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As you were for Spain’s big two but big results at the bottom: La Liga Round-Up and Highlights
- Updated: 13 April, 2012
DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A busy round of midweek games in la liga saw little change at the top, but some important results for teams struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Barcelona closed the gap on leaders Real Madrid to just one point on Tuesday, after the Catalans demolished Getafe 4-0 at the Camp Nou. Alexis Sanchez hit two in either half, sandwiching Lionel Messi’s 61st goal of the season before Pedro finished the scoring with 15 minutes remaining.
Osasuna responded to the weekends 6-0 drubbing at Rayo Vallecano to secure a hard-fought 2-0 victory over nine-man Espanyol at el Sadar, a Raul Garcia brace enough to sink the Mauricio Pochettino’s side who had Coutinho and Forlin sent off in the second half.
In Tuesday’s other game, Ruben Castro scored his fourth goal in five games as Betis came from behind to rescue a point at Real Sociedad, who also missed a penalty. The home side enjoyed the lions share of possession and should have taken the lead mid-way through the first half, only for Fabricio to save well from Agirretxe’s spot kick. Vela finally gave la Real the lead ten minutes into the second period before Castro hit back for Pepe Mel’s men 20 minutes from time.
On Wednesday, Sporting Gijon grabbed a vital 3-2 victory over Levante, to move off the foot of the table. The home side showed great spirit to come from behind twice before Gaston Sangoy struck the winner with six minutes left on the clock.
Valencia cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at the Mestalla thanks to two goals from Jonas and one apiece for Jordi Alba and Pablo Hernandez, the result moved them back into third place and saw Rayo slip down to 13th.
Granada took the lead twice against Athletic at los Carmenes, only to be pegged back for a 2-2 draw by the Basque side – who moved up into eight position in the table. Jaime Romero broke the deadlock for Abel Resino’s side just two minutes into the game but undid the hard work by giving away a penalty and picking up a red card just before half time. Fernando Llorente missed the resulting spot kick, and Alex Geijo doubled Granada’s lead with 17 minutes left to play to seemingly secure the points fro Granada. Athletic battled back well however, and goals from Llorente and Markel Susaeta salvaged an unlikely point for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Wednesday’s biggest game came at the Vicente Calderon, where Atletico took on city rivals, Real Madrid. The pressure was on Jose Mourinho’s men with Barcelona breathing down their necks, but a ruthless display of finishing from Cristiano Ronaldo fired his side to a resounding 4-1 triumph over their hosts. The Portuguese star struck a stunning first half free kick to fire los Blancos into the lead, before Radamel Falcao equalised for the home side just after the break. The teams were level for less than ten minutes however, as Ronaldo struck his second before converting a penalty to complete his hat-trick. Substitute Jose Maria Callejon finish the scoring with minutes remaining, restoring Madrid’s four point lead at the top.
The weeks final games came on Wednesday night and proved damaging for the teams in the bottom three, with Racing Santander losing 3-0 at home to Mallorca and Real Zaragoza going down to the same scoreline at Sevilla. The night’s big winners however, were Villarreal, who secured a vital 2-1 victory over high-flying Malaga at el Madrigal. The victory lifts the yellow submarine seven points above Zaragoza in the drop zone and all-but ends the bottom three’s hopes of survival this season.
BARCELONA 4-0 GETAFE
OSASUNA 2-0 ESPANYOL
REAL SOCIEDAD 1-1 REAL BETIS
SPORTING GIJON 3-1 LEVANTE
VALENCIA 4-1 RAYO VALLECANO
GRANADA 2-2 ATHLETIC CLUB
ATLETICO MADRID 1-4 REAL MADRID
RACING SANTANDER 0-3 MALLORCA
SEVILLA 3-0 REAL ZARAGOZA
VILLARREAL 2-1 MALAGA
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