|Out of place Atletico de Madrid|
ATLETICO DE MADRID have entered a worrying downward spiral that saw them visit LEVANTE & lose 2 - 0. Something is not right at Atletico & proof is that they did not get to the opposition goal until the 46th min of the game! Levante rattled Atletico early with a 3rd min goal from NANO & then set in some "chaos" into the visitors with a second via CAICEDO in the 58th min.
The Madrid team simply lost to a better team tonight, something that cannot be denied, but the Atletico defence is getting back some old bad habits from the past & there is discordination between players that smells like something is not good within the dressing room. The Europa League surprise loss mid-week seems to have opened up past wounds.
Congratulations to Levante who played well & on the otherhand really needed the three points.
|Pedro scores first for Barça|
The Spanish air-traffic controllers strike nearly gave the three points to Osasuna without playing. FC Barcelona left their city late after a misunderstanding with the Spanish Football Federation that gave the impression that the game could be moved to Sunday. However Osasuna refused & caused Barça to desperately find a way (train - bus) to get to Pamplona before 20.00. They did by a hairs breath & the match started at 20.45.
It made no difference as OSASUNA lost for the first time at home since March 0 - 3 against FC BARCELONA with another exhibition from LIONEL MESSI. The home team started strong & even claimed a penalty that was not called in the 13th min that could have changed the game. However, speculations aside, soon after this incident the Barça machine started rolling & Messi set up PEDRO to put Barça ahead in the 25th min. David Villa had various shots from outside the area & kept Barça in attacking mode until LIONEL MESSI put in the second in the 65th min. Then a "questionable" penalty was given to Barça in the 84th min which MESSI converted.
Barca remain top of the Spanish League table & Messi WAS the Spanish League top goal scorer until...
|Cristiano Ronaldo stears his team to victory|
CRISTIANO RONALDO scored two goals tonight ( 73rd & 87th min) to keep the Real Madrid player as the current Spanish Football Top Goal Scorer for another week.
Before all this, REAL MADRID hosted VALENCIA to finally manage & defeat a "sticky" visiting team 2 - 0. Real Madrid surprised everyone leaving Karim Benzema on the bench for Lass Diarra, thus putting Di Maria & CR7 as attackers. One could interpret want they wish about the Benzema situation, but it looks that the Frenchmen is running out of credit points at the Club. Albiol also came in for Carvalho & did a grand job & being very solid.
Real Madrid did not play as well as past matches as it looked as if the painful Barça defeat was still in the minds of the players. There was a frightening tingle in the atmosphere that a loss against Valencia would worsen things & Madrid played "conservative" & at times rushed with anxiety in some of their plays. There were three clear chances - Khedira, Di Maria & CR7 - that are still difficult to explain why they were missed, while Casillas again manage to keep out Valencia when they did get close.
A key moment was the double yellow card ( last for hand-ball) to Valencia midfielder Albelda who left his team with 10 men (Red Card) & thus gave Real Madrid spaces. Mourinho put in Benzema to give him another opportunity & he missed soon after an opportunity & towards the end another - difficult - to lengthen the mans personal Calvary. Before the end of the match Cristiano Ronaldo guided his team to victory with a goal from an Ozil pass & then when he finished off some great individual play: best man on the ground tonight.
Lastly, special mention to the Valencia youngster Goalkeeper GUAITA who made half a dozen vital saves to keep his team alive & still being able to fight with Real Madrid most of the clash.
Conclusion, Real Madrid shake off the Barça defeat & keep close to Barça in the classification table. Tweet