Last week was very tumultuous for Spanish clubs! First there was UEFA craziness followed by a weekend filled with drama.
Okay so to start with Champions League, Real Madrid barely managed to escape with a draw from their home fixture against Dortmund thanks to a brilliant free kick from Mesut Ozil. Talk about a thing of beauty for the defending La Liga champions. Málaga are still unbeaten even though Milan tried their hardest to change that status. Then on Wednesday, Barcelona fell to Celtic. What. A. Dramatic. Game! It was Celtic’s 125th anniversary, Lionel Messi was still looking for the goal to celebrate the birth of his son Thiago, and, in the end, little ole Celtic took down the giants. To round off Champions League, Valencia put on a great showing at home to defect Borisov 4-2. In the Europa League, Atlético Madrid suffered their first defeat at the hands of Académica and Athletic Bilbao just lost out on a highly exciting game against Lyon. Here are the full results:
AC Milan 1-1 Málaga
Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund
Valencia 4-2 BATE Borisov
Celtic 2-1 Barcelona
Académica 2-0 Atlético Madrid
Athletic Bilbao 2-3 Lyon
Twente 0-0 Levante
Whew. Now to get to the really juicy stuff. Real Zaragoza was the highlight of Saturday’s games as they managed to come back from 2-0 down against Deportivo La Coruña to win 5-3! Of course it helped a bit that Pizzi was sent off with his second yellow of the night for diving. Depor suffered greatly without him and conceded to Zaragoza four times in 22 minutes. Osasuna also pulled off an incredible away 3-0 win defeating Espanyol, who are just above them at the bottom of the table. Maybe this win will provide the boost Osasuna need to move up from the relegation zone.
The big headline from the weekend came from Levante vs. Real Madrid. Last time Madrid visited this team in Valencia, they lost 1-0. Already 8 points behind Barça, Madrid could not afford anything other than a win. With both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín out with injuries, Ronaldo took up the role at center forward and came away with an injury that removed him from the game after half-time. Levante’s Navarro punched CR7 in the eye leaving the Portuguese captain needing medical aid. Regardless of the injury, Ronaldo managed to score before he completely lost his sight. After Levante equalized and with no strikers left on the field, Mourinho put in former youth team forward, 20-year old Álvaro Morata. With just his first touch of the game, Morata scored! A 20-year old saved Real Madrid’s title hopes. Incredible!
What happened after the game is still murky, but we do know that the police were called in to stop fighting between “employees” from Levante and Real Madrid. The names “Sergio Ballesteros” and “Pepe” were included in the hubbub. There are conflicting reports on who punched who and who insulted who, but both clubs released statements this week backing up their players. Whew. That’s one sticky situation. The rest of the results from the weekend are:
Rayo Vallecano 3-2 Celta Vigo
Espanyol 0-3 Osasuna
Real Zaragoza 5-3 Deportivo La Coruña
Málaga 1-2 Real Sociedad
Valladolid 1-1 Valencia
Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Sevilla
Mallorca 2-4 Barcelona
Atlético Madrid 2-0 Getafe
Levante 1-2 Real Madrid
Just a heads up, my recap of next weekend’s games will be my last for a few weeks. My semester is coming to an end, so all my teachers are piling on the work before finals. Until next time!
Photos courtesy of LigaBBVA.com and FoxSoccer.