Primera Liga review
Real Madrid had one eye on their Champions League tie with
but still had enough to take El Clasico honours against
A 2-1 victory may not be enough to get Jose Mourinho’s side back
in the title race – they are 13 points behind – but it was a
notable scalp for the capital club, who started without the likes
of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain and
A much-changed side mattered little for in-form Madrid, though,
and Karim Benzema put them 1-0 ahead with 13 minutes gone, only for
Lionel Messi to level ten minutes later.
Sergio Ramos would have the last word with the winner nine
minutes from time, but there was still room for drama as Barca
keeper Victor Valdes was sent off following the final whistle for
arguing with referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa.
There was not as much to talk about in the game between
Deportivo La Coruna and Rayo Vallecano, however, with the match
Depor did bring to an end their six-match losing streak but
still remain deep in trouble at the foot of the Primera Division
after being held at home.
It might have been even worse for the Galician side after they
found themselves on the back foot for much of the first half and
then reduced to 10 men in the closing stages when veteran defender
Carlos Marchena was sent off.
However, there was not enough time for Rayo to make the most of
their extra man as the points were shared at the Riazor.
The result leaves Depor eight points adrift of Real Zaragoza and
safety, while Rayo move back into eighth place.
Athletic Bilbao eased their drop fears with a much-needed
victory over local rivals Osasuna at the Reyno de Navarra stadium
to move six points clear of the relegation zone.
A volleyed goal by Markel Susaeta midway through the second half
was enough to give Marcelo Bielsa’s side the three points, but the
Navarrans were superior for large periods of the match.
In Spain’s late game on Saturday evening Valencia conceded a
later leveller at the Mestalla to draw 2-2 with Levante.
Vicente Iborra silenced the home crowd when he put Levante ahead
on 16 minutes but it was a lead they held for just over ten minutes
when Jonas conjured a leveller for Valencia.
On the stroke of half-time it got even better for fourth placed
Valencia as Roberto Soldado does what he does best in sniffing out
a chance and finishing with customary ease.
It looked as though Soldado’s goal would be enough to earn
Valencia the spoils but in the game’s dying embers Jose Barkero
struck for Levante.