La Liga Roundup, Gameweek 11: Real Madrid Hit Seven as Barcelona Lead The Pack
Barcelona maintained a one-point lead at the top of La Liga after the midweek games in Spain. Barca won comfortably at Celta Vigo while Real Madrid hit seven against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid won at Granada.
Barcelona coach Tata Martino made five changes from the side that won El Clasico last Saturday as his side marched on with a 3-0 win at Celta Vigo. Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the ninth minute in his 100th appearance in a Barcelona shirt after Cesc Fabregas’ shot was parried by Yoel Rodriguez. The Celta goalkeeper was unlucky to palm a shot from Fabregas over the line for Barca’s
second after the break, before Lionel Messi set up the third for the former Arsenal midfielder.
Atletico Madrid kept up the pressure on the leaders, winning 2-1 at Granada. Diego Costa put Atleti ahead from the spot on 38 minutes, the Brazilian registering his 12th goal of the season after David Villa had been flattened in the area by Diego Mainz. Villa scored the second, also from the spot, after being fouled by Jeison Murillo. Atleti left-back Felipe Luis was unlucky to receive a second yellow card for handball with a minute remaining before Odion Ighalo hit a late consolation for El Grana.
Here are the best goals from Gameweek 11:
Real Madrid bounced back from defeat in El Clasico to thrash Sevilla 7–3 in a remarkable game at the Santiago Bernabeu. Making his first home start in La Liga, Gareth Bale struck twice to put Los Blancos ahead before the half-hour. Cristiano made it three from the penalty spot on 32 minutes before Sevilla captain Ivan Rakitic pulled one back for the visitors, also from the spot and Carlos Bacca narrowed it to 3-2 as Sevilla threatened a dramatic comeback.
Karim Benzema made it 4-2 after the break, however, and it was 5-2 when Ronaldo grabbed his second. Rakitic scored his second for 5-3 before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick: 6-3. Rakitic spurned an opportunity for a hat-trick of his own as he blasted his second spot-kick of the night over the crossbar and it got worse for Sevilla as Stephane Mbia received his marching orders for a second yellow card. Benzema completed the scoring with his second and the game’s tenth.
Getafe’s fine form continued as they ran out 2-0 winners over Villarreal at El Madrigal. Ciprian Marica gave Getafe the lead after just six minutes and dominated the rest of the game without being able to add to their score, despite the home side having Pablo Iniguez sent off when the central defender received a straight red card for bringing down Marica when the Romanian was through on goal at end of first half. Pablo Sarabia eventually sealed the points with Getafe’s second in stoppage time.
Athletic Bilbao fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Elche at San Mames and go level on points with fourth-placed Villarreal. David Lomban gave Elche the lead on nine minutes and Aaron Niguez extended their advantage after the interval. Athletic hit back with goals from Markel Susaeta and Aritz Aduriz to earn a point.
Betis remain in the bottom three after a goalless draw with Levante at the Benito Villamarin. Betis right-back Chica was dismissed after receiving two first half yellow cards, but Levante were unable to make their numerical advantage count.
Goalkeepers Kiko Casilla and Willy Caballero were the stars in an action-packed goalless draw between Espanyol and Malaga at Cornella-El Prat. With both sides struggling for form, and both having suffered heavy defeats at the weekend, coaches Javier Aguirre and Bernd Schuster will have been pleased to keep a clean sheet.
Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic labelled his men ‘clueless’ as they threw away a first half lead to hand basement boys Almeria their first win of the season. The defeat, Valencia’s second in a matter of days, means the pressure at Mestalla is once again on the Serbian boss. Jonas put his side in front from the penalty spot after half an hour, but second half goals from Marco Torsiglieri and Aleix Vidal brought joy to Almeria and some respite for their under fire coach Francisco Rodriguez.
For the second home game in succession, Valladolid pulled back a 2-0 deficit to draw 2–2 with Real Sociedad, repeating their earlier achievement against Sevilla. Antoine Griezmann scored twice for the second successive game, putting La Real two-up soon after the break, but two goals in three minutes, from Daniel Larsson and Javi Guerra, won a well-deserved point for Valladolid.
Osasuna moved out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano, who replaced them in the bottom three. Oier Sanjurjo gave the Basques the perfect start in the first minute and Oriol Riera doubled their advantage within a quarter of an hour. On an eventful night, Osasuna lost Miguel de las Cuevas before half time, the midfielder receiving a straight red card for a tackle from behind on Adri Embarba. Roberto Torres scored Osasuna’s third on the hour as Rayo failed to exploit their numerical advantage. Alejandro Galvez’ late goal for the Madrid minnows was scant consolation.
Browse through the La Liga TV schedule for viewers in the United States.