OSASUNA drew 1 - 1 against VALENCIA CF in a very rough & aggressive match at Pamplona. The atmosphere was heated on the stands & on the ground as both sides went in hard all game. The first goal came late via Valencia forward SOLDADO in the 85th min, but Valencia Captain Albelda received a red card for a strong tackle which lead to a free-kick to Osasuna & consequently the equalizer via LOLO in the 92nd min. Stiff!
RAYO VALLECANO lost in another hard fought out match with REAL MALLORCA 0 - 1. Both sides need points & played liked they needed them like water. However, it was RAMIS & his 56th min goal that gave the final victory to Mallorca & the three points.
|Malaga- FC Barcelona|
The FC BARCELONA "machine" keeps churning away & running over opponents, in today´s case, MALAGA with a 1 - 4 away victory. The star was LIONEL MESSI who scored a HAT TRICK ( 32nd , 50th & 80th min ) with the other goal coming from ALEXIS in the 47th min who is beginning to find his place & form. The other highlight for Barça today was INIESTA who is a delight to watch play, the man is a real marvel.
Malaga managed a consolation goal in the 85th min via RONDON, & they could have scored more earlier in the match had they been more accurate & precise, apart from the Barça goalie Valdes doing his work.
|Levante - Real Zaragoza|
This was the "siesta" match of the day, that is boring, with two sides determined to defend & do little more. This is why the LEVANTE - REAL ZARAGOZA match ended in a "exciting" 0 - 0 draw.
REAL MADRID is said - by Spanish press - to have problems in the dressing room between the Spanish veterans & Coach Mourinho which was sparked after the mid - week Spanish Cup loss to Barça. The Pepe incident was also in the air as the defender was left on the bench for young Varane. All this made the match with ATHLETIC CLUB BILBAO a dangerous encounter as Barcelona had earlier won their game against Malaga & was "provisionally" just two points behind.
The match was tense , end to end stuff with Bilbao dancing around Real Madrid. The Basques scored first with wonderful counter-attack that found FERNANDO LLORENTE alone who booted the opener in the 13th min. Madrid looked "rocky" & Casillas had to work hard until MARCELO ended a team 1-2-3 combination to equalize in the 24th min.
The second half kicked off with a penalty on Kaka which CRISTIANO RONALDO scored "cool" as a cucumber" on the 47th min. This situation lifted the Madrid spirits which began controlling & playing better but without the odd scare that could have put things back in place for Bilbao. Then in the 65th min a Real counter-attack ended with a penalty on Ozil, a red card to Bilbao player De Marcos & a goal to CRISTIANO ROANLDO who converted again in "cool" fashion.
With spaces & Bilbao down to 10 men, Real Madrid took over & Higuain ( on for Benzema ) hit the post & later in the 86th min gave a pass to CALLEJON ( on for Kaka ) who scored the fourth & sealed things. Final result 4 - 1, & still 5 points ahead of Barça in La Liga
By the way IKER CASILLAS played his 600th game with REAL MADRID, simple amazing & still has more years of service to give. Congratulations.
In conclusion, another big hurdle jumped tonight under a "so called" tense atmosphere in-house that some say is about to explode with a serious divorce between Coach & some players ( Ramos, Casillas...). Now the 2º leg Spanish Cup match mid - week against FC Barcelona were a loss again ( & in what style ) could ignite the Club. I personally feel that the Spanish Press is exaggerating things beyond reality, although I do not deny that things are tense & that a "player" has filtered news to the press that same see as breaking the "rules".
Monday Night Football : Round 1
Real Villareal - Real Sporting de Gijon