Spanish League Round Up Week 31
Valencia took a massive step towards claiming third spot at the end of the season with a thumping 5-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday, whilst Espanyol dropped out of the UEFA spots after drawing in Hercules, to be replaced by Atletico Madrid.
Villarreal’s defeat leaves them six points adrift of Valencia and six ahead of fifth spot
Seville, who could only draw in Mallorca, whilst Bilbao were beaten by Madrid and Espanyol’s
goalless draw at Hercules meant Atletico Madrid’s 3-0 win over Real Sociedad lifted them to
sixth. At the bottom, Hercules and Malaga both got home draws, whilst Zaragoza’s win over
Getafe on Monday gives them hope and deepens the gloom for Michel’s team who are now just a
point ahead of Zaragoza, fifth from bottom.
Five from Valencia
Valencia put in probably their best performance of the season on Sunday, brushing
aside the fading Villarreal with two goals apiece from Mata and Soldado and a fifth from Banega.
After three games without scoring at Mestalla, this was the biggest win in the fixture, virtually
hands Valencia third spot and bodes well for the team’s next home game –against Real
Madrid. Mourinho rested a number of big games for the trip to Bilbao, but two penalties from Kaka
and another Cristiano Ronaldo strike gave them a comfortable 0-3 win and leaves Bilbao in seventh,
a point behind Seville.
Seville take a point
Gregorio Manzano’s reception at the club he left last season, Mallorca, was
predictably hostile and his side were grateful for a mistake by Mallorca’s Israeli keeper
Aouate for handing Rakitic a second half equaliser after Negredo had scored from the spot and De
Guzman and Aki were on target for the hosts. That was Seville’s fourth unbeaten game on the
run and leaves them six points behind Villarreal, who they meet in a fortnight’s time.
Atletico Madrid took advantage of Bilbao’s defeat and Espanyol’s inability to score
against Hercules to move into sixth by beating Real Sociedad 3-0 and have now lost just once in
their last eight games.
The defeat for Real was their sixth in the last seven games and leaves them in 14th on 35
points, just 5 above the drop zone and with games against Bilbao, Barça, Valencia and Seville still
to come - a similarly tough run in to Osasuna who are level on points with them after losing 1-0 at
Sporting, who are themselves now 11th on 38 points. Deportivo are the other team on 35 after taking
a point from Malaga in yet another goalless draw – their seventh of the campaign, with
Getafe(34) and Zaragoza(33) immediately below them. In the weekend’s other game, Racing and
Llevant each took a point from their 1-1 draw that should ease any lingering relegation fears for
Getafe gloom deepens
Getafe’s defeat on Monday night means they’ve taken just eight points
out of a possible 45 since January and slipped from being contenders for a European spot to
relegation candidates. The win for Zaragoza confirmed their good home form –they’ve
taken 19 points from their last 8 games at La Romareda and will be looking for maximum points from
their remaining home matches –against Almeria, Osasuna and Espanyol to ensure safety.