• Tuesday, 2 February 2010

    Double sacking as boards get twitchy: La Liga reviews

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

    Two coaches lost their jobs after this latest round of fixtures. Ernesto Valverde endured a horror start to the season at Villareal, but had seen his team rally to as high as tenth, but it seems as if he was always one loss from the sack since they pulled away from the drop zone. Two Juanfran goals saw Osasuna beat the Yellow Submarine and Valverde was out almost immediately. Valladolid didn't even lose this week, but still offed Jose Luis Mendilibar after the draw with Almería. Valladolid had slid down the table inexorably and remain a point above the relegation places. They needed a late equaliser from César Arzo to grab that point as they trailed to Albert Crusat's early opener and had Manucho sent off.

    Sevilla v Valencia is one of those fixtures that sets the pulses racing, but it failed to light up La Liga late on Sunday this time around. With so much attacking talent, perhaps we'd raised expectations too much and should have been happy with what we got in difficult conditions. Alvaro Negredo scored twice with only a very late consolation, such as it was, from David Navarro coming back the other way. Barca belted Sporting, but only had the one goal to show for it, an accomplished finish from Pedro. El Real also won, for the first time since 1982 at the Riazor. Guti was the star with the assist of the season, a delightful back-heel into the path of Karim Benzema to give Los Merengues a 2-0 lead after Esteban Granero had previously put them in front. A Riki penalty late on threatened to make a game of it, but Benzema's second wrapped up the points.

    Xerez won for just the second time this season, but they're still doomed. Mallorca are terrible away from the island and lost despite Pierre Wébo's early goal. Artiz Aduriz missed a penalty as well, but Carlos Calvo struck twice to win it for the basement club. Zaragoza also won, again despite going behind. Tenerife were ahead three minutes after the break through Juan Luis Lorite, but three in six minutes won it for Zaragoza. Humberto Suazo's penalty got them going and Adrián Colunga and Lafita followed in.

    Getafe and Racing produced a stalemate despite Moratón's dismissal five minutes after the break reducing Racing to ten. Atlético slumped to another home defeat, Duda and Javi Lopez helping Málaga to a handy three points and Luis Garcia struck the only goal of the game as Espanyol beat Athletic.

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