Saturday, June 24, 2017

Atleti clinch thriller as injuries mar Barca & Madrid wins – La Liga Round-Up Week 22

Gill Clark in Editorial, La Liga 14 Feb 2017

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Leaders Real Madrid actually managed a game of football this weekend, seeing off basement boys Osasuna to stay a point clear at the top, with two games in hand. Elsewhere, Barcelona hit Alaves for six, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid snatched late wins and things are hotting up at the bottom. Welcome to week 22.

Griezmann keeps Atletico’s top four hopes alive

Atletico Madrid won the game of the weekend, beating Celta Viga 3-2 in an absolute belter at the Vicente Calderon. The visitors took the lead but a marvellous Fernando Torres overhead kick levelled it. Torres them went from the sublime to the ridiculous, taking the ball off Yannick Carrasco after Atletico had won a penalty before smacking it onto the woodwork. John Guidetti put Celta back ahead with a little over 10 minutes to go and left Atleti heading for a defeat that would leave them in fifth. But this is no ordinary team, this is Diego Simeone’s Atletico remember, and back they roared with two goals in four minutes. Carrasco volleyed the equaliser before Antoine Griezmann, who in truth had had a game to forget, finished off a fine team move. Brilliant stuff.

Illlaramendi screamer stuns Espanyol

If Atletico v Celta won game of the weekend then the best goal goes to Asier Illaramendi with a quite brilliant strike. The former Madrid man picked the ball up near the centre circle before running towards goal and firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner. It was a strike that deserved to win any match, and it certainly won this one, after earlier goals from Carlos Vela and Hernan Perez. Real Sociedad ended the weekend in fifth but are breathing down Atletico’s necks, just a single point behind. The two teams meet at the Vicente Calderon in April, in case you were wondering.

Barca win marred by Vidal injury

Barcelona reclaimed top spot in La Liga for all of three hours on Saturday after thrashing Alaves 6-0. Luis Suarez scored twice, Neymar and Lionel Messi were inevitably also on the scoresheet along with Ivan Rakitic. However, the game was overshadowed by an awful injury to Aleix Vidal who was stretchered off with a dislocated ankle. He won’t play again this season and is expected to be out for five months. Get well soon Aleix.

Madrid make hard work of Osasuna

Vidal’s wasn’t the only horror injury of the weekend with Tano Bonnin suffering a double leg break as Real Madrid beat Osasuna in a game of top versus bottom on Sunday. The visitors struggled initially after being sent out in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 and Bonnin’s injury clearly affected both sets of players for a while. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring but Sergio Leon equalised and it wasn’t until Madrid switched to a 4-4-2 after another injury, this time to Danilo, that they finally found some form and ran out winners thanks to goals from Isco and Lucas Vazquez.

Betis fire blanks against Valencia

Try as they might but Real Betis simply couldn’t find a way past Valencia. The hosts managed to hit the woodwork in each half, through Ruben Castros and Petros, but it simply wasn’t happening for Betis who had to settle for a 0-0.

Last gasp Aduriz leaves it late against Deportivo

Deportivo proved that a rest is not always best as they resumed La Liga action with defeat to Athletic Bilbao. The visitors, who saw last weekend’s match postponed after storms, took the lead but Iker Munian equalised before Aritz Aduriz popped up in the 89th minute to break Depor hearts.

Sporting win six-pointer

Things are really hotting up at the bottom of La Liga and Sporting gave their survival hopes a huge boost with a 2-0 win over Leganes. It wasn’t pretty, these games rarely are, and while Sporting remain in the bottom three they are just a tantalising two points behind Leganes and in sight of salvation.

More frustration for Malaga & Villarreal

Villarreal’s top four hopes are starting to disappear after a disappointing draw with Malaga but in truth it was almost much worse. The visitors, who had led for just four minutes on their travels in the league this season, went ahead through Charles. Malaga also saw an appeal for a penalty appeal turned down in the second half before Villarreal were awarded a spot kick from which Bruno Soriano levelled while Roberto Soriano was sent off as the game ended 1-1. Malaga are now without a win in nine league games – Villarreal are six points off fourth.

Sampaoli’s subs win it for Sevilla

Sevilla inflicted a first home Liga defeat of the season on Las Palmas in a game that failed to live up to its billing. The game looked to be heading for a draw until Sevilla went all route one, Sergio Rico to substitute Vicente Iborra who headed it to, yes you’ve guessed it, substitute, Joaquin Correa who ran through and finished in the 80th minute. The title looks beyond Sevilla, they are now 50/1 to win the league, but they remain just two points behind Barcelona and Sampaoli continues to get it right.

Granada looking doomed

This weekend’s final fixture saw Granada thrashed 4-0 at Eibar on Monday night. Pedro Leon had a hand in three of the goals while Sergi Enrich’s strike means he is now level with Borja Baston as the club’s all-time La Liga goalscorer. The visitors, meanwhile, are now five points off safety and hope is rapidly fading.

All La Liga results week 22

Espanyol 1-2 Real Sociedad

Betis 0-0 Valencia

Alaves 0-6 Barcelona

Athletic 2-1 Deportivo

Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid

Villarreal 1-1 Malaga

Leganes 0-2 Sporting Gijon

Las Palmas 0-1 Sevilla

Atletico 3-2 Celta

Eibar 4-0 Granada

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gill Clark


Gill is a freelance football writer who has spent many years working for Goal, writing and editing news, previews, match reports, ratings, live blogs and just about anything else she can get her hands on.

She now contributes to a variety of online publications, including Soccernews, predominantly covering the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

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