Another week in La Liga and more wins for Real Madrid and Barcelona although neither side looked particularly convincing in their last league outing before next weekend’s Clasico at the Bernabeu.
Madrid leave it late at Sporting
Real Madrid were once again without their infamous BBC and very nearly came unstuck at struggling Sporting on Saturday. Duje Cop stunned the visitors by volleying home the opener on 14 minutes before Isco curled home a brilliant equaliser just three minutes later. Sporting were simply refusing to read the script though and five minutes into the second half Madrid went behind again, Mikel Vesga heading past Kiko Casilla. Alvaro Morata swiftly restored parity with his 13th league goal of the season and Madrid then looked all set to go on and win it, but with added time approaching and the scores still level, things were getting very nervy indeed. Enter Isco who grabbed his second of the afternoon, and all three points, by firing home a low shot in the 90th minute. He now has six goals and two assists in his last eight Liga starts and is surely far to good to remain a bit-part player.
Barca stutter past Real Sociedad
Fresh from defeats to Malaga and Juventus, Barcelona welcomed Real Sociedad knowing they had to win or face the title race being over before next weekend’s Clasico. Fortunately they have Lionel Messi and once again he did not disappoint, fizzing home the opener before bundling home his second to leave his side 2-0 up after 37 minutes, just his 497th and 498th Barcelona goals. It looked very much game over but a Samuel Umtiti own goal reduced the deficit before Paco Alacer quickly made it 3-1 just seconds before the break. However, there was still time for more drama before the half-time whistle, Xabi Prieto calmly finishing a quick break to make it 3-2. A visibly tiring Barcelona found it tough going after the break, with the visitors remarkably dominating possession at Camp Nou but somehow hung on to remain three points behind Madrid, 4/1 to win La Liga, and with a visit to the Bernabeu up next in the league.
No Griezmann, no problem for Atletico
Atletico Madrid gave Antoine Griezmann the afternoon off but still managed to put three past bottom side Osasuna and miss two penalties. Yannick Carrasco fired home the opener before heading home a second just after half-time. Filipe Luis then scored his third goal in his last five games to make it 3-0. Carrasco ought to have had a hat-trick but saw Salvatore Sirigu save his 88th minute penalty with the goalkeeper repeating his heroics two minutes later, denying Thomas Partey from the spot. Diego Simeone’s side have now missed six of their eight Liga penalties this season, more than any other side.
Tony Adams’ debut ends in defeat
Eyebrows were raised throughout the football word when Tony Adams was appointed Granada manager and swiftly went about revamping his squad by bringing in erm, Nigel Reo-Coker and Kieran Richardson. Despite Granada having been in the drop zone for 27 weeks the former Arsenal man had high hopes for his first game in charge, particularly with Celta having been in Europa League action on Thursday and having made 10 changes for the trip to Granada. However, the hosts were comfortably beaten 3-0, Jozabed producing a sensational chip to make it 1-0 before Marcelo Diaz curled home a lovely free kick to double the lead deep into the second half. Claude Beauvue then tapped home the third after Theo Bongonda’s shot had hit the post leaving Adams to rue a painful defeat. Granada remain seven points from safety with six games left. You do the math.
Sevilla still struggling
Jorge Sampaoli’s side are still to rediscover their fine form of earlier this season and were held to a 0-0 draw by an improving Valencia at Mestalla. Sevilla still look fairly certain to finish in fourth but will need to improve with just one win in their last eight games in all competitions.
Athletic into sixth after thrashing Las Palmas
Athletic enjoyed a huge win on Friday sticking five past Las Palmas in a superb attacking display. Goals from Mikel San Jose and Iker Munian had the hosts 2-0 up inside 10 minutes and although Pedro Bigas pulled one back, Aritz Aduriz responded quickly to make it 3-1 with just 18 minutes on the clock. Munian and Aduriz then both grabbed their second within just a minute of each other to make it five wins from their last seven games.
Brilliant Baptistao breaks Leganes hearts
Struggling Leganes looked to have held out for a point against Espanyol until Leo Baptistao popped up to snatch a late victory. There were just seconds left on the clock when the Brazilian lobbed home the winner at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.
Betis halt Eibar’s charge
Eibar’s run of three wins in a row was brought to a halt by Betis who took less than two minutes to open the scoring through Jonas Martin’s header. Eibar battled to get back into it but Betis made the points safe late on with Dani Ceballos scoring on the break to seal a 2-0 win.
Deportivo down Malaga
It was an unhappy Easter for Malaga who were beaten at Deportivo thanks to second-half goals from Joselu and Pedro Mosquera leaving Michel to complain of a lack of passion from his side.
Villarreal slip to Alaves defeat
Villarreal missed the chance to close the gap on Sevilla with a 2-1 defeat at Alaves to round off the matchweek on Monday night. Ibai Gómez fired the hosts in front before Rodrigo Ely headed home the second right on half-time. Cedric Bakambu grabbed one back but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
La Liga Week 32 Results
Athletic Bilbao 5-1 Las Palmas
Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 Malaga
Sporting Gijon 2-3 Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Osasuna
Barcelona 3-2 Real Sociedad
Leganes 0-1 Espanyol
Valencia 0-0 Sevilla
Real Betis 2-0 Eibar
Granada 0-3 Celta Vigo
Alaves 2-1 Villarreal
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