Cordoba nearly pulled off the surprise taking Real Madrid down to the wire. Although the home team lost 1 - 2 to the visitors, Cordoba did not deserve to lose.
Cordoba got off to a flying start when they were awarded a penalty due to a Sergio Ramos hand-ball penalty. Cordoba forward Ghilas converted & put his team in the lead in the 2 min. Far from defending the home team contested the ball & kept on creating chances. However, Real Madrid has a lot of resources up their sleeve & managed to draw from a corner when Karim Benzema scrambled a loose ball for goal in the 27th min.
From here, Cordoba defended well, made Real Madrid feel totally uncomfortable & kept on creating chances. Their lack of finishing prowess in-front of goal made them pay later, plus with luck not being on their side when they hit the bar mid 2º half.
But, as mentioned, Real Madrid has the resources, & a Gareth Bale free-kick was hand-balled in the penalty square & the maximum punishment was called. In the 89th min Gareth Bale scored the penalty to save the day, match & give Real Madrid the three points. A win but one of the worst games for Real Madrid all season, on the contrary for Cordoba which put in a "blinder".
But the victory was highly paid for Real Madrid as the accumulated frustration of the day made Cristiano Ronaldo lashed out on Cordoba defender Edimar late in the 2º half to earn himself a direct Red Card. The Portuguese will miss out the next Liga match, & possibly the Atletico de Madrid clash if the "Disciplinary Commission" hands out a 2 game suspension.
Elche hosted FC Barcelona & were steamed rolled 0 - 6. The home team only lasted around 36 mins & less after Fajr received a red card in the 54th min to leave Elche with 10 men. The goals fell in the following order:
- Pique 36th min, 0 - 1
- Messi (pen.) 55th min, 0 - 2
- Neymar 69th min, 0 - 3
- Neymar 72nd min, 0 - 4
- Messi 88th min, 0 - 5
- Pedro 93rd min.
Atletico de Madrid took the local derby defeating relatively comfortably Rayo Vallecano 3 - 1. The home team deserved the win, while Rayo had brief moments were they looked better but were not able to lift beyond. Overall, the visitors paid dearly for their defensive mistakes as the Atletico pressure, speed & counter-attacking was deadly.
The man of the match was Antoine Griezmann with his two goals - 12th & 22nd min - getting better match by match. The Frenchman nearly got a hat-trick but the ball hit the wood-work late in the 2º half. The other Atletico goal came from an own goal by Rayo player Manucho.
The only goal for Rayo Vallecano came in the 35th min from Trashorras that put his team brief back in the game.
Real Sociedad won 1 - 0 Eibar in the "Basque Region" derby. The winner came through the 56th min header from Xabi Prieto.
Villarreal won 1 - 0 Levante & once again to the play & goal of Vietto in the 52nd min was vital. Villarreal consolidate themselves in the European ladder positions.