The Spanish league hit its midway mark last weekend as all the teams except Real Madrid and Sevilla have now played nineteen games each. It was a typical week in La Liga as Leo Messi scored a hat-trick and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace.
La Liga’s top three recorded comfortable wins over the weekend. The European champions, Real Madrid, visited Getafe in the hunt for three more points. Real weren’t happy with their goalless first half at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Toni Kroos came quite close to scoring just before the break as he rattled the crossbar. Two goals from the 2014 Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and one from the Welshman, Gareth Bale, ensured a comfortable victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s men. The Portuguese skipper has taken his season tally to a whopping 36 goals now.
Real are currently at the summit of the league table with a game in hand. The ten-time European champions haven’t drawn a game in the league yet as they have recorded 15 wins and 3 losses in 18 matches. The Galacticos are closely followed by Barcelona in the league table.
The Blaugrana giants faced Depotivo La Coruna on Sunday and it was totally dominated by the little Argentine legend. After his fourth hat-trick this season, Lionel Messi has scored a total of 28 goals in just 26 games. In all competitions, Leo has averaged a little above a goal per game. The Catalonian giants won 0 – 4 as Messi scored three and an own goal by Sidnei in the 82nd minute sealed three points for Luis Enrique’s side. The Barca ace’s first goal came in the 10th minute as he scored with a sublime header. His second was a great team goal, which was finished by Messi in some style. His third goal came just after the hour mark as he scored with a fierce low drive into the bottom-right corner.
The rumors of Messi’s departure from Camp Nou are not going away as the Argentine skipper fuelled further speculation by stating “I don’t know where I’ll be next year” at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich.
The reigning La Liga champions, Atletico Madrid invited Granada to Vicente Calderon on Sunday. The game ended 2 – 0 in the favor of Diego Simeone’s side. Granada, bottom of the league and without a permanent coach following Joaquin Caparros’ removal on Friday, made a good start but their hard work was undone 11 minutes before the half time interval when Abdoul Sissoko fouled Diego Godin in the penalty area. Mario Mandzukic scored the penalty to take his tally to16 goals.
With just six minutes remaining on the clock, Mario Mandzukic was substituted for Garcia, and Simeone’s change paid dividends four minutes later as the midfielder headed Turan’s cross from the right to pick up three points for the La Liga champions.
In other fixtures, Sevilla won 2 – 0 at home against Malaga, whereas Elche won 1 – 0 against Levante. David Moyes’ Real Sociedad were stunned at home by Rayo Vallecano. M.Contreiras Gonçalves scored the goal for Rayo in the 81st minute of the game. The former Manchester United boss Moyes was serving his two match ban, which he got after altercation with the referee in the Copa del Rey exit past week.
Valencia also won their game at home against Almeria. The score line after the final whistle was 3 – 2. Valencia are fifth in the league with 38 points, only seven points behind the league leaders, Real Madrid. They can certainly challenge for the Champions League berth if they continue their form.
Other results of Game Week 19 in the Spanish La Liga: Espanyol 1 – 0 Celta de Vigo, Villarreal 2 – 0 Athletic Bilbao.