Spanish League Round Up Week 9
If Seville, Valencia, Atletico and maybe Villarreal were supposed to threaten the big two in La Liga this season, this weekendĺs results have put such hopes very much into context as none of them, nor indeed fifth placed Espanyol, managed a win.
Whilst Barša and Real Madrid, who won 1-3 at Hercules, continue to step on the gas up front, the
challenge from the other supposed big clubs stuttered to a halt with Atletico Madrid and Valencia
both being held to home draws, Villarreal failing to beat Sporting in Gijon and Seville, well ,
Seville were just taken apart at the Nou Camp on Saturday. Even Espanyol, who’d gone into
their game against bottom club Deportivo with the chance of taking a Champions League spot, failed
miserably, going down 3-0 at the Riazor.
Good October for big two
Barša won three of their four league games in October, with only the draw against Mallorca
not ending in the three points coming to the Nou Camp whilst Madrid won all four . In the same
period, Villarreal drew two and won two, Seville lost two and won two, Valencia won just once,
drawing once and losing two games, whilst Atletico Madrid lost two games, drew one and won one.
Espanyol’s defeat in La Coru˝a was their second in October, though they did win the other two
games they played last month. Real Madrid are now top on 23 points, just a point ahead of Barša,
with Villarreal on 20, Espanyol 17 and Seville and Atletico Madrid way back on 14 points.
Lanzaro on target at both ends
Real Madrid came back from an early Trezeguet strike –the Frenchman’s fifth for
Hercules in the league this season – with goals from Di Maria and two from Ronaldo, who leads
the goalscorers table with 11, to take the points in Alicante. Valencia also played on Saturday,
but again disappointed with a 1-1 draw against then bottom club Zaragoza, who’ve still yet to
record a win and played the last 30 minutes with just 10 men. Zaragoza’s Lanzaro was hero and
villain for his team, putting them ahead after just three minutes, then heading past his own keeper
for Valencia’s equaliser a minute before half time.
Late penalty equaliser for Villarreal
Villarreal played on Sunday and the pressure of knowing Barša and Madrid had won proved too
much for them as they could only draw 1-1 against Sporting. Both goals came from penalties, with
Diego Castro putting the hosts one up on 68 minutes and Rossi scoring a last gasp injury time
equaliser after Villarreal had been reduced to 10 men following Gonzalo’s second yellow on 76
minutes. Atletico Madrid were also unable to do better than take a point, held 1-1 at home by
Almeria. Kun Aguero put Atletico ahead on the half hour, but Almeria drew level on half time with a
goal from Piatti. With a trip to the Bernabeu for the Madrid derby next week, Quique
Sanchez’s team are in real danger of slipping out of the European places.
Deportivo finally win
Espanyol continue to frustrate their fans on the road and although hopes had been lifted by
the win in Mallorca, Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to then bottom club Deportivo was a sobering
experience. Deportivo had only managed three goals in the previous eight league games, but they saw
off Espanyol with Adrian Lopez, Lopo and Colotto giving them their first win of the season and the
hope that they may fight their way out of the relegation spots.
Racing did manage to get out of the bottom three after an impressive 4-1 thrashing of Osasuna
with two goals from the Swedish striker Rosenberg, whilst Malaga dropped into third from bottom,
level with Deportivo on seven points, after a home defeat to Real Sociedad. This was the
Basques’ first away win of the season and rounded off a successful month in which
they’ve taken nine points from twelve to haul themselves up into mid-table.