Tag Archives: Sevilla

Shock wins for Tenerife, Valladolid and Xerez- La Liga Midweek Round-up

The bottom three in La Liga all pulled off impressive wins on Matchday 32, as each side battles to preserve their Primera Division status, coming into the final few fixtures of the campaign.

With only six games remaining Tenerife, Valladolid and Xerez all picked up another three points in their bid for survival and now the gap between Malaga in 17th and Tenerife in 18th stands at just three points, giving a few other sides above them a cause for concern.

Xerez, who have hit a good run of form in recent weeks by picking up 11 points from their last six games, continued their purple patch by upsetting Europa League semi-finalists Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home with goals from Mario Bermejo and Emiliano Armenteros.

Tenerife scored two late goals to win 2-0 away at Sporting Gijon, and now look the more likely out of the three to survive.

Valladolid saw off out of sorts Sevilla 2-1 at the Jose Zorrilla, thanks to strikes from Diego Castro and Manucho, with Cala’s stunning 25-yard strike coming to late to salvage anything for the visitors.

Sevilla are now going to face a struggle to claim fourth place, with Mallorca a point clear of them following a 1-1 draw at Zaragoza.

At the top Barcelona remain three points clear of Real Madrid after coasting to a 3-0 victory over Deportivo at the Nou Camp, with Pedro scoring the pick of the goals from 40 yards. Real also won their fixture, but made hard work of it as they overcame Almeria 2-1, with Cristiano Ronaldo on the score sheet with a brilliant solo effort.

Meanwhile Valencia strengthened their case for third spot with an easy 2-0 over Athletic Bilbao at the Mestalla.

Elsewhere Malaga and Osasuna played out an exciting 2-2 draw, Racing Santander beat Espanyol 3-1 and Getafe brushed aside Villarreal 3-0.

Barca steam past Real/Weekend La Liga Round-Up

Barcelona returned the top of the Primera Division, with a brilliant 2-0 victory away to bitter rivals Real Madrid, in the eagerly awaited “El Gran Clasico” clash on matchday 31.

Pep Guardiola’s side are now three points clear of Real, thanks to goals either side of half time from Lionel Messi and Pedro. They now also have the upper hand on Real in terms of the two sides’ head-to-head record, which is practically worth another point if the teams end the season locked at the top.

It looks unlikely that that will be the case though, as Barcelona are in unstoppable form of late, and if recent performances are anything to go by, there is not a single side on the planet that can stop them, let alone in La Liga.

It was a disappointing show from Real, especially considering the run of form that they carried into the game, and it will be interesting to see the fall-out, should they not go on now to win the league title. I, as many do, expect Manuel Pelligrini to be shown the door as manager at the end of the season, and believe that the Real board will now chase Jose Mourinho as their next coach. It will be interesting to see how things develop at the Bernabeu during the summer months.

Aside from the top two, the battle for fourth place continues to intensify. There were wins for 4th, 5th and 6th place, as Sevilla, Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao all secured three points in tough fixtures.

Sevilla came from behind to win 2-1 away to Malaga thanks to second half strikes from Cala and Lolo, whilst Mallorca produced an impressive performance to overcome third placed Valencia 3-2 at ONO Estadi.

Athletic Bilbao were emphatic in their victory over Almeria at San Mames, beating their mid-table opposition 4-1 and also missing a penalty in the process. Javier Martinez struck twice, with Igor Gabilondo and Fernando Llorente grabbing the others, as Bilbao bounced back from their drubbing at the Nou Camp a week earlier, to keep up the heat on their nearest rivals.

There was yet more misery for the bottom three, as Tenerife and Valladolid played out a 0-0 draw that will do neither of them any favours, and Xerez’s recent revival ended with a 1-0 defeat at home to Getafe, thanks to a strike from Rafa Lopez.

Atletico Madrid looked to be suffering from a European hangover, following their victory over Valencia in the Europa League, as they were soundly beaten away to Espanyol 3-0.

Deportivo were held 1-1 at home to Racing Santander, whilst Osasuna beat Zaragoza 2-0 and Villarreal edged past Sporting Gijon 1-0.

Title race still too close to call/ Weekend La Liga Round-up

Anything you can do, we can do better. Or exactly the same as it would seem in La Liga, after matchday 29 on which the two giants Real Madrid and Barcelona won their respective games by the same amount of goals for the fourth consecutive week.

The sides, seperated only by Real’s superior goal difference, once again swept aside their opposition and remain locked on points heading into the business end of the season. The two meet on April 10th at the Bernabeu in a clash which is almost certainly going to go a long way into determining the destination of the La Liga crown this season. Unlike the Premier League, if sides are locked on points at the end of the season in Spain then the title is decided by the head to head record of the clubs involved from that season. Having lost 1-0 at the Nou Camp in the reverse fixture, it is vital that Real Madrid win the game with so little to to choose between the two and the chances of finishing joint on points with Barcelona looking all the more likely.

