|Khedira scores for Real Madrid|
FC BARCELONA suffered their first home ground defeat, & barring late surprises, kissed this seasons Spanish League title goodbye as REAL MADRID won 1 - 2 in an exciting game of Football. Less heated as previous encounters but no less intense, Real Madrid seemed to take a leaf out of Chelsea FC book & choked Barça in the midfield with an extraordinary effort of disciplined & defensive Football that was effective with counter-attacks.
Real Madrid may have had the ball only 30%-40% to Barças overwhelming 60% - 70%, but Barcelona was neutralized upfront with Messi out of action thanks to the close marking of Ramos, Pepe & Xabi Alonso.
FC Barcelona will face some debate from the fans as Guardiola kept Alexis, Cesc Fabregas & Pique on the bench to which many have interpreted as a "punishment" for extra-field activities & lack of "discipline" (whatever that may mean, or just resting for Chelsea). Said this, lets not take away the merit of young Tello & Thaigo both playing well but in the end perhaps the former being "overtaken" by the occasion.
The opener came from a corner in the 17th min when KHEDIRA scored after Pepe headed & there was a tussle between goalie Valdes & Puyol. Khedira managed to get his foot in first & got the important opener.
|Cristiano Ronaldo scores the second goal|
From here it was wave after wave of attacking Football from Barça that crashed into the Real Madrid wall. The locals did have their chances but limited & not as frequent as we have been accustomed to from Barcelona. Coentrao, criticised heavy after his mid-week Champions League performance, did a great job holding out Alves, Ramos was solid in the air, while Ozil, Benzema, Di Maria & Ronaldo all run their hearts out in defending more than attacking, it was a real team effort.
However, the Barça goal was on the way as the attacks were numerous & Guardiola put on ALEXIS who scored the equalizer in the 70th min in a "scrabble" similiar to Real Madrid first goal. But 2 mins later a midfield steal which found Ozil craeted the winner as the German found CRISTIANO RONALDO who broke through the Barça defence & beat Valdes with what would later turnout to be the winner. With this goal Ronaldo had sealed his place tonight back on the World Football stage as he did overshadow Messi in this particular game.
From here Guardiola put on Pedro y Cesc but Real Madrid held on to stop all the Barça efforts, even creating a few more chances that nearly gave fruit.
Big win for Real Madrid which has the Spanish League title closer, but not in the bag, for as the saying goes, "it ain´t over until the fat lady sings".
|Mallorca - Real Zaragoza|
REAL MALLORCA woke up REAL ZARAGOZA from their "dream" of avoiding relegation after defeating them 1 - 0 with the goal from CASADESUS in the 34th min. A serious setback for Zaragoza as the Club is running out of games to secure their future in the Spanish Football elite.
|Real Sporting de Gijon|
Different story for REAL SPORTING DE GIJON which knew that if they lost today they would be doomed to the Spanish 2º Division. With grit the home team defeated Madrid Club RAYO VALLECANO 2 - 1 & keeps their hopes alive although they are slim. Gijon must win their next matches to stay alive in the 1º Division & this will not be an easy feat at all.
The opener came via Sporting player SANGOY in the 18th min & things got competitive until Rayo found the equalizer in the 51st min via LABAKA. Then a foul which lead to a red card to Labaka in the 75th min allowed BILIC to score a free-kick goal that was to be the winner for Gijon. Rayo got another red card when Casado was sent off in the 86th min.
|Kone for Levante|
How can one describe this match? SEVILLA FC had 11 corners to the visitors 0 & failed a penalty in the 85th min by Negredo. Thus the final score of 1 - 1 against LEVANTE, thus another classic case for Sevilla of "when things go wrong everything goes wrong" & Europe next year gets further away, something not the case ( for now ) for Levante.
Sevilla got ahead in the 20th min via NEGREDO but Levante managed to equalize quickly via KONE in the 27th min. From here onwards Sevilla tried & tried, but ...