Thursday, March 23, 2017

Madrid back on top as Barca slip up – La Liga Round-up Week 27

Gill Clark in Editorial, La Liga 14 Mar 2017

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Ramos rescues Madrid again. Image via Marca

Another week, another Sergio Ramos winner and Real Madrid are back on top of La Liga again after Barcelona suffered an almighty Champions League hangover against Deportivo. Meanwhile, there is a growing gap at the bottom, with six points now separating the bottom three from the rest.

Espanyol edge seven-goal thriller

The weekend kicked off with another belter in Barcelona as Espanyol beat Las Palmas in a Friday night goalfest. Twice the hosts took the lead and twice Mauricio Lemos equalised before a Pablo Piatti penalty and a Jose Manuel Jurado strike won the game despite Mateo Garcia’s late goal.

Barcelona beaten at Depor

Barcelona lost top spot after a shocker at Deportivo, going down 2-1 just three days after pulling off the greatest comeback in Champions League history. There was no Neymar or Rafinha for the visitors while Andres Iniesta, Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic were all benched and it showed. Joselu opened the scoring and although Luis Suarez levelled they went ahead again through an Alex Bergantinos header. That’s his third Liga goal against Barca and he’s only scored four goals in his entire career. Barca pressed but it was the hosts who came closest to scoring again with Fayçal Fajr missing a great chance in stoppage time. Barca may still be in the Champions League but this was a big blow to their Liga hopes – they’re now 2/1 to win the title. Pepe Mel, meanwhile, is still unbeaten as Depor coach.

Ramos heads Madrid back on top

Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona’s slip up to snatch top spot back from their rivals and it was Sergio Ramos who yet again won the game for los Blancos. However, there was controversy at the Bernabeu, goalkeeper Keylor Navas lucky to stay on the pitch after flying out and flattening Darko Brasanac only for the referee to wave play on much to Betis’ disbelief. Navas was then in the spotlight again on 25 minutes allowing Antonio Sanabria’s shot to squirm under his body and concede the first own goal by a goalkeeper in La Liga this season. Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for Madrid, his first ever goal against Betis would you believe, before that man Ramos headed home again for his 10th goal of the season.

Sevilla slip up again

Sevilla end the weekend five points behind Real Madrid having played a game more and with their titles hopes almost over after a damaging draw with Leganes. The strugglers went ahead after just three minutes – their fast ever Liga goal – thanks to a nifty backheel from Gabriel. Nabil El Zhar should have doubled their lead but Sevilla rallied with Stevan Jovetic sliding home an equaliser just before the break.

Atletico tighten grip on fourth

Atletico Madrid remain four points clear of Villarreal in fourth after a narrow 1-0 win over an improving Granada side. The hosts looked set to grab a vital point in their battle to beat the drop until Antoine Griezmann popped up with a brilliant diving header to grab the points late on. Granada are now six points from safety and despite their recent improvements look to have too much to do to stay up.

Villarreal see off Celta

Roberto Soldado scored the only goal of the game as Villarreal kept their top four hopes alive with a narrow 1-0 win over Celta Vigo. The former Tottenham man headed home the only goal of the game right on half-time to send the visitors upto fifth.

Derby delight for Athletic

Athletic Bilbao claimed the bragging rights in the Basque derby with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad.  An unsurprisingly feisty game saw the teams share nine yellow cards. Raul Garcia set Athletic on their way from the penalty spot before Inaki Williams made the game safe just after the break with his first goal since December.

More misery for Michel & Malaga

Malaga may have appointed Michel, their third manager of the season, but he could only watch as his side slipped to their 13th Liga defeat of the season. Zouhair Feddal put Alaves ahead and although Juankar equalised, Feddal was then sent off with 20 minutes to go tipping the game in Malaga’s favour. However, football doesn’t work that way and Edgar Mendez scored a last-minute winter as the 10-men ran out winners.

Valencia held by Sporting

Valencia had to settle for a point against Sporting Gijon at Mestalla although it could have been worse. Duje Cop put the visitors ahead and Valencia needed a late equaliser from Munir to rescue the draw.

Eibar held at Osasuna

Bottom side Osasuna picked up a draw against Eibar but remain bottom on just 11 points from 27 games and with just one win all season long. Their record is the second worst performance La Liga has seen at this stage of the season and it’s hard to see if they will manage another win. Next up is a trip to Real Betis and they still have to face Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.

Week 27 Results in full

Espanyol 4-3 Las Palmas
Valencia 1-1 Sporting Gijon
Sevilla 1-1 Leganes
Malaga 1-2 Alaves
Granada 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 0-2 Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 Barcelona
Celta Vigo 0-1 Villarreal
Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis
Osasuna 1-1 Eibar

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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