Real overcame their bitter rivals Atletico Madrid 3-2 on Sunday, but did had to overcome an early scare as Jose Antonio Reyes gave Atletico an early lead. The league leaders hit back thanks to goals from Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa and Gonzalo Higuain, before a Diego Forlan penalty ensured a tense finale to the Madrid derby.

The game of the weekend came in Monday’s clash, as Athletic Bilbao beat Racing Santander 4-3 to move within two points of fourth place. The two sides played out a thriller at San Mames, with the in-form Fernando Llorente again amongst the goals for the home side, scoring twice. The goal of the game came from Racing’s Ivan Bolado, scoring a spectacular over-head kick for one of his two strikes.

Barcelona kept the pressure up on Real as they won 1-0 away to Mallorca, thanks to a goal from Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, who is starting to find his form again in recent games. It was an impressive win for the champions as they were on the back foot for much of the clash and had the woodwork and keeper Victor Valdes to thank for not falling behind in the first-half.

Sevilla and Deportivo both had their European hopes dashed with crushing defeats. Sevilla, who seem have hit the self-destruct button in recent weeks following their Champion’s League exit and sacking of their coach, were soundly beaten 3-0 away to Villarreal. Getafe took Deportivo apart with a resounding 3-1 victory in the Riazor, restoring their own hopes of a late push for Europe.

At the bottom end, Xerez’s recent revival of late continued as they took their tally to seven points in a week with a 3-0 win at home to Valladolid. Having beaten third bottom Tenerife last week, the bottom side beat the team directly above them and have moved to within seven points of Real Zaragoza who lie in 17th.

Zaragoza scored a massive victory in their own race to survive, as they upset third placed Valencia with a 3-0 win at home on Saturday night, moving four points clear of the drop zone.

Tenerife could only manage a point as they were held 1-1 away to Malaga. In the two dead rubbers in mid-table, Walter Pandiani scored the winner for Osasuna as they beat Almeria 1-0, whilst Espanyol and Sporting Gijon played out a dull 0-0 draw.

Aragones snubs Sevilla post

Former Spain coach Luis Aragones has rejected the advances of Sevilla to take over the reigns at the stuttering La Liga giants.

Assistant manager Antonio Alvarez has been put in temporary charge of the side until the end of the season, as they look to end their seven match run without a win away at Villarreal.

Alvarez takes over from the departing Manolo Jimenez who was sacked after another poor display as Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Xerez on Tuesday night.

Midweek La Liga Round-up

There is still nothing to choose between the top two in La Liga, after Real Madrid and Barcelona both recorded comfortable wins in midweek. There was also a managerial casualty in the Primera Division, as Sevilla sacked coach Manolo Jimenez, following a string a poor results in recent weeks, including their Champion’s League exit to CSKA Moscow and culminating in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Xerez.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain both scored twice as Real comfortably overcame Getafe 4-2 away from home. The league leaders raced into a four goal lead with just 37 minutes played, with a trademark Ronaldo free-kick opening the scoring, before two close range efforts from the Argentinian Higuain, before his Portuguese team-mate struck the fourth with a great solo effort. The home side replied twice, once either side of half-time, but the game was already over as a contest long before they did.

Barcelona finally overcame a stubborn Osasuna at the Nou Camp 2-0 through goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Bojan. It took 73 minutes for the champions to break the deadlock, as good link up play between Andres Iniesta and Pedro, released Maxwell down the left whose low cross was tapped in from close range by the big Swedish striker. Iniesta was again the architect in the 89th minute, as this time Bojan scored from six yards after meeting the Spaniards through ball.

David Villa reinforced Valencia’s lead over fourth place, as he scored the only goal in their 1-0 victory over Malaga at the Mestella. He scored from six yards, after 12 minutes as he turned Juan Mata’s cutback into the net. Real Mallorca failed to move further clear of Sevilla in the race for fourth, as they were held to a 0-0 draw away to Racing Santander.

Atletico Madrid put a dent in Athletic Bilbao’s European hopes with a 2-0 victory at the Vincente Calderon. Goals from Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero sealed the three points. Atletico will thank their young keeper David De Gea however, after he produced a string of top saves in the first half to thwart the visitors.

Tenerife were dealt a hammer blow in their hopes for survival as Giuseppe Rossi equalised two minutes from time for Villarreal, as the two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Nilmar gave the away side the lead before Tenerife turned the game on its head to lead 2-1, before Rossi’s late leveller.

Real Zaragoza were also pegged back in the relegation scrap as they were beaten 1-0 away to Almeria. Nigerian striker Kalu Uche met Pablo Piatti’s through ball to convert and wrap up the victory.

Elsewhere Sporting Gijon beat Deportivo 2-1 and Valladolid and Espanyol played out a boring 0-0 draw.

Barca sole survivors for Spain, as Sevilla crash out

Sevilla were dumped out the Champion’s League last night by CSKA Moscow 3-2 on aggregate, leaving reigning World and European champions Barcelona as the country’s sole surviving club in the competition.

