• Monday, 19 January 2009

    La Liga Round 19 Review

    Almeria 1 Atletico Madrid 1
    Athletic Bilbao 3 Valencia 2
    Getafe 0 Racing Santander 1
    Malaga 4 Espanyol 0
    Real Madrid 3 Osasuna 1
    Recreativo Huelva 2 Sporting Gijon 0
    Valladolid 1 Real Betis 3
    Villarreal 2 Mallorca 0
    Barcelona 5 Deportivo La Coruna 0
    Sevilla 1 Numancia 0

    Barcelona's lead remains at 12, after their thumping 5-0 win at the Camp Nou over a Deportivo side that looked like it had surrendered after half an hour. Juan Rodriguez had a brain fart in midfield for 1-0 and that set the tone. Lotina chose Cristian on the right over Lafita, a puzzling tactical move and as a result Bodipo up front looked isolated all night. Barcelona coasted for much of the game with Iniesta looking characteristically brilliant off the bench while Henry and Abidal were superb. If all Barcelona's games are this easy, the title will be wrapped up before April.

    Real Madrid survived a bit of a scare when Osasuna took the lead at the Bernabau, but second half goals from Ramos, Higuain and Robben rescued them. Valencia's slip-up in that entertaining game at the San Mames means there's a 4-point gap between them and Sevilla in third. Manolo Jiminez's side laboured to an unconvincing win over Numancia which was settled by a solitary Renato goal, after the visitors missed some very good chances. Only goal difference keeps Malaga, unstoppable at the moment, out of the European spots as they leapfrog Deportivo. The Andalucians quite simply put miserable Espanyol to the sword. Having not watched the game I can only assume Los Pericos' performance was that bad, for even Albert Luque got on the scoresheet. Villarreal's important win, their first in ages, sees them fifth. At the bottom, a big win away for Real Betis with Sergio Garcia scoring twice, that puts them six points clear of the drop. There's a gap opening up between the bottom three and the rest, Osasuna are 7 points from safety, Mallorca 6 and Espanyol 5. Racing's win at Getafe, thanks to Nikola Zigic, sees them enter the top half.

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