Monday, November 3, 2008

La Liga Week 9 Wrapup


Barcelona moved to top of the La Liga table by beating Malaga by 4-1 as Xavi bagged a brace and they extended their winning streak to 11. Xavi opened up the account from a free kick, but Duda levelled for the hosts with impressive strike. After 19 minutes Messi put Barcelona into lead and shortly after the interval Xavi netted thrid goal for Barcelona. Just 9 minutes from time Barcelona wrapped up the comfortable victory through Malaga's Robson own goal when it got deflected shot from Daniel Alves set piece. Before this game Malaga had been on form, winning four league games in a row before this one to move up to sixth in the table. The game played in the heavy rain, but the waterlogged pitch made conditions very difficult for both sides.


Sergio Augero's two first half goals gave Atletico a well deserved victory before they play Liverpool in Uefa Champions League in this midweek at Anfield. Augero returned to play after absent from the last two matches due to fitness concerns. Augero coolly lobbed the ball over Mallorca goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya after latching onto a headed pass from strike partner Diego Forlan. The two Atletico forwards were also involved in their side's second goal in the 28th minute, although luck also played a big part with Forlan's hopelessly mis-cued effort finding Aguero at the far post, giving the young Argentinian an easy tap-in.


In midweek Copa del Reay Villareal were thrashed by Club Polideportivo Ejido by 5-0 a shocking one. But when they beat Bilbao by 4-1 they made up for that shocking thrash. In the 24th minute Rossi opened up the account but Etxeberria cancelled the lead just four minutes later as the hosts enjoyed the first half. However, it was a different story in the second half as Bilbao capitulated and two goals in six minutes from Robert Pires and Santi Cazorla saw Villarreal out of sight with less than an hour gone. Substitute Josmer Altidore added another right at the death, seconds after coming off the bench. Bilbao were keen to record a victory as they came to the end of a testing run of fixtures which saw them pitted against four of the top five sides - Sevilla, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Villarreal. They had lost all three of them before this game and were second from bottom in the Primera Liga.


Racing got impressive win against Valencia in Mestalla by thumping them 4-2. A hat-trick from Mohamed Tchite gave them a much needed victory on rain soaked pitch. Burundi born upfront put Racing three times ahead only to see his first two efforts cancelled out by goals from David Villa and Joaquin, but the third proved decisive with a late own goal from David Albelda completing a miserable night for Unai Emery's men.


When Sporting Gijon beats Numancia by 3-1 made it five wins in as many games with a deserved victory at home. Numancia took the lead with Asier Goiria's strike in the 20th minute, but Sporting equalised just after the half-hour mark through Luis Moran and Croatian striker Mate Bilic bagged a second-half brace to give Manuel Preciado's side a fourth straight league win and a fifth in all competitions. Even Numancia were beaten by Sporting Gijon in midweeks Copa del Rey by a goal to nil in Soria.


Raul Tamudo strike handed Espanyol a 1-0 win on Sunday evening and Osasuna remained rooted to the bottom of the table. The Espanyol captain struck the only goal of a tense match on the hour mark to lift the home side back into the top half of the table and condemn the visitors to a fourth straight defeat. Osasuna goal keeper Roberto Fernandez made a debut but at the eighth minute he got to face an even bigger test as Espanyol were awarded a penalty after Brazilian defender Roversio - returning from suspension - hauled down Nene in the area. Tamudo stepped up and sent Roberto the wrong way, but placed his shot wide of the target.


Lowly Valladolid made Sevilla to suffer brutally when the visitors threw away a two goal lead to loose this game. Valladolid substitute Fabian Canobbio was his side's hero with a second-half brace, but it was the 34th-minute dismissal of Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano that was key to the encounter. Sevilla were leading 2-0 through goals from Renato and Jesus Navas when Brazil international Luis Fabiano received his second yellow card for diving inside the area. That gave Valladolid an unexpected lifeline and they duly took it, pulling a goal back just before half-time through Jonathan Sesma before Canobbio took centre stage with goals in the 51st and 64th minutes. Sevilla started the week unbeaten in any match in six months but, after suffering shock defeats to Malaga in La Liga and then third division Ponferradina in the Copa del Rey, they began Sunday's match hoping to avoid a hat-trick of losses.


Juan Albin struck a late equaliser to earn Getafe a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Recreativo Huelva. Third-bottom Recre had looked on course to earn new coach Lucas Alcaraz his first win since replacing Manolo Zambrano after taking the lead through Javi Guerrero during a blitz on the Getafe goal just after the break.

1-1 ALMERIA vs REAL MADRIDReal Madrid missed a great chance to move level on points with fierce rivals Barcelona at the top of the Primera Liga after they were held to a 1-1 draw by a stubborn Almeria outfit. Raul's first-half header looked as if it would be enough for Bernd Schuster's side, but Pablo Piatti shocked the champions with a late equaliser to claim a deserved point for the Andalusians. Real captain Raul was supported by a trident of attacking midfielders playing just behind him. Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Gonzalo Higuain all looked to get involved early on, but the visitors took a while to settle against a spirited Almeria side.


Deportivo just took 27 minutes in the second half to end the Betis mini-revival by beating them 3-0. Two goals from Angel Lafita put the seal on a fine second-half display for Miguel Angel Lotina's men after Riki had given them the lead in controversial circumstances on the hour-mark. Betis finished the game with 10 men after Sergio Garcia was sent off for his second bookable offence to cap a miserable night for the Andalusian club, who had started the game with high hopes of recording a third successive victory. Back-to-back wins over Mallorca and Osasuna had extinguished talk of a season of struggle for the Verdiblancos but they lacked the imagination to penetrate a well-organised Depor defence and can have few complaints about the final result.

The Table Week 9
Top 5 > Barcelona = 22, Villareal = 21, Real Madris = 20, Valencia = 20 and Sevilla = 17
Bottom 4 > Numancia = 7, Recreativo = 7, Athletic Bilbao = 5 and Osasuna = 4

Top Goal scorers
10 = David Villa > Valencia
9 = Samuel Eto'o > Barcelona
6 = Lionel Messi > Barcelona
6 = Mate Bilic > Sporting Gijon

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