Real Sociedad kept their dream for a maiden league title and quest for Champions League football alive as they defeated Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Barcelona shrugged off midweek Champions League fatigue to win at home against Levante. Levante were hoping to be the first team to stop Barcelona and move into Champions League spots but it was not to be as they ended up losing 4-0 at the Stadi Johan Cruyff. Aitana Bonmati gave the champions the lead in the 13th minute before their inform skipper, Alexia Putellas, doubled their lead two minutes from the break to take her season tally to nine goals and two behind fellow teammate, Asisat Oshoala, with eleven. She followed up her midweek brace against Hoffenheim with a goal and assist against Levante. Substitutes Lieke Martens and Jennifer Hermoso added a goal each in the 66th and 94th minutes respectively to wrap up the three points to take their tally to 30 points after 10 matches.
On the other hand, Real Sociedad saw off the challenge of fellow Champions League spots aspirants, Atletico Madrid, after a 1-0 win away from home. The away side found a breakthrough with the last kick of the match after Nerea Eizagirre scored a 93rd minute penalty to take their points tally to 24, six behind log leaders Barcelona. The home side continued to struggle as they only managed a single win in their last five matches. Granadilla were the big movers as they won their rescheduled midweek fixture against Villarreal on Wednesday and then followed it up with another win against Valencia yesterday. The two wins moved them to eighth on the log standings and they are unbeaten in the last five matches which saw them register three wins on the trot. They won 2-0 away to Villarreal on Wednesday and then followed it up with a 2-1 win at home against Valencia yesterday. They opened the scoring in the 24th minute through Maria Jose Perez before Ange Koko added the second in the 72nd minute with Marta Carro reducing the deficit for Valencia in the 86th minute.
Real Madrid continue to improve as battle to avoid relegation intensifies
Real Madrid continued to improve as they registered their third consecutive win after beating ten women Betis on Saturday. Betis have been playing with ten women in the second week running and losing both matches which derailed their fight for Champions League. Eva Llamas was shown a red card in the 61st minute when her team was trailing 2-1 after Maria Valle had reduced the deficit early in the second half after Esther Gonzalez and Caroline Moller had given Real Madrid the two goal cushion before half-time. After the red card Madrid piled on the pressure and were duly rewarded with two goals through Nahikari Garcia and a second for Esther Gonzalez in the 76th and 79th minutes respectively.
Sevilla welcomed their hard fought win away at struggling Villarreal as they gifted the home team with two own goals. They went to the break with a two goal advantage after a brace from Maria Inmaculada Gabarro in the 22nd and 24th minutes. A few minutes after the resumption Javiera Toro beat her own keeper to reduce the scores before Toni Payne restored the two goal advantage with twenty minutes left. It was a tense finish when Sevilla conceded another own goal this time through Lucia Ramirez Ramos in the 90th minute. The defeat was Villarreal’s eight after ten games this season. In the other match, Alaves continued to do well as they held onto their 1-0 lead to win at home against Eibar. The win moved them to seventh on the log with 17 points. They have lost only once in their last five matches winning two and drawing the other two. Their goal yesterday came on the stroke of half-time through the boot of Miriam Dieguez and could have made it 2-0 but Carla Armengol’s goal was ruled offside.
Madrid CFF and Athletic Club win as they push for Champions League football
Madrid CFF continued their pursuit for Champions League football after winning 2-1 at home against struggling 10 women Sporting Huelva. Geyse Ferreira continued her rich vein of form after ensuring the home side collected maximum points through her 78th minute strike after the away side were reduced to ten women after Cinta Del Mar Rodriguez Costa was red carded in the 67th minute. Geyse’s goal was her tenth for the season and moved her to within one goal behind the injured Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona. The home side were pegged behind as early as the 5th minute when Daiane Limeira Santos Silva beat her own keeper but they responded in the 22nd minute through Gabi Nunez and went to the break all square. The win moved the home side to sixth place with 17 points, two points behind Athletic Club who occupy the last Champions League spot.
Athletic Club bounced back from back to back losses to win away to struggling Rayo Vallecano. The away side went to the break with a two goal advantage after racing into a 10th minute lead through Naroa Uriarte and doubled their lead in the 27th minute through Lucia Garcia. The win moved Athletic to third position which is the final Champions League spot. They had to take advantage of their close challengers for Champions League football facing Barcelona and Real Sociedad and knew a positive result for them was enough to move them up.
Results (Saturday): Barcelona 4-0 Levante; Atletico Madrid 0-1 Real Sociedad; Madrid CFF 2-1 Sporting Huelva; Real Betis 1-4 Real Madrid; Villarreal 2-3 Sevilla; Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Athletic Club
Results (Sunday): Alaves 1-0 Eibar; Granadilla Tenerife 2-1 Valencia
Photo by Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons