This weekend saw the two-horse La Liga race turn into a single horse one. The wheels of Real’s title challenge were already looking shaky in the previous few matches and in a truly hostile atmosphere at Reyno de Navarra, they finally came off. A clear pattern seems to be emerging for the Champions league places with Villarreal and Valencia emerging as firm favourites. For the rest, there was a huge re-shuffle in the pecking order and with the difference in points being negligible, there is still everything to play for.

Weekend results:

Deportivo 3-3 Sevilla

Hercules 0-3 Barcelona

Málaga 1-2 Zaragoza

Real Sociedad 2-0 Almería

Levante 2-0 Getafe

Mallorca 0-4 Gijon

Espanyol 0-1 Villareal

Osasuna 1-0 Real Madrid

A Madrid 0-0 Bilbao

The top four Primera División table:

1FC Barcelona215658
2Real Madrid213051

Barcelona: Champions Elect?

Can't do nothing: Even the 'Special one' gives up

What makes this Barcelona team deliver superhuman performances week in week out? Is it hatred for Real Madrid, love for football, or something divine? Maybe it is a combination of all. Barcelona dismissed Hercules with yet another 3-0 scoring spree. Messi, despite enduring a frustrating night, scored a late brace and added sheen to Barcelona’s victory.

When your opponent starts praising you in glowing terms and your own players start talking about being out of the title race despite being only 4 points down, one should sit up and take notice. This is what Mourinho failed to do, and thus ended Real’s title hopes with a 1-0 loss at Osasuna.

Coming to lesser mortals, Villarreal continued their fine run and won 1-0 at Espanyol courtesy an astounding goal by Rossi.

Bilbao continued their quest for a European place, with a 2-0 victory over the ever inconsistent Atletico at Calderon. Real Sociedad, the other Basque side improved their chances of survival with a convincing 2-0 victory over Almeria.

Sevilla produced a humdinger at Riazor, almost pulling off an epic comeback. As for the other teams, the relegation dogfight got murkier, with Malaga now being rooted to the bottom and Racing and Zaragoza climbing out of the relegation zone. Even Gijon had something to smile about after recent travails as they smashed a sorry Mallorca 4-0.

Player of the week: Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla)

Easily the best player this weekend. “The beast of Vallecas” grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and dragged Sevilla into a game when all seemed lost. He would have won the game for Sevilla also, had it not been for absolute incompetence on the referee’s part, allowing a goal which was miles offside.

Nothing can be taken away from his performance, which gave a 10-men Sevilla a priceless point.

The beast of Vallecas: A beauty of a performance

Match of the week: Deportivo 3-3 Sevilla

This week had several contenders for the match of the week: The shock defeat of Real Madrid at the hands of Osasuna and 4-0 drubbing of Europa league pretenders Mallorca at the hands of Sporting Gijon being the main contenders.

However, due to sheer drama element of a 10-men team going down 2-0 away from home, then going 3-2 up and drawing only due to sheer refereeing bias and incompetence, this match was truly the pick of the lot. It showed that despite all the problems and inconsistency, Sevilla still have the ‘cojones’ to come back and make a match out of a lost cause.

Team of the week:

Ricardo, Iraola, Alves, Sergio, Canella, Martinez, Aranda, Messi, Negredo, Rossi, Toquero

Top Scorers this season:

Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid22
Lionel MessiBarcelona21
David VillaBarcelona14
Giuseppe RossiVillarreal12

4 Responses to “The Spanish Weekend Review: Episode 21”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. A_Blaugrana says:

    Hatred is definitely not the reason.
    We try to improve our game every week, because no matter what level we reach, we still have scope for improvement 😀
    Vamos Barca.
    Mes Que en Club

  2. prakhar gupta says:

    Maybe not for some fans. But I sure as hell can’t say the same about Cruyff , Busquets and Valdes.
    That’s why I said a combination of all. Of course hatred can’t be the only reason, else it would have been over long before.
    Definitely desire to improve and achieve has to be there.

  3. Jayant says:

    Messi probably had his worst game of the season against Hercules so I wonder what he is doing in the team of the week. I’d probably put Pedro in there instead of Messi.

  4. prakhar gupta says:

    I agree he didn’t have the best of nights. Yet he ended up scoring a brace. Pedro too didn’t have the best of evenings as far as the end product is concerned. That goal was more because of Xavi playing a beautiful pass than Pedro scoring a brilliant goal.
    If anything “Lassad Nouioui ” of Deportivo deserved to be there. But my bias for Messi came into play, coupled with incompetence of referee in the Depor game and so I excluded him.