It has been another great weekend in La Liga BBVA. With 18 teams in action and 22 goals scored, the best viewing was to be found at the Mestalla stadium where the Valencia fans witnessed their team’s 5-0 routing of Villarreal. Elsewhere, a brace from Kaká inspired a win for the away side during Athletic Bilbao’s heavy 3-0 defeat against Real Madrid and de Guzman scored the pick of the goals in Mallorca’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla – a well struck effort from 25 yards out.
Real Madrid travelled up North to the Basque country where they faced Athletic Bilbao at the cathedral San Mamés. With one eye on the second leg of their Champions League quarter final match against Tottenham, Mourinho decided to send out a “make-shift” team which saw the likes of Ronaldo, Marcelo, Alonso, Özil, Adebayor and Carvalho being rested with Garay, Albiol, Kaká, Granero and Lass getting rare starts, Higuaín getting his first start since his injury and Pepe sitting in midfield alongside Lass did not deter the team from coming up with an impressive win over their rivals. It took two penalties from Kaká and a sublime finish from substitute Ronaldo to give the whites a comfortable 3-0 victory. It took all of 13 minutes for Di María to provoke a penalty for the whites when Iraizoz ran out to try and stop the onrushing player but instead took out the Argentine and the referee had no qualms about blowing his whistle and pointing to the spot, which Kaká stepped up to calmly slot in the bottom corner of the net for opener. That score would hold until the 53rd minute when once again Di María was fouled inside the area this time by Castillo. Kaká stepped up for the second time finishing coolly down the middle for goal number two. The third would come through Real’s top scorer Ronaldo, who came on as a 62nd minute substitute scoring a sublime individual effort. He came dashing down the right leaving San Jose for dead and then lashed the ball into the corner of the net.
Barcelona welcomed Almería to the Camp Nou where the andalucians found themselves up after 50 minutes in, through Corona who got on to a well weighted pass by Piatti and the Spaniard finished coolly past Pinto for the away team’s first ever goal at the Camp Nou. However, the andalucians fairy tale would last a mere three minutes as Diego Alves managed to foul Villa in the box; Messi stepped up and finished coolly for the equalizer. Thiago would hand Barca the lead in the 64th minute when he headed home a corner from Messi and in stoppage time Messi would put the game to bed after capitalizing on an error by Marcelo Silva.
Mallorca and Sevilla played to a 2-2 draw at the Iberostar in Saturday’s final game. Ianega gave Mallorca the lead in the 16th minute which was cancelled out by Negredo from the penalty spot for the visitors. However, de Guzman would restore the home side’s lead two minutes before the end of the first half but Rakitić would pull the visitors level in the 68th minute and both teams would have to settle for a point.
Sporting Gijón continued their impressive run with a 1-0 victory over Osasuna at El Molinón on Sunday – Barral with the game winner in the 66th minute. Hércules played to a 0-0 draw with Espanyol as did Deportivo and Málaga while Levante earned a 1-1 draw at Racing.
Atlético welcomed Real Sociedad to the Vicente Calderón where their fans witnessed their team defeat Real Sociedad 3-0. Filipe Luís got the host off to a great start in the 12th minute after being set up by fellow Brazilian Diego Costa. Mario Suárez would double the lead on the stroke of half time and Agüero would put the icing on the cake in the 78th minute.
The Valencian local derby was the final game of the weekend and boy was the best saved for last. Soldado, after last weekend’s four goal heroics opened the scoring against Villarreal in the 16th minute after springing the offside trap leaving him one-on-one with Diego López and the former Real Madrid man finished confidently into the bottom far corner. In the 56th minute the score would be doubled as a lovely one-two between Ever Banega and Mata saw the latter finish with class. Six minutes later and Pablo with an incredible run down the right beating two defenders, cut inside and slotted the ball into the path of Ever and the Argentine had the simplest of tap ins, making it 3-0. The third was followed up by a fourth only ten minutes later, Mata scoring the double after Soldado found Pablo who then squared the ball for Mata who had an open net to finish in. Only moments later and Soldado would find himself on the score sheet again after some more bad defending by the yellow submarines which gave Topal the freedom to slip Soldado in behind the defence and the Spaniard majestically chipped the onrushing keeper for the fifth.
As the table stands, Barcelona remain eight points ahead of Real Madrid heading into the clásico next weekend, Valencia are third following their convincing win over fourth place Villarreal and are on 57 points three ahead of the yellow submarines while Sevilla round out the top five and following their defeat on Saturday, Bilbao find themselves in seventh outside the European cup spots but behind Atlético on goal difference. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table Almería remain bottom on 26 points, four behind 17th-19th place – occupied by Zaragoza, Hércules and Málaga, respectively.