A complete disaster in the Champions League semi-finals mid-week, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both letting in four against Bundesliga sides Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively. The only saving grace was Ronaldo's goal for Madrid (his 12th in the tournament), although both are unlikely to turn things around in next week's second legs.
Vilanova and Mourinho gave priority to those European ties at the weekend however, with Messi starting on the bench and Ronaldo left out altogether. Messi was eventually called upon though after Susaeta scored for hosts Athletic Bilbao, the little man scoring for a record 24th time away from home (Barça's 100th league goal this season) before setting up Alexis for a second. The Catalans were unable to tie up the title just yet though after Ander Herrera equalised late on.
Real Madrid's fixture was at city rivals Atlético, and Simeone's side felt that this was the best opportunity in a long time to end a run of 24 games without a win, a record that has spanned fourteen years. Things certainly looked to be going their way when Falcao opened the scoring in the fourth minute, but in Ronaldo's absence Di María stepped up to the plate, netting the winner himself and playing in the free kick before that which Juanfran turned in to his own net. Oh well, Atleti still have the cup final to end that record!
Fourth place is still up for grabs though, and the two strongest contenders met in the Anoeta stadium, locals Real Sociedad looking good now for a return to the Champions League after running out 4-2 winners in the end. Agirretxe was the man who did the damage with two goals and an assist, although strikes by Soldado and Jonas gave them a run for their money. Málaga may also be in the running if they can get their European ban overturned, and Santa Cruz was on the scorecard as they beat Getafe 2-1 to move back up to fifth.
Soldado's goal was his eighteenth in the league this season, although he remains one behind Negredo in the race for the top scoring Spanish player after the Sevilla striker converted a penalty to save a point at Valladolid. Piti is keeping pace with them though, the Rayo forward making it fifteen for the current campaign to save a draw for his side against Osasuna, and there were goals too for Riki and Jorge Molina, as well as for Zaragoza's Portuguese striker Hélder Postiga. (30.04.13)
|Messi (Barcelona)||44||6||8||58 (5)|
|Ronaldo (Real Madrid)||31||8||12||51 (7)|
|Falcao (Atlético)||26||2||4||32 (7)|
|Negredo (Sevilla)||19||6||0||25 (6)|
|Soldado (Valencia)||18||2||4||24 (5)|
|Rubén Castro (Betis)||16||3||0||19 (2)|
|Jonas (Valencia)||12||1||5||18 (1)|
|Aduríz (Athletic Bilbao)||13||1||3||17 (1)|
|Benzema (Real Madrid)||9||4||4||17 (0)|
|Piti (Rayo Vallecano)||15||0||0||15 (4)|
|Higuaín (Real Madrid)||13||1||1||15 (0)|
|David Villa (Barcelona)||8||5||1||14 (0)|
|Diego Costa (Atlético)||7||5||2||14 (3)|
|Riki (Deportivo)||13||0||0||13 (0)|
|Vela (Real Sociedad)||13||0||0||13 (4)|
|Fàbregas (Barcelona)||10||2||1||13 (0)|
|Postiga (Zaragoza)||12||0||0||12 (1)|
|Jorge Molina (Betis)||11||1||0||12 (2)|
|Agirretxe (Real Sociedad)||11||1||0||12 (0)|
|Oscar (Valladolid)||11||0||0||11 (0)|
|Isco (Málaga)||8||0||3||11 (2)|
|Santa Cruz (Málaga)||7||3||1||11 (0)|
|Iago Aspas (Celta)||10||0||0||10 (2)|
|Rakitic (Sevilla)||7||3||0||10 (1)|
|Susaeta (Athletic Bilbao)||6||0||4||10 (0)|