Tag Archives: Valladolid

Real close gap at top- Weekend Round-Up

Real Madrid close the gap at the top of La Liga to just one point, following their 2-0 win over Valencia and Barcelona’s 0-0 draw in Saturday’s catalan derby with Espanyol at the Nou Camp.

Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo either side of half time proved enough for Real to overcome Valencia, and give themselves a strong chance of winning the title just a week on from “El Clasico” disappointment, as Barca still have to negotiate tough trips to Villarreal and Sevilla in the run-in.

With five games remaining, Barca will have to re-discover their recent hot run of form against bottom side Xerez this weekend, which deserted them during the bore draw with Espanyol on Saturday.

Malaga now sit just one point above the relegation zone, as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to fellow strugglers Valladolid, whilst Tenerife below them scored an impressive 3-2 victory over Getafe.

Bottom side Xerez held Racing Santander to a 2-2 draw, as they continued their good run of form, which is likely to have come just too late to dig them out of trouble.

In the race for fourth, Sevilla took apart Sporting Gijon 3-0, thanks to goals from Freddie Kanoute, Luis Fabiano and Cala. They are one point behind Mallorca, who beat Osasuna 2-0 on Monday night and still hold the initiative for the fourth Champion’s League spot.

Villarreal beat a jaded Atletico Madrid 2-1, as the Madrid side now look to have sacrificed any league form they once had for their Europa League campaign, with a semi-final against Liverpool coming up this week.

The other two Primera Division clashes didn’t set the pulse racing, with a 0-0 draw between Deportivo and Almeria, and another goal-shy clash, this time involving Athletic Bilbao and Real Zaragoza.

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.

Sunday’s La Liga Round-Up

Goal difference is still all there is to choose between the two at the top, as Barcelona swept aside Valencia 3-0 at the Nou Camp, whilst Real Madrid ran out 4-1 winners away to Valladolid.

Lionel Messi continued his assualt towards the La Liga golden boot with a hat-trick for the Catalan giants. After an evenly contested first-half, Pep Guardiola replaced the dissapointing Bojan, who started in place of the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovich, with Thierry Henry whose impact changed the course of the game. Messi’s first on 56 minutes however, was all down to indivdual brilliance. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, the World Player of the Year glided past three Valencia defenders, leaving them in his wake as he smased a low drive beyond Cesar. Maxwell immediately after had a goal ruled out offside, before at the other end Valencia substitute Nikola Zigic was denied byVictor Valdes when one-on-one with the keeper. Moments later it proved costly as Hedwiges Maduro sithed down Messi for his second yellow card as Barca wen on to make use of the numerical advantage. In the 81st minute,Messi latched on to a brilliant cross-field pass from Henry, controlling the ball beautifully before hitting a grea curling shot into the net. On 83 minutes, the hat-trick was complete. Another sublime pass from the Frenchman was met by Messi, who this time slid the ball under the keeper to wrap up the three points.

It was another Argetine who stole the show in the other clash at the top, as Real Madrid won 4-1 away to Valladolid to stay on top of the pile. Gonzalo Higuain hit a hat-trick along with a strike from Cristiano Ronaldo to seal the win. Real took the lead after 28 minutes as Ronaldo’s free-kick was deflected high into the net past the despairing dive of Justo Villar. Higuain then added two goals of his own either side of the interval. His first came on the stroke of half-time as he met a cross from the left from Rafael Van Der Vaart to side foot home from close range. His second came after 53 minutes as he met a headed pass from Ronaldo with a placed finish into the bottom corner. Valladolid were briefly back in the contest just six minutes later, as a save from Iker Casillas hit the legs of his own defender Raul Albiol and ended up back in the corne of the Madrid net. It did not last long though as in the 65th minute Higuain completed the scoring, getting the final touch on a Ronaldo cross shot to fire past Villar once more.

It was a stalemate in the battle at the bottom as Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw. It was largely thanks to an impressive string of saves from Racing keeper Fabio Coltorti as Zaragoza got the better of a scrappy affair but were unable to make their chances count.

Tenerife improved their own chances of avoiding the drop with a fine 4-1 victory at home to Espanyol. A brace from Juan Francisco Martinez and goals from Ricardo Richi and Alfaro did the damage with Verdu hitting the reply for the visitors.

Villarreal kept up their challenge for a Europa League spot as they overcame bottom side Xerez, who are edging ever closer to the drop. Goals from Joseba Llorente and Damian Escudero in either half inflicted the defeat on the La Liga strugglers.

In Sunday’s other game Almeria got the better of fierce local rivals Malaga thanks to a goal from Fernando Soriano, to move the home side up into tenth and keep the visitors in trouble down at the Primera Division basement.

Video highlights of Sunday’s games can be found here http://www.101greatgoals.com/higuain-hat-trick-lifts-real-madrid-back-to-top-of-la-liga-messi-hat-trick-leads-barca-past-valencia-villarreal-almeria-tenerife-win-at-home/50328/

Kaka missing for league leaders Real

Real Madrid will be without Brazilian star Kaka for Sunday’s trip to Valladolid after he strained¬† a leg muscle in training this week.

Real head into the game as league leaders and will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing Champion’s League exit to Porto in midweek, but will have to do so without one of their most influential players after Kaka did not travel with Manuel Pellegrini’s squad on Saturday.

Pellegrini indicated in Saturday’s press conference that he felt the former World Player of the Year is still trying to adjust to life in Spain, after some poor performances in recent weeks have led to some heavy criticism from the somewhat expectant Spanish media.

“He is adapting to a new league and has all of my support. He has provided a good number of goals and assists.” said Pellegrini.

“He is and example as a person and a professional, even if we know that he can still give more to the team.”

Chilean boss Pellegrini has come under fire this week after Wednesday’s shock European exit. You feel that if history is anything to go by with the way in which Real tend to enjoy chopping and changing their managers, then the man who spent in excess of ¬£200 million last summer on new arrivals has to deliver the La Liga title if he is to avoid the axe.

Pellegrini spoke defiantly on Saturday however, insisting that he and his side will give their all to make sure that this season ends successfully.

The Chilean added: “At Real Madrid you go from glory to despair very quickly. I have absolute conviction about what I am doing. We are on the right path, the team is playing well and we are playing in a style that the fans like.”