Spanish League Round Up Week 7
With Villarreal not kicking off till 21.00 on Monday night, Real Madrid took over as provisional La Liga leaders after their 1-4 win over Malaga, with Barša and Valencia a point behind.
Villarreal’s Monday night game means that it’s been a long weekend at the top of La
Liga and if they beat Hercules tonight, we’ll have seen four leaders in three days. Valencia
began the weekend on top, but their defeat to Barša meant Guardiola’s team led the table for
a couple of hours before Real Madrid took over later on Saturday night with their win at Malaga.
Ronaldo and Higuain on the mark again
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain have chalked up 9 of Madrid’s 16 goals
and on Saturday both scored twice to give Mourinho’s team a comfortable win over a toothless
Malaga team who have now lost all four home games this season. Just outside the top four, Atletico
Madrid saw off neighbours Getafe with a 2-0 win, despite starting without either Aguero or Forlan
–Simao and Diego Costa getting the goals this time round. The game at the Vicente Calderon
was a rather sombre affair with the fans and players paying tribute to their ex-player Juan Carlos
Arteche, who died earlier this week and Atletico boss Quique Sanchez explained: “we wanted to
win this for his widow and his children and I think we did it in a style he would have recognised
as his too”.
Espanyol break away duck
Mallorca were unbeaten at home and Espanyol without a win on the road, so naturally
enough Pochettino’s team overcame Laudrup’s at the ONO Stadium on Sunday with a 0-1 win
to take them into the UEFA places. Luis Garcia scored a penalty on the half hour, but when Osvaldo
was sent off for the visitors a few minutes later, Mallorca must have fancied their chances of
getting back into the game, Espanyol held out for their first away points of the season though and
now sit a point behind Atletico and one ahead of Seville. Seville’s Gregorio Manzan had
enjoyed a good start since he took over with wins over Atletico Madrid and Dortmund, but on Sunday
they were well beaten by Sporting, with Sangoy and Diego Castro getting the goals in a 2-0 win that
eases Sporting’s own relegation worries and will again sound alarm bells in Seville.
No goals at the Riazor –again!
Deportivo had scored just three times before Sunday’s clash with Osasuna, who
had only scored one more themselves, so it was perhaps no surprise that the two played out a
goalless draw at the Riazor on Sunday. Osasuna’s keeper Ricardo was their hero after the team
played for more than 55 minutes with 10 men following Camu˝as’ red card. The two teams are
set to meet again in the cup in 10 days time and ticket sales for that game won’t have been
boosted by Sunday’s yawnfest, which leaves the two occupying 18th and 19th spots. Only
Zaragoza are below them and their misery continued with a 2-1 defeat in Bilbao, which also included
a sending off for midfielder Pinter. In form Fernando Llorente was again on target for the Basques,
who move up to eighth, a point behind Seville who they visit next week.
Levante and Racing on the up
Levante and Racing both enjoyed important wins over fellow strugglers on Sunday, with Pedro Munitis
rolling back the years in Santander to give Racing a 1-0 win over Almeria, who drop to 17th, whilst
Levante’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad takes them to the heady heights of 12th and was their
fourth game on the run without defeat.