News Archive

Match round-up - First Division, Day 27

Another day gone, and Barcelona stay eight points clear at the top of the table after a 1-5 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Thursday evening, a record 35 th game in a row without defeat. Rakitic opened the scoring for Luis Enrique’s side after Juan Carlos dropped a Sergi Roberto cross at his feet, and just a minute later Messi made it two after running on to a return pass from Neymar, the referee waving away claims for offside. With three minutes to go to the break Rayo were left with ten men when Diego Llorente was sent off for a high tackle on Rakitic, and soon after the restart Messi scored the third after a shot from Luis Suárez came back off the post. Four minutes later Manucho headed one back for the hosts from Bebé’s headed pass, but with twenty minutes to go a Neymar free kick hit the bar, and Iturra became the second Rayo player to see red after he brought down Busquets as he lined up to fire home the rebound. Juan Carlos did save the resulting penalty kick from Luis Suárez, but a couple of minutes after that Messi completed his hat-trick, and Arda Turan connected with Mathieu’s cross to head in his first goal in a Barcelona shirt near the end.

Earlier in the evening Granada beat fellow strugglers Sporting Gijón 2-0 to move two points above their opponents in the table. The Andalusians had the better of the first half, Cuéllar having to save from Miguel Lopes, Fran Rico and El-Arabi, and Ricardo Costa heading a free kick just wide. Early on in the second half Sanabria did get the ball in the net for the visitors after a long shot from Omar Mascarell came back off the bar and the post, but referee Estrada Fernández ruled it out for a questionable offside. And with twenty minutes to go there was another controversial decision when substitute Barral fell under a challenge from Mascarell, El-Arabi drilling home the resulting spot-kick. It was too much for coach Abelardo, who was sent to the stands for his protests, and he was followed down the tunnel a few minutes later by Sergio Alvarez after the midfielder picked up a second yellow card. The result was still in doubt however until the second minute of injury time, when Luis Hernández deflected an attempted pass by Isaac Success back into the path of the young forward for him to score the easiest of tap-ins.

Granada are now level with Rayo and Getafe, and Espanyol are only two points above them after they lost 0-3 to Betis. The two teams started the match level on points, but with only ten minutes gone Rubén Castro opened the scoring after Pezzella played across a long Vargas free kick. Gerard Moreno fired a shot just over at the other end, but soon afterwards a good run by Musonda ended with Pezzella firing home his side’s second. The locals were reeling, and although Marco Asensio poked a shot just wide after the interval, Vargas made it three with a powerful shot past Pau López following a short Castro free kick. Moreno did have a strike ruled out for a non-existent offside later on, but by then it was all over, and many disgruntled fans had already left the ground. (03.03.16)

Five more games on Wednesday, third placed Real Madrid beating bottom club Levante 1-3 to stay four points behind city rivals Atlético in the table. The locals put up a good fight though, Keylor Navas having to save from Rossi right at the start. However with just over half an hour gone Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Lucas Orbán brought down his namesake Lucas Vázquez in the area, and just four minutes later Diego Mariño could not avoid deflecting the ball in to his own net after a long shot from Borja Mayoral came back off the post. A minute later though Deyverson got one back after Rossi put him through, and although Ronaldo hit the post after the break, the result was in doubt until substitute Isco fired home the third in injury time.

Madrid move four points clear of Villarreal, who stay in fourth spot after a 0-0 draw against the team a place below them in the table, Celta. Despite the scoreline there was plenty of action, the two goalkeepers the busiest men on the park. Bakambu in particular came up against Sergio Alvarez three times before the break, and at the other end Areola had to save from Guidetti, Aspas and Nolito. After the restart the Galicians took control, but Areola was there again to keep out Marcelo Díaz and Daniel Wass, and Wass fired a late free kick just wide of the post. It was fourteenth game in a row without defeat for Marcelino’s side, and they stay eleven points clear of their hosts, who drop to sixth after the rest of today’s games.

Sevilla climb above Celta to fifth after they beat Eibar 1-0 earlier in the evening. The only goal came early on, Llorente picking up Krohn-Dehli’s cross and turning past his marker to score with eleven minutes gone. The Spanish international striker fired another shot wide a few minutes later, but the visitors came close to equalizing, Sergio Rico having to make important saves from Escalante and Borja Bastón either side of half time, and Sergi Enrich rounding the keeper only to lose his footing as he lined up to pull the trigger. The locals replied with efforts from Carriço and Banega which Riesgo kept out, and Iborra fired a shot against the foot of the post. With two minutes to go the Basque side were left with ten men when Lillo picked up a second booking, but even so Rico had to be on his toes to push a late Saúl Berjón free kick around the post.

Athletic Bilbao are just a point behind Celta as well after they thrashed Deportivo 4-1, veteran striker Aduríz helping himself to a hat-trick to keep up his push for a place in Spain’s Euro 2016 squad. The first goal though was scored by Muniain, who was quicker than anyone to see Raúl García head back a cross from De Marcos on the quarter hour mark. Aduríz missed an easy header and had a penalty appeal turned down, but with ten minutes to go to the break he got on the end of Susaeta’s cross to turn a shot past debutant keeper Pletikosa and make it two. Soon after the restart Oriol Riera got one back following a good run by Lucas Pérez, but just two minutes later Aduríz headed in a Susaeta centre, and soon afterwards he stuck out a foot to poke home his third of the evening after a defender could only deflect another cross from Susaeta up in the air.

Elsewhere Valencia came from a goal down to beat Málaga 1-2, a third win in four games taking some of the pressure off coach Gary Neville. Duje Cop latched on to a loose ball after Juanpi was tackled on the edge of the area to fire the Andalusians into an early lead, and Kameni kept out Aderlan Santos following a corner a few minutes later. However with four minutes to go to the break the local keeper palmed a speculative cross from Paco Alcácer in to his own net, the referee waving away his claims that he was fouled by Cheryshev, and just five minutes after the restart Cheryshev picked up a long cross from André Gomes to put the visitors in front. The Russian flanker just failed to get on the end of an Alcácer cross later in the second half, and Rodrigo fired a shot wide near the end, but the Ches had already done enough for the three points. (02.03.16)

A midweek round of matches this week, Atlético Madrid kicking us off with a 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Tuesday evening which closed the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points. Diego Reyes deflected a Koke cross in to his own net early on to give the hosts the lead, and Simeone’s side could have been further ahead by the break, Godín missing a couple of easy chances and Rulli having to save from Griezmann and Vietto. Soon after the restart Saúl made it two from Vietto’s cross, and Griezmann got a third from the penalty spot against his old team after De la Bella brought him down in the area. Reyes headed against the bar and Jonathas went close after that, but with the game coming to a close Correa had a strike ruled out for a questionable offside.

Later in the evening Las Palmas beat Getafe 4-0 to move above their opponents in the table, now three points clear of the drop zone. Willian José got the opener from David García’s cross with only seven minutes gone, and Jonathan Viera made it two from the penalty spot after Lacen handled in the area on the half hour mark. After the interval Guaita did well to keep out El Zhar, but soon afterwards Tana scored a third after picking up Viera’s pass and turning past Alvaro Pereira before beating the keeper. Winter signing Pereira was finally making his debut after having to serve out an eight match ban dating back to his time in Argentina, but with just over an hour gone he was given his marching orders after picking up a second booking, and Tana took advantage to score his second of the night near the end. It was a seventh defeat in a row for the Madrid based side, the last six without scoring a single goal, and their head-to-head advantage against the Canary Islanders has also been wiped out as both of their matches finished with the same 4-0 scoreline. (01.03.16)