La Liga Roundup. Gameweek 7: Atletico Derby Win Widens The Gap
Atletico Madrid and Barcelona both maintained unblemished La Liga records after seven rounds of matches. Atleti took the spoils in the Madrid derby and, together with Barca, who defeated Almeria, extended their lead over Real Madrid to five points.
Diego Costa’s 11th minute goal at the Bernabeu was the difference in the capital as Atletico emerged 1-0 winners over Real Madrid. It was Los Blancos’ first home league defeat since December 2011 and Atletico’s first win over their city rivals in La Liga for 14 years. Carlo Ancelotti’s stars failed to shine in a bad-tempered affair marred by eight yellow cards, four for each side, with the names of Real Madrid’s entire back line finding their way into the referee’s book.
Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a 21st minute lead with a shot that cannoned in off the far post as the Catalans strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over Almeria. The major talking point, however, came when the Argentine left the field seven minutes later with a hamstring injury. The Andalusians – who lost 8-0 last time Barca visited Los Juegos Mediterraneos – showed little ambition as Adriano wrapped up the win on 56 minutes, leaving Almeria as the only side without a win.
Valencia were made to fight by lowly Rayo Vallecano at Mestalla, Brazilian striker Jonas firing home after 37 minutes to hand Los Che another win in their climb up the table and condemn Rayo to their sixth loss. Emmanuel Nosakhare struck after 36 minutes to cement three valuable points for Real Betis and condemn Villarreal to their first defeat of the season at the Benito Villamarin. The Yellow Submarine remain two points behind Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Malaga shared four goals with Real Valladolid in an exciting encounter at the Jose Zorilla. Roque Santa Cruz put Los Boquerones in front on 23 minutes, a lead they held until Javi Guerra’s equaliser 10 minutes after the break. Humberto Osorio then put Valladolid ahead, only for Bartlomiej Pawlowski to level for Malaga.
A scrappy game between Real Sociedad and Sevilla ended in a 1-1 draw at Anoeta. Jairo Samperio put Unai Emery’s side in front on 17 minutes when he ran on to Ivan Rakitic’s precision through ball,
but Sevilla failed to hold the lead and Antoine Greizmann equalised for La Real on 65 minutes. A fractious performance from Sevilla, who have the worst disciplinary record in La Liga, was capped after defender Cala received two of the Andalusians’ six yellow cards.
Osasuna coach Javi Gracia was left fuming with his ill-disciplined players after they went down 1-0 to Levante at the Reyno de Navarra, their sixth defeat of the season. Jordi Xumetra won it for Los Granotes in the 87th minute. Osasuna received seven yellow cards, two of them shown to Alvaro Cejudo who spent only 10 minutes on the pitch after replacing Sisinio Gonzalez as a second half substitute.
Elche registered their first win since returning to La Liga, a Javi Marquez goal on 63 minutes enough to beat Celta Vigo at Los Balaidos. Meanwhile, Adrian Colunga struck twice in the second half at Cornella-El Prat as Getafe upset the formbook to overcome Espanyol 2-0.
Granada won for the second time this season, defeating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at Los Carmenes. Youssef El-Arabi scored both goals for El Grana in the second half. The first came from the penalty spot after Ander Herrera was adjudged to have brought down Yacime Brahimi in the box and the second was a fine solo effort.