Real Madrid juggernaut marches on, Barcelona routs Athletic 4-0￼
Real Madrid kept their lead atop the La Liga standings intact as they defeated Sevilla 3-1 on matchday 11. Barcelona also kept up the pace with their eternal rivals as they outclassed Athletic Bilbao 4-0, whereas Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 2-1 to keep their third place intact.
This weekend’s La Liga fixtures included some great matchups and none of the big boys failed to deliver. Here’s a completed recap of the action that unfolded on matchday 11.
Rayo Vallecano 5-1 Cadiz
Rayo Vallecano welcomed the relegation-threatened Cadiz at Estadio de Vallecas and dished out a 5-1 hammering. This match had everything, goals, drama, and red cards too. As many as three players were sent off. The hosts drew first blood from a penalty as Isaac Carcelen was given his marching orders and Isi Palazon dispatched the spot kick.
Before the end of the first half, Alvaro Rivera doubled Rayo’s lead. Florian Lejeune scored directly from a free kick to add the third, while Sergio Comella bagged the fourth. Cadiz also had the ball in the back of the net, through an own goal by Ivan Ballu, before Lejeune completed his brace and wrapped up the contest.
Real Valladolid 1-0 Real Sociedad
Despite enjoying 75% of possession Real Sociedad endured a huge upset at Jose Zorrilla as they took on Real Valladolid. The hosts were in the driving seat after just 10 minutes as Monchu’s cross found its way into the back of the net, but the referee ruled it out for a foul in the buildup after a VAR review.
Six minutes later their persistence paid off as Sergio Leon raced through on goal and finished with aplomb to send the crowd into raptures. Valladolid could have added another through Shon Weissman but Alex Remiro made a good save.
La Real thought they had equalised through Takefusa Kubo but again VAR intervened and chalked it off. There was more late drama as Sociedad, seeking to restore parity, scored again but they were denied once again because of offside during the buildup, Imanol Alguacil won’t be a happy man clearly.
Valencia 1-2 Mallorca
After back-to-back draws against Elche and Sevilla, Mallorca further compiled Valencia’s miseries as Gennaro Gattuso’s side dropped down to ninth place in La Liga standings. There were no clear-cut chances in the first half but the game came alive after the break. Samuel Lino was fouled inside the box, the referee had no qualms pointing to the spot, and up stepped Edinson Cavani to put the home side ahead.
Shortly after the hour mark, Amath Ndiaye wriggled his way past a couple of Valencia players before being brought down inside the box. It was Mallorca who was awarded a lifeline and Vedat Muriqi didn’t miss from 12 yards. Giorgi Mamardashvili was tested again after just four minutes, as the visitors continued to pile the pressure.
In the 83rd minute, Lee Kang-in collected the ball and rattled the roof of the net to complete the epic turnaround.
Real Madrid 3-1 Sevilla
Los Blancos continued their impressive domestic run as they steered past Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla. Vinicius Jr was the architect in chief once again, he fed Luka Modric who tapped in from close range to put Madrid ahead.
Into the second half, the visitors got back at level-pegging as Erik Lamela was put through on goal and even though Thibaut Courtois made the save he couldn’t stop the ball from trickling over the line.
Lamela had another sight at goal but his effort sailed narrowly wide. In the 78th minute, Carlo Ancelotti’s side showed their prowess from counter-attacks as Marco Asensio fed Vinicius who instead gave the ball to Lucas Vazquez to poke into an empty net. Federico Valverde also joined in the act as he unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the box to wrap up all three points.
Espanyol 2-2 Elche
Espanyol and Elche shared the spoils after a 2-2 draw on matchday 11. The visitors needed just 10 minutes to get their noses in front as Pere Milla got the scoring underway. 13 minutes later Espanyol was back on level terms, Edu Exposito beat a couple of defenders and set it up on a plate for Javi Paudo to poke it in.
Shortly after the hour mark, Martin Braithwaite gave the Catalan side the lead after being picked out expertly inside the box. Edgar Badia made a mistake as he gifted away possession but the keeper redeemed himself by making a save off Lucas Boye. In the 82nd minute, Gonzalo Verdu headed in the equaliser as Elche stole a point away from Espanyol.
Real Betis 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone’s men got the better of Manuel Pellegrini’s side to keep hold of third place. The game had few chances in the first half but broke into life during the second half. Just two minutes after the restart, Reinaldo Mandava made a mistake and Borja Iglesias fed it to Luiz Henrique who scored but VAR ruled it out as Iglesias was given offside.
Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock as he scored directly from the corner to give Los Rojiblancos the lead. He completed his brace after some slick passing between Nahuel Molina, Griezmann, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha to double Atleti’s advantage.
Nabil Fekir put one into the top corner directly from a free-kick to give Betis a lifeline but the visitors held on to secure all three points.
Girona 1-1 Osasuna
Girona and Osasuna shared the points at Montilivi. Both sides exchanged punches early on, but it was Osasuna who dominated the proceedings, and their persistence paid off when Kike Barja curled in a beauty from the edge of the box.
There was an instant response from Girona as they equalised through David Lopez. There were chances aplenty in the second half as well, but neither side could grab the game by the scruff of the neck and it finished 1-1.
Villarreal 2-1 Almeria
The Yellow Submarine welcomed Almeria to the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on matchday 11 in La Liga and registered a comeback 2-1 win. The visiting team needed just 30 minutes to break the deadlock, and Gonzalo Melero finished from close range to give his side the lead.
In the 55th minute, Alex Baena headed in to restore parity for Villarreal. However, it was a comical scene as the goal scorer was sent off for collecting his second booking for celebrating by lifting his shirt.
Arnaut Danjuma scored shortly after but he had strayed offside. Almeria kept threatening but couldn’t find a way past the excellent Geronimo Rulli. Both sides kept knocking at the doors but it was Nicolas Jackson who was played through on goal and finished calmly to seal a ridiculous comeback for the hosts.
Barcelona 4-0 Athletic Club
After Madrid’s win earlier in the week, Xavi’s side needed to keep up the pace with the league leaders and they came up with a flawless display at home. Ousmane Dembele came up with three assists as he tore apart Ernesto Valverde’s side, on his reunion with his former club.
The Frenchman opened the scoring himself after just 12 minutes, heading in from close range. The ex-Dortmund man then fed Sergi Roberto who rifled into the roof of the net to double Barca’s lead.
After some brilliant work down the left wing, Dembele again turned provider for Robert Lewandowski who made no mistake inside the box. All of this, inside just 22 minutes.
The Blaugrana took their foot off the pedal towards the end of the first half but in the 72nd minute, Dembele combined with Ferran Torres who put the icing on the cake. There was a chance for the Basque side to get one for themselves as Ter Stegen made a melee of himself but poor finishing from Bilbao ensured that his clean sheet remained intact.