Real Madrid turned on the style this week, as they and a fully fit Cristiano Ronaldo, brushed aside league strugglers Osasuna by 4 goals to nil on Saturday afternoon.
Ronaldo’s 6th minute strike gave Real an early advantage, and just 7 minutes after the second half got underway, he doubled their advantage. Both goals were sublime 25 yard strikes; Ronaldo making it look easy, as he so often does.
Defender Sergio Ramos popped up to convert Angel Di Maria’s cross on the hour mark, before fellow defender Carvajal also converting from a cross, this time from Isco.
The result put pressure on Atletico and Barcelona going into their Sunday games. Real remember, would not pass Atletico in the league if they were to move level on points, as their head to head record from earlier in the season includes a 1-0 win to Atletico (at the Bernabeu) and a 2-2 draw (at the Vicente Calderon Stadium).
Atletico were able to overcome a tricky challenge away at Valencia, and do what was required of them to pick up all three points, and keep Real at bay. Raul Garcia’s only goal of the game moves Atletico to what is now within touching distance, of the La Liga title, despite a late scare as Juanfran saw red.
As for Barcelona, they were also able to overcome a tricky away challenge of their own, in somewhat of an unconventional fashion against Villarreal.
Barca found themselves a goal down at half-time, and two goals behind after 55 minutes, and it looked as if a shock was to be on the cards. It was Villarreal however, who would be the masters of their own downfall as two own goals in the space of (an unlucky for some) 13 second half minutes saw Barca back in it at 2-2.
It would be Lionel Messi who hammered the final nail into Villarreal’s coffin in the 83rd minute, and complete a comeback that seemed way off the cards just half an hour prior to the final whistle sounding. The result will be bitter for Villarreal to swallow, and will leave them thinking ‘what if’, but for Barca it means their title challenge isn’t completely over yet.
Down the bottom end of the table, and both Almeria and Getafe picked up big wins in the scrap to avoid relegation. Goals from Jiminez and Saez helped Almeria defeat 9-man Espanol, and move them within two points of safety. As for Getafe, an early goal from Colunga helped them overcome Malaga, with both teams finishing with 10 men. Getafe are now on 35 points in 17th, and teams close above them (Osasuna, Elche and Granada in particular) will be looking over their shoulders. Elche were the only team out of those three this weekend, to pick up at least a point.
After this week’s round of fixtures, Real Betis’ relegation has been confirmed.
Friday 25th April
Elche 1 Levante 1
(Boakye 63, Rodriguez Diaz 74)
Saturday 26th April
Granada 0 Rayo 3
(Brahimi so.53, Niguez 54, Larrivey 59, Fernandez 86)
Getafe CF 1 Málaga 0
(Colunga 7, Marica so.37, Angeleri so.76)
Real Madrid 4 Osasuna 0
(Ronaldo 6, 52, Ramos 60, Carvajal 83)
Real Betis 0 Real Sociedad 1
Sunday 27th April
Espanyol 1 Almería 2
(Stuani 42, so.49, Lopez Rodriguez so.90+2, Velez Jiminez 69, Fernandez Saez 72)
Valencia 0 Atlético Madrid 1
(Raul Garcia 43, Juanfran so.90+1)
Athletic 3 Sevilla 1
(Susaeta 4, Muniain 53, Herrera Aguera 73, Figueiras so.72, Gameiro 79)
Villarreal 2 Barcelona 3
(Garcia Calmache 45+1, Trigueros Munoz 55, de Abreu og.65, Musacchio og.78, Messi 83)
Monday 28th April
Celta Vigo vs Valladolid 21:00
Image sourced from: www.goal.com