News Archive

First division – day 28

Another brilliant performance by Leo Messi helped Barcelona to a 1-4 victory over Betis on Sunday, and after Atlético’s defeat on Saturday, Valverde’s side are now ten points clear at the top of the table. Messi put the visitors two up by the break with a house-special free kick and a second goal after Luis Suárez set him up, and Suárez battled through to score the third after the restart. Loren fired one back later on, but with four minutes to go Messi completed his hat-trick with a sublime shot over Pau López which brought the Betis crowd to their feet in applause of a genius at work. Earlier in the day Sevilla beat Barça’s neighbours Espanyol 0-1 to stay in touch with the fight for the European spots. The Andalusians had replaced coach Pablo Machin with technical director Joaquín Caparrós earlier in the week after they had been knocked out of the Europa League, and a Ben Yedder penalty after André Silva was fouled in the area early on in the second half was enough to give them the three points. They are now three points behind fourth placed Getafe, who drew 0-0 at seventh placed Valencia in the Mestalla stadium. Further down the table, Villarreal moved four points clear of the drop zone after coming from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1. Mario Suárez headed the visitors in front, but Ekambi scored twice soon after the restart to turn the scoreline around, and Gerard Moreno wrapped things up later on. Rayo stay in next to bottom spot, and coach Michel was fired soon afterwards. Valladolid also distanced themselves from the relegation spots after a last gasp 1-2 victory at Eibar, the result keeping them level on points with Villarreal. Orellana put the home side in front after the restart, but with the game already in time added on, a Verde penalty and a strike from Guardiola saved the day for Sergio González’s side. (17.03.19)

Zinedine Zidane is back! Just a few months after he walked out on the club, the coach returned to replace Solari after Real Madrid crashed out of the Champions League, and he got off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over struggling Celta on Saturday. Zidane brought back the ostracised Isco and Marcelo, and Isco opened the scoring before Bale added the second later on. His team are now just two points below city rivals Atlético Madrid, who saw their title challenge fade after a 2-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao. Williams and Kodro got the goals in the last quarter of an hour or so to round off a week which Simeone’s side will want to forget. The battle for the fourth Champions League spot is wide open though, fifth placed Alavés now just a point behind Getafe after a 1-3 win at Huesca in the early kick-off. Scores were level at the break thanks to early penalties converted by Calleri and Chimy Ávila, but Guidetti and Calleri scored twice in the last ten minutes to leave their hosts still in bottom spot. Elsewhere Girona won 0-2 at Leganés with two first half strikes from Portu, and on Friday evening Real Sociedad and Levante drew 1-1, Januzaj’s first half opener cancelled out by Borja Mayoral with ten minutes to go. (16.03.19)