The title race gets tighter. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid won their respective games to maintain the tempo. Sevilla won their away match against Valencia. Ivan Rakitic has been in splendid form for them and unsurprisingly scored a great goal to earn the visitors all three points from Mestalla. Villarreal won their away match too, at San Mames, courtesy a goal by Marco Ruben. Fernando Llorente had a night to forget. After Valencia’s loss, the Yellow Submarines overtook them and are currently occupying the third position in the league table. Atletico slipped further and are on the verge of missing out on European action next season. An appalling season for the Europa League champions, to say the least.
- Mallorca 1-0 Zaragoza
- Barcelona 2-1 Getafe
- Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid
- Racing 2-1 Real Sociedad
- Gijon 1-0 Almeria
- Deportivo 0-1 Levante
- Hercules 0-4 Osasuna
- Malaga 2-0 Espanyol
- Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Villarreal
- Valencia 0-1 Sevilla
Game of the Week
FC Barcelona 2-1 Getafe
Getafe’s match against FC Barcelona, at the Camp Nou, has to be the match of the week. The Azulones came to Camp Nou as underdogs, but took the game to the Catalans, especially in the final moments. Dani Alves’ moment of magic and a deflected goal from Bojan gave Barcelona a 2-0 lead by the 50th minute of the game. Getafe slowly but surely crawled back into the game and in the end gave the hosts a mighty scare.
Javier Arizmendi’s mazy runs bothered Adriano, who started in the absence of Maxwell and Abidal. Barcelona too missed their chances to finish off the game. David Villa tormented the Getafe defense with his runs and created chances. However, the Catalans couldn’t capitalize as much as they’d have liked to.
In the dying moments of the match, after a decent buildup, Mosquera delivered an inch-perfect cross and Manu produced a moment of magic, to slot home an unstoppable volley. The Catalans, however, held on to the slender lead for the rest of the game to snatch all 3 points.
Player of the Week
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
The Young German has been a revelation for Real Madrid. With comparisons drawn to the Legendary Zinedine Zidane, Ozil is showing that it’s not without a reason. The Real Madrid star was instrumental in his sides victory again city rivals – Atletico Madrid. Ozil scored an all important goal and also controlled the midfield exceptionally well, to earn the Los Blancos all three points and keep the pressure on FC Barcelona.
Goals of the week
This honour has to be shared by Dani Alves of Barcelona and Manu of Getafe. Both goals were of the highest quality. In case of Dani Alves, the Brazilian latched onto a loose clearance by the Getafe defense and unleashed an exceptionally venomous shot, which had power, precision, swerve and timing to beat the Getafe custodian and earn Barcelona their first goal. Alves’ goal is one of its kind and surely a joy to watch.
Manu produced yet another moment of magic in the same match. In the dying moments of the match, Mosquera’s cross from the right flank was converted by Manu. The goal is sheer magic. Manu did not try to hold onto the ball, but produced and unstoppable volley that had Victor Valdes stranded. A top left corner finish earns Manu the honour of one of TheHardTackle’s Goals Of The Week.
Upset of the week
Malaga 2-0 Espanyol
What can be the possible result, when a team with the worst home record, the worst defense in the La Liga, who have lost all their last 5 matches at home conceding 14 goals in the process and who are overseen by a coach, who in the words of MARCA – “Can’t win even when he tries to” – is visited by a team with almost double their points, sitting in 5th place and are overseen by one of the most highly regarded coaches in the league?
The former kept a clean sheet, and scored 2 goals and records their 8th victory of the season condemning their illustrious rivals to an unthinkable defeat. For this week’s Upset of the week column, there can be no other contender than Malaga, who won their match Europe hopefuls Espanyol. Even more embarrassingly and worryingly for Espanyol, they could have lost by even bigger margin had it not been for their keeper Carlos Kameni. Rondon scored a brace for Malaga and both the goals can be attributed to woeful defending. This however, does understate the importance of the contribution by their striker. Three very important points for Pellegrini’s men.
Team of the week (3-4-3)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) – Dani Alves (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Villarreal), Nacho Monreal (Osasuna) – Kennedy Bakircioglü (Racing), Borja Valero (Villarreal), Krisztian Vadocz (Osasuna), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid) – Rondon (Malaga), Benzema (Real Madrid), Dos Santos (Racing)
Primera División Table
- FC Barcelona – 78 points
- Real Madrid – 73 points
- Villarreal – 54 points
- Valencia – 54 points
- Espanyol – 43 points
Race for Pichichi
- Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – 27 goals
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 27 goals
- David Villa (FC Barcelona) – 17 goals
- Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao) – 15 goals
- Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal) – 14 goals