Wednesday, September 20, 2017

La Liga Review: Luis Enrique matches Guardiola record, Modric rescues Madrid

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Feb 2016

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Luis Enrique equalled Pep Guardiola’s best unbeaten run as Barcelona head coach after the Spanish champions won 2-0 at Levante on Sunday.

David Navarro deflected Jordi Alba’s cross into his own net but La Liga’s bottom club battled bravely against Barca, with Jose Luis Morales rattling the post after beating Claudio Bravo.

Lionel Messi had a goal disallowed for offside but Barca ultimately clinched the win in stoppage time thanks to Luis Suarez’s fine finish, ensuring Luis Enrique could celebrate his 100th game in charge with a victory.

Barca have now gone 28 games without defeat, drawing them level with the record set by Guardiola’s side in the 2010-11 season.

Real Madrid looked set to lose more ground to the leaders in the title race until a stunning strike from Luka Modric gave them a 2-1 win against Granada.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring at Los Carmenes but substitute Youssef El-Arabi netted a deserved equaliser for the home side in the second half.

Madrid had looked flat for much of the match and Granada twice had the ball in the net only to be denied by the offside flag, however Modric rifled home the winner from 25 yards to move Zinedine Zidane’s side back to within four points of Barca, having played a game more.

Pressure is mounting on Valencia boss Gary Neville after his side suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Real Betis.

The former Manchester United captain saw his team humiliated at Camp Nou during the week in a 7-0 Copa del Rey thrashing against Barcelona, and a goal from Ruben Castro gave Betis their first win in 13 matches.

Neville has now failed to win any of his nine league games in charge and Valencia are now just four points off the bottom three.

Federico Fazio had a second Sevilla debut to forget, though his side did hold on for a 1-1 draw away to fellow European hopefuls Celta Vigo.

The centre-back returned to his old club on loan from Tottenham last month but was sent off for two yellow cards after just 25 minutes at Balaidos.

Daniel Carrico snatched the lead for the visitors just before the break but Claudio Beauvue scored his first goal for Celta to seal a share of the spoils in the second period, meaning Eduardo Berizzo’s side remain seventh, two points behind Sevilla in fifth.

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