There were some real jewels in this past weekend of La Liga. The most exciting for me was watching recently-promoted Deportiva La Coruña almost take down Barcelona. Hold on to your horses ’cause this game was one wild ride.
As expected, Barça started the game with three goals within the first 18 minutes: Jordi Alba after only 3 minutes, followed by the youngster Cristian Tello and rounding off with Lionel Messi. After Jordi Alba’s goal, I couldn’t help but think that I was about to watch a long, painful game for Depor. And then almost out of no where, Deportivo managed to pull two goals back on Barça, one of which was a penalty kick.
This tiny team was in no way intimidated by the Goliath of a team that is Barcelona and it was so much fun to watch! The game went into halftime 4-2 with some more magic from Messi. After the break, Depor came out ready to go and scored off a free kick right off the bat. Two minutes later, Javier Mascherano was sent off with a red card after earning his second yellow of the night. I mean, it’s not like the Catalans don’t already have enough problems filling the center back role. Cue Barça freak out.
Tito Villanova made his three subs in quick succession, Victor Valdés quit passing out of the back and just starting punting the ball forward, and it took some more Messi magic (and a hat trick) to pull them further ahead of Depor. Then Jordi Alba made a horrific own goal. Deportivo definitely had that 12th man in their fans who were absolutely deafening even over the TV. Alas, they couldn’t quite pull it off and Barcelona came away with a panicky 5-4 win. Even though they are still unbeaten, Barça are starting to look shaky. To quote journalist Sid Lowe, “it was completely bonkers.”
Then on Sunday, some more magic occurred in Real Sociedad vs Atlético Madrid. Basically, Radamel Falcao cannot be stopped. In the 90th minute, Falcao stepped up to take a free kick. He had never scored off a free kick prior to this chance. As the ball soared into the back of the net, he had done it: scored 10 goals in 10 games. Amazing.
The last jewel happened in the Sevilla-Mallorca game. The winning goal for Sevilla was scored by Brazilian Cicinho. The defender put a screamer into the back of the net and, in all the game I’ve watched, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen some one so happy to scored he almost cried. The full results from the weekend were:
Málaga 2-1 Valladolid
Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo
Valencia 3-2 Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo La Coruña 4-5 Barcelona
Getafe 0-1 Levante
Espanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano
Granada 1-2 Real Zaragoza
Osasuna 0-0 Real Betis
Real Sociedad 0-1 Atlético Madrid
Sevilla 3-2 Mallorca
Champions League and Europa League comes back this week, so look for the the Spanish teams in the midweek action.
Photos courtesy of LigaBBVA.com.