaching Musacchio headed a second from a Moi Gómez corner. Augusto Fernández headed one back from Nolito’s free kick though, and Charles went close with a couple of efforts. But a few minutes later Tomás Pina set up substitute Vietto to poke a shot past Alvarez, and with six minutes to go Moreno put the result beyond doubt with a fourth goal from another Pina assist.
Elsewhere Real Sociedad climbed up safely to mid-table after a 1-0 victory over Espanyol. The visitors were still reeling after being knocked out of the cup by Real’s neighbours Athletic on Wednesday, but Sergio García tested Rulli a couple of times early on. Xabi Prieto headed a free kick wide in reply, but with eight minutes to go to the break a lapse of attention by Kiko Casilla gifted the ball to Canales, who gratefully fired a shot back into the empty net. Chory Castro had a penalty appeal turned down after the interval and Casilla had to save a couple of times from Agirretxe, and Stuani and Caicedo could only steer headers straight at Rulli when presented with chances later on. A week to forget for Sergio González’s side, but they still remain in tenth spot, two points above their hosts in the table. (08.03.15)
Leaders Real Madrid were beaten 1-0 by Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening, and they could be off the top of the table by the end of the weekend if Barcelona can win on Sunday. Ancelotti’s side needed a result after their home draw against Villarreal the week before, but they hardly got near Iraizoz’s goal before the break, and midway through the first half Aduríz got on the end of Mikel Rico’s cross to steer a header wide of Casillas. After the interval the local keeper had to save from Isco, Benzema and Ronaldo, and Bale almost caught him out with a shot from the half-way line which hit the upright, but Aduríz also headed against the post at the other end. Three points for the Basque side though to round off an excellent week after qualifying for the cup final on Wednesday, and they move up to eighth pending the rest of the weekend games.
Earlier in the afternoon Sevilla consolidated fifth spot with a high-scoring 3-4 win at Deportivo. The locals started well, Lucas Pérez hitting the side netting before Oriol Riera connected with Cavaleiro’s cross to score his first goal for his new club. Vitolo scored twice either side of half time though to put the Andalusians in front, the first after combining with Bacca, and the second after Aleix Vidal laid the ball across, and Gameiro added a penalty a few minutes later after Insúa brought down Vitolo in the area. Pérez hit the bar with a free kick and Riera got his second of the day from Luisinho’s cross after that, but Sidnei deflected a Vitolo cross into his own net with seven minutes to go, and although Pérez converted a second penalty in injury time, it was too late to change the result.
Sevilla are now eight points clear of Málaga, who lost 1-0 at regional neighbours Granada in the last match of the evening. Levante’s win the day before had left Abel Resino’s side six points away from safety, but they got off to a good start, with Javi Márquez testing Kameni a couple of times and Torres almost deflecting a Robert Ibáñez shot into his own net. Oier nearly gifted a goal to Juanmi at the start of the second half, but Kameni had to be at his best to turn a Márquez free kick round the post, and soon afterwards Camacho put through his own net trying to clear an Ibáñez header. Camacho rattled the crossbar with a long shot later on, but Foulquier, Córdoba and Fran Rico all wasted good chances to extend the lead in the closing minutes.
Almería are now in the bottom three as well though after they were beaten 1-0 by Elche, and with FIFA’s three point penalty hanging over their heads (currently under appeal), they are starting to struggle. The locals themselves began the day in the relegation spots, but with only six minutes gone Víctor Rodríguez headed them into the lead following a good run by Jonathas. Julián had to save from Pasalic and Jonathas, Aarón Ñíguez fired a shot over the top and Enzo Roco had a headed goal ruled out by the referee, presumably for a foul on the keeper, and at the other end Dubarbier hit the post with a free kick and Tyton had to tip a Corona shot over the bar. Both keepers made further saves in a lively second half, but in the end Víctor’s goal took his team above their opponents in the table. (07.03.15)
Levante are out of the relegation zone after coming from behind to beat Eibar 2-1 in this week’s Friday night game. If anything the visitors had the better of a tense first half, and Saúl Berjón went close a couple of times before hooking in the opening goal from Bóveda’s cross some ten minutes after the restart, his side’s first in over 400 minutes of football. However two goals in as many minutes by Barral and Kalu Uche turned the scoreline around, the first with a fortunate deflection off the inside of his leg from Toño’s shot, and the second with a shot past Jaime after Raúl Navas scuffed a clearance. El Zhar had a penalty appeal turned down after that (he was booked for diving) and Camarasa brought a good save out of Jaime, and any hope that Eibar had of preventing a seventh defeat in a row ended when Dani García was sent off for a second bookable offence near the end (06.03.15)