Valladolid shocked Catalan giants and title chasers Barcelona to a 1-0 home victory to give their survival chances a timely boost, whilst Real and Athletico Madrid took full advantage with wins over Levante and Celta Vigo respectively.
Rossi put Valladolid in front after 17 minutes. Teammate Guerra and himself had opportunities blocked by the Barca defence before he found the net from close range to send the home fans wild.
Barca found themselves being kept at bay by a resilient Valladolid side, fighting for their league survival. Fabregas, Messi and Neymar all had chances to get Barca on the scoresheet, but their chances would not bare fruit.
Over the course of the full 90 minutes, Barca racked up over 70% of possession and had a total of 13 shots at the host’s goal, but could not find a way to break Valladolid down, and they held on for all 3 points. The result leaves Barca now 4 points off the La Liga top spot, occupied by Real Madrid after their comfortable 3-0 win at home against Levante.
In a game that the home side were expected to win, they didn’t disappoint as it only took Ronaldo only 11 minutes to nod Real in front from an Angel Di Maria corner.
Marcelo made it 2-0 shortly after the break with a precise finish following some neat trickery.
Levante made a difficult task impossible when Navarro took down Ronaldo for a straight red card. And Levante would cave further 10 minutes from time when Karabelas turned a Marcelo cross into his own net. Levante are now tied in 10th place on 36 points, with Valencia and Espanol sitting above them on goal difference. For Real, they sit three points ahead of nearest rivals Athletico Madrid, who kept in touching distance of Real with a 2-0 away win at Celta Vigo.
Athletico had to wait until the hour mark for the goals to arrive, but once it arrived, David Villa soon found his scoring touch. He was quick to anticipate a woeful Castro back pass and fire past keeper Rodriguez Oterino for 1-0 on 62 minutes.
Just two minutes later Villa made it 2-0, when sub Sosa set him up for a clinical finish. Celta Vigo will see this as a missed opportunity, as the way results went this weekend, 4 points now separate them in 11th from Valladolid in 18th.
Rock bottom Real Betis notched up a rare win, only their fourth of this campaign, as they took down Getafe 2-0 on home soil. Goals from Baptistao and Castro gave their fans a welcome opportunity to sing and shout, with such opportunities being limited of recent times. The result keeps Betis far from safety, but put pressure on Rayo to get a result away at Real Sociedad.
And on Monday night, knowing what they had to do, Rayo rose to challenge and defeated Real Sociedad in a thrilling match that ended 3-2 to the visitors.
Sociedad were quickest off the mark however, and struck inside the first two minutes through Inigo Martinez. However they didn’t make the most of their early advantage, and Rayo roared back to equalise with just 4 minutes of the game played when Larrivey scored from the penalty spot.
A lively start then. And Real Sociedad would be the team with the advantage at the break, with Ruben Pardo scoring on the stroke of half-time.
Rayo rallied back once more in speedy fashion, finding a way back into the game just two minutes into the 2nd half through Bueno. And it would be Rochina that scored what turned out to be the winning goal for Rayo with just over 20 minutes off the game to play, to make sure that Rayo didn’t lose any ground in the fight to beat relegation.
Saturday 8th March
Valladolid 1 Barcelona 0
Real Betis 2 Getafe CF 0
(Baptistao 16, Castro 39)
Celta Vigo 0 Atlético Madrid 2
(Villa 62, 64)
Granada 2 Villarreal 0
(Rico Castro pen.23, El-Arabi 33)
Sunday 9th March
Espanyol 3 Elche 1
(Lopez Silva 2, Colotto 21, Alfonso Fernandes 58, Fuentes Hernandez og.88)
Almería 1 Sevilla 3
(Vidal Parreu 85, Bacca 31, Carrico 51, Gameiro 77)
Real Madrid 3 Levante 0
(Ronaldo 11, Marcelo 49, Karabelas go.81, Navarro so.64)
Valencia 1 Athletic 1
(Alcacer Garcia 23, Aduriz pen.53)
Monday 10th March
Osasuna 0 Málaga 2
(Garcia Sanchez 14, Gamez so.52, Amrabat 66)
Real Sociedad 2 Rayo 3
(Inigo Martinez 2, Pardo 45+1, Larrivey pen.4, Bueno 47, Rochina 67)