News Archive

First division – day 17

It was back to Earth for Real Madrid at the start of the New Year, the world club champions being held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Villarreal in the league match postponed from two weeks ago. Santiago Cazorla got the first goal of 2019 with only four minutes gone, but headers by Benzema and Varane turned the scoreline around in the next quarter of an hour. Modric had a strike ruled out for offside, and Lucas Vázquez brought good saves out of Asenjo either side of half time, but Courtois also had work to do, and with eight minutes to go Cazorla headed his second of the night to save a point for the locals. That takes them out of the relegation zone, back above Athletic on goal difference, and leaves Madrid still in fourth spot, some seven points now behind leaders Barcelona. (03.01.19)

Sevilla drop two points below Atlético to third place after a 1-1 draw at Leganés on Sunday afternoon. However they will be grateful for a point after playing all the second half with ten men following a red card for Franco Vázquez for insulting the referee. Before that Mikel Vesga had headed the locals into the lead, but Ben Yedder popped up in injury time to save a point for the Andalusians with a header from Roque’s centre. The game finished in thick fog, and just up the road Rayo Vallecano’s match against Levante kicked off soon afterwards in similar conditions, the locals running out 2-1 victors to keep alive their hopes of survival. Toño turned in an Alex Moreno cross to put Rayo ahead midway through the first half, and although Rochina levelled it after the restart, Raúl De Tomás got the winner after Oier could only push out another Moreno centre soon afterwards. Rayo are now three points away from safety and five above bottom club Huesca, who are further in trouble after losing 2-1 at Valencia in the mid-day game. A Cucho Hernández penalty cancelled out Parejo’s earlier strike, but Piccini fired home the winner in the fourth and final minute of injury time to placate a hostile home crowd, disappointed with the performance of Marcelino’s side this season. (23.12.18)

Barcelona end the year three points clear at the top of the table after a 2-0 victory over Celta on Saturday evening. Valverde’s side went in front early on, Dembélé firing the rebound back into the net after Rubén Blanco saved from Messi, and Messi himself got the second on the stroke of half time after Jordi Alba put him clear. Barça stay three point clear of Atlético Madrid, who beat their city neighbours Espanyol 1-0. Griezmann got the only goal from the penalty spot after Granero fouled Koke in the area soon after the restart, but it took some good saves by Oblak to ensure the three points in the end. Elsewhere Betis drop to sixth after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Eibar, Sanabria opening the scoring for the Andalusians in the twentieth minute, but Orellana making it all square from the penalty spot midway through the second half. And Athletic Bilbao and Valladolid also drew 1-1 in the last match of the evening, Aduríz seemingly giving the Basque side the victory with a penalty just before the break, but Oscar Plano equalising for the visitors with the game already in time added on. The point takes Athletic out of the bottom three though, a point ahead of Villarreal pending their game against Real Madrid in the New Year. (22.12.18)

The week 17 round of fixtures extends over two calendar years this season, with the match between Villarreal and Real Madrid scheduled for 3 rd January in view of Madrid’s participation in the Club World Cup. The rest however take place before the short Christmas break, Girona and Getafe kicking things off with a 1-1 draw which left both teams in contention for the European spots. Angel put the visitors ahead from an Antunes centre on the hour mark, but Bernardo headed the equaliser from Granell’s free kick with five minutes to go to keep the Catalans three points below their opponents in the table. Alavés though return to fifth place, three points above Getafe, after a 0-1 victory at neighbours Real Sociedad later in the evening. Calleri headed the only goal for the visitors with just over ten minutes gone, and Januzaj, Willian José and Oyarzabal all missed chances to level the scores after the restart. The defeat leaves the San Sebastian side floundering near the foot of the table, and coach Asier Garitano might not be seeing in the New Year at the Anoeta stadium. (21.12.18)