News Archive

Match round-up - First Division, Day 21

Bottom club Levante kept their hopes of salvation alive with a 3-2 victory over fellow strugglers Las Palmas on Monday evening. Results earlier in the weekend had left the Canary Islanders down in the bottom three, and they found themselves behind midway through the first half when Morales beat Javi Varas after the keeper had pushed a Verza free kick against the post. Deyverson made it two at the start of the second half, and although Willian José got one back almost immediately, Morales restored the two goal cushion a few minutes later. Once again Willian José replied for the visitors, but although Deyverson got himself sent off in injury time, Rubi’s team held on for a second home win in a row which takes them to within a point of their opponents in the table. (25.01.16)

Last week’s leaders Atlético Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla on Sunday, and they end the weekend in second spot, below Barcelona on goal difference (the two teams meet in the Nou Camp next Saturday). It was an intense match, the best chances in the first half a shot by Saúl into the side netting, and an effort from Banega which was deflected just over the bar. Early in the second half Griezmann headed against the post, and things seemed to swing in their favour when Vitolo was sent off for a second bookable offence on the hour mark. However Sergio Rico pulled off a string of saves after that, in particular from Carrasco, Gabi and Correa, to ensure a point for the Andalusians.

Real Madrid are still four points behind Simeone’s team though after they too could only draw 1-1 against Sevilla’s neighbours, Betis. Cejudo put the locals ahead early on with an impressive volley, but after that the locals hardly got near the visitors’ goal. However Adán was on top form against his old side, in particualr keeping out Benzema, James and Carvajal, and Ronaldo and Benzema both had good penalty appeals turned down before the break. With twenty minutes to go Benzema finally found the net after James set him up, but Adán made further saves from James, Benzema and Ronaldo, and Rubén Castro almost snatched a victory when he shot just wide on a quick breakaway right at the end.

The top four are now seven points clear of the rest, sixth placed Eibar comprehensively beaten 5-2 by regional rivals Athletic Bilbao in this Sunday’s mid-day game. Borja Bastón did give the visitors an early lead from Capa’s cross, but Aduríz levelled it soon afterwards with an impressive volley, and Sabin headed the locals in front from Beñat’s corner with just under half an hour on the clock. Laporte made it three with another header from a Beñat free kick before the break, and although Borja got another one back from the penalty spot after the restart, Aduríz restored the two goal cushion just two minutes later. With ten minutes to go Mauro Dos Santos turned Lakue’s cross into his own net, and Aduríz came close to a hat-trick when he chipped a shot wide with only the keeper to beat in the dying minutes.

Athletic are now eighth, two points below Eibar and Sevilla, and two above Deportivo, who drew 1-1 against Valencia in the Riazor stadium. Negredo missed a couple of early chances, but midway through the first half Lucas Pérez picked up a pass from Luis Alberto to round Mat Ryan and score. Pérez had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside after the interval, and Luis Alberto went close two or three times. However with the game in injury time Negredo got on the end of a wide Dani Parejo free kick to head the equalizer past Lux. The Ches have still to win in the league though under Gary Neville, and they are now eight points off the European spots. (24.01.16)

Barcelona moved back to the top of the table pending Atlético’s game on Sunday after a 1-2 victory at Málaga on Saturday afternoon. Munir (substituting for the injured Neymar) connected with a Luis Suárez centre to open the scoring with just over a minute gone, but Bravo had to push a shot from Chory Castro on to the post, and Juanpi made it all square later in the first half after Charles set him up. Messi had a couple of efforts blocked either side of half time, and some six minutes in to the second half he restored the lead with an acrobatic volley from Adriano’s cross. However Bravo had to keep out Castro, Rosales and Cop after that, and the result was in doubt right up until the end.

Later in the evening fourth placed Villarreal extended their unbeaten record to eight games after a 2-2 draw at Espanyol. Caicedo ran on to put the locals ahead in the fourth minute, the referee waving away appeals for hand ball, but midway through the first half Trigueros levelled the scores after Soldado flicked on Bruno’s pass. Burgui fired a shot against the upright soon afterwards however, and with five minutes to go to the break Gerard Moreno got on the end of Burgui’s cross to restore the lead. But Musacchio headed the equalizer from a Denis Suárez corner with two minutes to go, and Moreno got himself sent off after picking up a second booking for protesting about a possible foul in the build up to the goal.

Marcelino’s side are now seven points clear of fifth placed Celta though after the Galicians lost 3-0 at Rayo Vallecano in the last game of the evening. With a key cup match coming up midweek, Berizzo left out several of his key players, and his team paid the price. Although they had not won in nine games the locals dominated right from the start, Bebé and Llorente hitting the post before Miku opened the scoring, following up after his first shot was also deflected onto the upright. Later in the first half Tito and then Jozabed headed in Trashorras free kicks to put Paco Jémez’s team three up at the break, and Rayo keeper Juan Carlos only had one shot from Hugo Mallo to save after the restart.

That took Rayo out of the drop zone, and Granada are also out of the bottom three after they won 3-2 against Getafe. Sporting’s victory on Friday had left the Andalusians down in the relegation places, but first half strikes by Fran Rico and El-Arabi seemed to have put them on track for the three points. However Scepovic and Moi Gómez scored two for the visitors in as many minutes midway through the second half, and there was great relief for coach Sandoval and the home fans when Rochina fired home the winner a few minutes later. (23.01.16)

Last weekend saw the highest scoring round of matches this season, and this week started in the same vein, Sporting Gijón thrashing Real Sociedad 5-1 on Friday evening. Carmona and Ndi put the Asturians two up with less than ten minutes gone, and and after Vela got one back, Sanabria added his second hat-trick of the season to take Abelardo’s team out of the bottom three. (22.01.16)