La Liga Review: Barcelona suffer at the hands of Malaga

Real Madrid, Atletico and Valencia were the biggest winners of the weekend in Spain. All three clubs gained important wins, while their challengers, mainly Sevilla and FC Barcelona, faltered badly.

Celta picked up another impressive win as they built on last week’s victory overAtletico and won the Galician derby by the same 2-0 scoreline.

The champions Atletico managed to pick up a routine three points at home to Almeria, the game was over as a contest inside the first 30 minutes. They were in front with 13 minutes on the clock; Diego Godin was pushed in the box and the referee, without any hesitation pointed to the spot.

Mario Mandzukic calmly fired the spot-kick home for his 20th goal of the season. A further two goals in a nine-minute period killed the game as any sort of contest.Mandzukic then sent Greizmann in behind the Almeria defence; the on-form Frenchman side-footed the ball beyond Julian Cuesta.

It was the same combination for the third goal, after a game of head tennis and pinball inside the Almeria penalty area, Mandzukic found Griezmann – the Frenchman turned and slammed his shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

In a poor second half, the only real talking point was the sending off of GuilhermeSiqueira, for handball as the left-back picked up a needless second yellow card. That wasn’t enough to alter the outcome as Atleti had the game well won by that stage.

Malaga picked up the most unlikely win of the weekend by winning 1-0 at the CampNou. The Andalucians took the lead early on, Juanmi capitalised on Dani Alves’ slackbackpass, before nicking the ball beyond Bravo and finding the net. Not long after,Dani Alves almost redeemed himself but his thunderous shot was cleared off the line. But it was Malaga who could have doubled their lead before half-time Horta should have done better with the two chances he got put on a plate for him.

Barca continued to press looking for the equaliser in the second period, but Pedro’s effort that hit the side netting and Kameni’s comfortable save from a Luis Suarez effort is as close as they came. The result ended Barca’s 11-match winning run and it was also Malaga’s first win away at Barca since 1999-2000.

Real Madrid capitalised on the Barcelona loss, by winning 2-0 at Elche. Two goals in the second half allowed Los Blancos to open up a four-point gap over their Catalan rivals. In what was a dominating display from start to finish, Frenchman KarimBenzema opened the scoring in the 56th minute and the lead was doubled 13 minutes later when Cristiano Ronaldo found the net.

Outside the top three, Sevilla fell to a dramatic 4-3 defeat at the Anoeta against DavidMoyes’ Real Sociedad.

Moyes’ side showed great powers of recovery to fight back from 3-2 down with 12 minutes to play, it was the local boy and captain Xabi Prieto who scored the winner, putting a dent in Sevilla’s hopes of finishing in the Champions League places.

That was good news for Valencia, who managed to go to Cordoba and come away with a 2-1 victory. Andre Gomes put Los Che ahead, before Ghilas equalised from the penalty spot. As it looked like the game was heading towards a draw, with nine minutes to play Pablo Piatti popped up with a winner. The result means Valencia open up a five-point margin between themselves and Sevilla.

Celta carried on from their win over Atletico, beating their archrivals Deportivo in the Galician derby at the Balaidos. The goals from Charles and Joaquin Larrivey meant the derby-day bragging rights went to Celta.

The original article is for : FootballExpressNews

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