The weekend is officially over and there were very little surprises in terms of results. Barcelona continued to win while rivals Real Madrid bounced back against Valencia and Atlético Madrid fell to Levante in Valencia.
Levante welcomed Atlético to the Cuitat de Valencia to kick-off the weekend. Levante prior to this had not beaten Atlético in a league match since 2004 and that would all change come the end of 90 minutes. Nano got the home team off to a flyer, three minutes into the match when he headed home the ball just meters from the mouth of the goal. Levante continued to pressure the away team and created some guilt-edge opportunities but De Gea was equal to them. However, Levante would get their security goal in the 59th minute via Caicedo. A mistake in the back by the Atlético defence saw Juanlu latch on to a sloppy restart and slotted a well weighted pass into the path of Caicedo who one times it into the back of the net.
Due to an air strike in Spain this weekend league leaders Barcelona almost missed their match against Osasuna because of a mix up between the RFEF and Barcelona who were told by the RFEF that their match would have been postponed to Sunday but instead were told at the last minute that it would go on as scheduled. Despite getting to Pamplona just in time for kick-off los culés managed to secure a comfortable 3-0 victory with two late goals coming from Messi. It took the Catalans a little while to get into their rhythm but they managed to get the breakthrough in the 26th minute when Messi toe-poked a ball into the path of Pedro who managed to beat the offside trap and slot a low finish into the back of the net. It would remain that way until the 65th minute when the little Argentine got on to the end of a Villa through ball and slotted the ball home for the 2nd of the night. In the 83rd minute Barcelona was awarded penalty after Sergio bundled over Messi in the area and the little Argentine stepped up and coolly slotted the ball pass Ricardo for number 3. An all in all easy victory for the Catalans despite their late arrival and subsequent 50 minute delay before kick-off.
The last match on Saturday saw Real Madrid welcome Valencia into the Bernabéu. It was a closely contested match that saw some horrendous finishing on the night and had it not been for a 2nd yellow to Albelda it may have been a different match. However, a brace from Portuguese captain, Ronaldo gave los blancos a much needed win. Valencia’s 3rd string goalkeeper, Guaita had a magnificent night coming up big on a few occasions to keep Madrid at bay but was eventually beaten in the 73rd minute when Özil found Ronaldo on the left of the box with a brilliant through ball that the Portuguese rifled pass the keeper leaving him with no chance at stopping it. In the 87th minute, Ronaldo would do it again for the home team but this time with a tremendous individual effort, carrying the ball from midfield where he baffled Ricardo Costa with a few step-overs and rifled the ball into the net to seal the win for Real Madrid.
Nilmar handed Villarreal a narrow win over Sevilla in the 30th minute when he got on to the end of a Rossi pass to round the keeper and slot the ball home for the game winner. Racing Santander’s travelling woes continued Sunday evening when they fell 4-1 to 18th place Málaga. Eliseu got the home team off the mark in the 28th minute and Recio doubled the lead in the 43rd minute. However, Racing would pull a goal back on the stroke of half time but that would not spark a comeback for the away side and in the second half, Rondón would score two in the space of three minutes to put the game out of reach. Despite going a man down, Espanyol managed to continue their perfect home record as they handed Sporting Gijón their 4th consecutive defeat in a 1-0 victory, Luis García with the game’s only goal. Both Almería and Real Zaragoza continue to be winless at home and on the road respectively as they played to a 1-1 draw. Gabi gave the away team the lead in the 67th minute from the penalty spot but Almería’s Piatti cancelled that out with a goal in the 78th minute.
Getafe continued their hold on Mallorca at the Coliseum Sunday night when they recorded an easy 3-0 victory. Pedro Ríos scored a brace in the first half, one of which was a beauty from the edge of the box. Parejo rounded out the scoring in the 79th minute after a beautiful build up by the hosts. Real Sociedad claimed the first Basque derby of the season, securing a 2-0 win over rivals, Athletic Bilbao. It was a very tightly contested match and could have gone either way but a penalty call against Atheltic’s San José for handball gave the home team the opportunity to go one up which Prieto stepped up to take and finished easily, despite having to take it twice. Things would get worse for the away team and San José in the 49th minute when he knocked the ball into his own net after attempting to clear a low cross into the box from Prieto. Deportivo met Hércules on Monday night at El Riazor, and it took until the 72nd minute for the game to have it’s first and only goal, falling to the Galicians via Lassad who tapped the ball into an empty after a freekick was nodded back into his path. The home team had to withstand a tide of wave from the away team after going up a goal but coped well and earned the much needed 3 points that will see them climb above both Hércules and Osasuna into 12th place.
At the end of the match day the top and bottom of the table is relatively unchanged. Barcelona continue to be leaders of the pack on 37 points with Real Madrid coming in 2 points behind them in 2nd. Villarreal continues to sit in 3rd place, 7 points behind the league leaders while Espanyol sits in 4th place on 28 points and Valencia remains in the top 5 on 24 points for another week despite their loss at the hands of Real Madrid. Sporting Gijón fell into the drop zone after picking up their 4th consecutive loss while the draw between both Almería and Zaragoza keeps both teams in 19th and 20th respectively.