Tight at top as big guns win while Villarreal continue to struggle: Liga F Week 4 Round-Up

Tight at top as big guns win while Villarreal continue to struggle: Liga F Week 4 Round-Up
Skipper Alexia Putellas scored her second goal of the season in the league for Barcelona in their 3-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday evening / © Photo by Diego Souto / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images

The title defence juggernaut continued for Barcelona as they dismantled visiting Real Sociedad 3-0 at the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Sunday evening. 

The hosts broke the deadlock after eight minutes through forward Caroline Graham Hansen who pounced on the spill by goalkeeper Elene Lete who could not handle an initial shot from forward Mariona Caldentey. 

The visitors re-organised their frontline bringing on forward Amaiur Sarriegi in place of midfielder Iris Arnaiz. However, the hosts doubled their lead five minutes into the second half through forward Alexia Putellas off a pass from midfielder Aitana Bonmatí. 

The hosts made a triple change with nine minutes left bringing on returning midfielder Keira Walsh, forward Asisat Oshoala and midfielder Esmee Brugts for Bonmatí, Putellas and Caldentey respectively. Walsh went on to cap her return from injury with an 84th minute assist setting up Graham Hansen for her second goal of the match and third for Barcelona to complete the scoring. 

The win put Barcelona on 12 points whilst Real Sociedad remained on four points.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid marched on, narrowly beating visiting Villarreal 1-0 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday night. 

The hosts left it late with Danish forward Signe Bruun pouncing on goal in the final minute of the match off a pass from defender Olga Carmona. 

The hosts had found the visitors so resolute at the back and had made some attacking changes after 62 minutes bringing on forwards Athenea del Castillo and Linda Caicedo for forwards Hayley Raso and Caroline Møller. 

The changes brought some urgency to the Madrid attack but not to the levels they had wanted as Villarreal held on. 

The visitors, on the other hand, added more defensive personnel as they sought to protect their rearguard by introducing defender Queralt Gómez for defender Nerea Pérez after 78 minutes. 

The win took Madrid to 12 points and maintained their 100% start to the season whilst Villarreal continued with struggling. They have lost all their four matches into the new season.

Atlético Madrid had to fight tooth and nail to edge visiting Sevilla 2-1 at the Centro Deportivo Alcalá de Henares on Saturday afternoon. 

The hosts opened the scoring after 35 minutes when midfielder Leicy Santos curled her shot into the top right corner from outside the penalty box after she was set up by forward Ana-Maria Crnogorčević. 

The visitors made a half-time change bringing on forward Inma Gabarro for midfielder Amanda Sampedro and they started playing purposefully looking for the equaliser which came 10 minutes into the second half through midfielder Toni Payne who beat goalkeeper Lola Gallardo at the near post. 

Santos restored her side’s lead after 72 minutes when she connected with a cross from substitute forward Marta Cardona from outside the penalty box to beat goalkeeper Esther Sullastres for the second time. 

The win put Atlético on 10 points whilst Sevilla remained on three points after losing the third match of their first four matches into the season.

Levante were unstoppable as they massacred hosts Real Betis 4-0 at the Ciudad Deportiva Luis de Sol on Sunday afternoon. 

The visitors took an 18th minute lead through a left footed shot from midfielder Nataša Andonova after being set up by defender Antônia. Forward Gabi Nunes doubled her side’s lead two minutes later after she headed a rebound shot into the nets after goalkeeper Malena Mieres’ initial save fell onto her path. 

The visitors raced into a three-goal lead in the 43rd minute after Betis’ defender Paula Perea conceded a penalty which was cooly converted by forward Érika González.

The visitors introduced some fresh legs when they brought in forwards Carmen Álvarez, Tiffany Cameron and midfielder Leles for midfielder Rosa Márquez, forward Natalia Montilla Martínez and midfielder Carolina Férez respectively. 

Nunes completed her brace in the 72nd minute to give her side a 4-0 lead after defender Rhiannon Roberts failed to deal with a cross that ricocheted off her chest onto the path of the forward. 

The win took Levante to eight points whilst Betis are on three points, one place above the relegation zone.

Madrid CFF converted a late penalty to edge a spirited visiting Granada CF side 1-0 at the Estadio Fernando Torres on Sunday afternoon. 

The match was heading for a stalemate until the 85th minute when the hosts were awarded a penalty when forward Luany was fouled by midfielder Lucía Martínez González with the spot kick being converted by midfielder Ana González. 

The win put Madrid CFF on nine points and made it three wins in a row for them whilst Granada remained on three points having lost three matches on the trot.

Visiting UDG Tenerife collected maximum points on the road after edging hosts SD Eibar 1-0 at the Municipal de Ipurua on Sunday afternoon. 

The visitors broke the deadlock after 29 minutes when forward Jassina Blom headed home a cross from hard running midfielder Koko Ange on her return to the starting lineup. 

Former Liverpool forward Rinsola Babajide nearly made it 2-0 towards the end of the first half but was denied by the crossbar. 

The win came as a huge relief for the visitors as they moved to six points whilst Eibar remained on three points, just two places above the relegation zone.

Hosts Athletic Club dismantled a struggling Sporting Huelva side 3-0 at the Lezama Facilities on Monday evening. 

The hosts broke the deadlock after a quarter of an hour when former Alaves forward Sanadri pounced on a pass from midfielder Clara Pinedo. The hosts doubled their lead a minute into the second half through forward Sara Ortega who was set up by defender Ane Elexpuru Añorga before former Real Madrid forward Nahikari García rounded off the scoring a minute from full-time off a pass from Elexpuru Añorga who completed a brace of assists. 

The win put Athletic Club on six points with their second win on the trot whilst Sporting Huelva remained on one point and in the relegation zone.

The last match of the round saw hosts Valencia force a one-all draw with Levante Las Planas at the Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna on Monday evening. 

The visitors took a fortuitous ninth minute lead through midfielder Anissa Lahmari who was set up by defender Núria Garrote after the goalkeeper had made a mess of the shot. 

The hosts made the first change of the match after 61 minutes bringing on forward Ivonne Chacón and midfielder Estela Fernández for fellow forward Anita Marcos and midfielder Marta Carro respectively. 

Substitute Chacón made sure that her side gained a valuable point after she pounced on a pass from forward Elena Gil Gallardo in the 81st minute to level the scores. 

The draw took the host to four points from a possible 12 whilst Levante Las Planas are on eight points and are unbeaten in their first four matches of the current season.

Results (Saturday): Atlético Madrid 2-1 Sevilla; Real Madrid 1-0 Villarreal

Results (Sunday): Eibar 0-1 UDG Tenerife; Real Betis 0-4 Levante; Madrid CFF 1-0 Granada CF; Barcelona 3-0 Real Sociedad

Results (Monday): Athletic Club 3-0 Sporting Huelva; Valencia 1-1 Levante Las Planas