• Monday, 25 January 2010

    Ronaldo's goals break Malaga, but his arm breaks Mtiglia's nose: La Liga reviews

    Sevilla 1-0 Almeria
    Valladolid 0-3 Barcelona
    Deportivo 3-1 Athletic
    Tenerife 0-0 Valencia
    Villarreal 4-2 Zaragoza
    Sporting 0-1 Racing
    Xerez 1-2 Osasuna
    Espanyol 1-1 Mallorca
    Getafe 1-0 Atlético
    Real Madrid 2-0 Málaga

    After Barcelona's routine thumping of Valladolid on Saturday, El Real had to respond against Málaga in the late game on Sunday. The visitors rattled Los Merengues early on as they had several good chances including one off the bar as Sergio Duda's cross was turned towards goal by Xabi Alonso. They survived the early onslaught though and Cristiano Ronaldo finished off a lovely move, slotting in Kaka's cross. Four minutes later he added a second, a fierce dipping shot from range. He wouldn't finish the game though, as a flailing arm from the Portuguese caught Patrick Mtiglia in the face, breaking the Danish defender's nose. A straight red card was the result, a decision which Ronaldo described as "a disgrace". Moreover, it's sporting manager Jorge Valdano's considered opinion that Ronaldo deserves leniency because he is "an entertainer". Tommyrot. It was a wild and careless action which will see the victim out for a month or more. While El Real's cheerleaders in the Madrid press will no doubt agree with Valdano, no other person with even a passing interest in football does.

    Barcelona were unstoppable against Valladolid and picked off their opponents in clinical fashion. Dani Alves set one up for Xavi and scored the second himself within the space of two first half minutes. Lionel Messi added a third after the break before the cue went in the rack. Valencia were held to a goalless draw at Tenerife, leaving them ten points adrift of the leaders and five behind El Real. This is a two-horse race now, such as it was ever anything but. Mallorca and Depor are tucked behind Los Che, the former held to a draw by Espanyol with only a late Borja Valero penalty to thank for rescuing a point. Depor won well over Athletic, emerging 3-1 winners after a goalless first half. Filipe Kasmirski put them ahead four minutes after the break and Juca doubled the advantage ten minutes later. With Atheltic not making much of a game of it, Depor defender Diego Colotto got Athletic back into it with an own goal, but Pablo Alvarez added a third in the last minute to seal a comfortable win.

    Sevilla ended their horror run thanks to Alvaro Negredo who got the only goal of the game at home to Almería and Getafe also needed just the one goal to beat Atlético. That came from Manu late in the first half and Atléti finished with ten men when Paulo Assuncao was sent off twenty minutes from time. Villareal withstood a fightback from Zaragoza before emerging with a 4-2 win. The Yellow Submarine ran into a 3-0 lead early on thanks to Joan Capdevila, Nilmar and Giuseppe Rossi. As the clock ticked down, two in seven minutes - Eliseu and Lafita - threatened to set up a grandstand finish, but Abriel Ibagaza calmed home side nerves with a fourth, three minutes from time.

    Racing won away at Sporting despite the late sending off of Oriol. Alexandre Geijo had earlier given Racing the lead. Xerez remain rooted to the bottom after defeat to Osasuna who were ahead inside ten minutes through Nacho Monreal. Mario Bermejo equalised halfway through the first half, but Osasuna won it seven minutes from the end through Javier Camuñas.

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