Goals from Tomas Necid and Keisuke Honda free-kick, gifted by a mistake from Andres Palop, sandwiched a close range strike from Diego Perotti as the Russian side sent Manolo Jimenez’s man tumbling out of the competition.

It has a been a disappointing show from Spanish sides other than Barca in recent years in Europe’s elite competition, with Real Madrid already on the scrapheap after their defeat to Lyon last week and Atletico demoted into the Europa League after their 3rd placed finish in the group stages.

Barcelona had no such problems progressing, after being dominated for large periods of the first leg at the Gottleib Daimler Stadion, they took Stuttgart apart at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night with a 4-0 victory and look well on course for the Bernabeu final on 22nd May.

They remain favourites for the big trophy, but you have to feel that overall it has been a very mixed showing from Spanish sides in the competition this season, especially with the side Real spent vast sums to assemble over the summer months falling so short of the finish.

I would partly put it down to poor defending.

The La Liga sides no longer have the impressive backlines of previous years gone by and away from home have looked somewhat fragile. Other than Barca, who tend to defend from midfield due to wealth of talent they possess through their central and wide positions, questions can be posed of all of the other sides competing in Europe as to the abilities to win ugly and grind out results away from home.

Real Madrid spent in excess of £200 million last summer, bringing in a wealth of talent in attack. In my opinion they have failed to build a team from the back, similar to what they did with the last line-up of galacticos at the turn of the millenium, and because of this should re-think their spending strategies in the next window if they wish to achieve continental success. The likes of Sergio Ramos and Raul Albiol have not performed well enough and as shown against Lyon, if their strikers misfire then Madrid can be exposed.

Atletico and Sevilla cannot be placed in the same bracket of expectancy as the other two but their supporters would still expect a better showing with one falling out of the group stages even though they have one of the brightest stars in football, Sergio Aguero at their disposal, and the latter falling at first knockout stage to the unfancied CSKA Moscow.

In the Europa League, Atletico and Valencia both look unlikely to progress having both only mustered draws in their home legs and facing tough trips to Sporting and Werder Bremen respectively.

You can’t help but feel that if La Liga still considers itself to be the top domestic league in European football, then a few more of their representatives are going to have to start dominating on the big stage once more.

Saturday’s La Liga Round-Up

It was a night of spurned opportunities in La Liga as none of the sides chasing the fourth Champion’s League spot were able to take maximum points and crank up the pressure on Valencia ahead of their trip to the Nou Camp tomorrow night.

Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Deportivo La Coruna. The hosts took the lead after 20 minutes through Federico Fazio, who guided a header from a Diego Perotti free-kick past Depor keeper Daniel Aranzubia, who despite getting a palm to it, could not keep the ball out. Just three minutes later though, the visitors drew level. Adrian snuck in at the near post to sidefoot home a low cross from Andres Guardado, beyond Andres Palop. Perotti was a continued threat for Sevilla, with his cross in the 27th minute beating everyone including en-rushing team mate Alvaro Negredo, before agonisingly coming back out off the foot of the post. Some crucial stops from the impressive Aranzubia capped a frustrating night for Sevilla. Substitute Luis Fabiano, who had been expected to miss the game through injury, saw his superb header cannon back off of the crossbar on the hour mark, and it proved to be as close as any side would come to an equaliser on the night. The result will leave both hoping that Barcelona can see off Los Che on Sunday, which if home form is anything to go by, they should do with ease.

Getafe brushed aside fellow Europe chasing hopefuls Mallorca with ease, as they put a run of six games without a win to an end with a 3-0 victory at Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Daniel Parejo gave Getafe the lead on 32 minutes, heading Jaime Gavilan’s cross into the roof of the net from close range. Mallorca rarely threatened the home side and will have to extinguish their horrific away form this season if they are to have any chance of fulfilling their aspirations. The Balearic Island side have mustered just two wins on the road all season. Their night got worse ten minutes from time as substitute Miku made an immediate impact scoring with a low shot on 80 minutes. In the 85th minute captain Nunes was sent-off for handling on the line during a goal mouth scramble, as Getafe chased their third. Substitute Manu converted the ensuing penalty to wrap up the three points and boost Getafe’s own European spot credentials.

In the evening’s other fixture, Sporting Gijon and Athletic Bilbao served up a 0-0 stalemate, largely thanks to an impressive display from home stopper Juan Pablo Colinas. The Spaniard not only denied Igor Gabilondo with a 59th minute penalty save, but also produced a number of top class stops to frustrate the visitors. Bilbao missed an opportunity to leap over Deportivo into sixth and draw level with Mallorca, with them having succumbed to defeat in the earlier game. Fenando Llorente and Javier Martinez both also saw decent efforts clawed away by Juan Pablo, whilst Sporting’s best chance of the night fell to Diego Castro Gimenez, whose attempt was turned off the line by Carlos Gurpegui.

All in all it was an entertaining night’s action in the race for fourth, and all attention will now turn the battles at the top and foot of the table in Sunday’s key clashes, with Real and Barca in action at the summit and a six-pointer between Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza down at the bottom.