After suffering a disappointing 2-1 loss to Athletic Bilbao last week following losses against Real Zaragoza and Celta Vigo as well, Sevilla came back with a vengeance to thrash Real Betis 5-1. Five goals, a manita.
Sevilla came into this game ready to win: José Antonio Reyes scored the first goal in 11 seconds. Four minutes later Federico Fazio scored the second. Real Betis managed to save face with a goal in the 66th minute but Sevilla had this game from the start. The special part: Reyes had returned to Sevilla after eight years abroad and ran riot against the Betis defense, running them ragged.
Both Reyes and Fazio scored braces against Betis. Ivan Rakitic’s final goal in the 91st minute completed the manita and set Sevilla back on course to reach the Europa League standings. Real Betis, on the other hand, looked shaky and scared against the onslaught.
This loss in the Sevilla Derby dropped them from a Champions League place to the last place for Europa League. Deportivo La Coruña also dropped a few places given their recent loss, but they’ve dropped into the relegation zone. Valencia escaped with a win against Espanyol, and even the Valencia manager admits the Espanyol players had a right to be mad at the referee. Barcelona continued on with their unbeaten streak while Real Madrid completed a manita of their own thanks to a recovered and goal-hungry Karim Benzema. Here are the full results from Week 12:
Osasuna 0-0 Málaga
Valencia 2-1 Espanyol
Barcelona 3-1 Real Zaragoza
Real Madrid 5-1 Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo La Coruña 0-2 Levante
Celta Vigo 1-1 Mallorca
Getafe 2-1 Valladolid
Granada 0-1 Atlético Madrid
Sevilla 5-1 Real Betis
Real Sociedad 4-0 Rayo Vallecano
Outside the top tier of Spanish fútbol, another story has swept the headlines: #SOSRealOviedo. The historic club of Real Oviedo, which produced players like Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla, was in danger of bankruptcy. Their solution: open the opportunity for fans around the world to buy shares in the club to keep it afloat. The international response was staggering and heartwarming. Currently, Real Oviedo competes in the fourth division of Spanish fútbol, a long fall from their days in La Liga. Thanks to a phenomenal twitter campaign, the club avoided bankruptcy and is now owned by people all around the world. They still have a long way to go, but this initial progress gives a lot of optimism for the future.
Champions League returns this week as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Málaga all look to book a place to the next round in the penultimate games of the group stage. In the Europa League, we’ll see if Atlético Madrid and Levante can do the same. Athletic Bilbao’s game against Hapoel Kiryat has been postponed for supporter’s safety due to the situation in Tel Aviv.
Photos courtesy of LigaBBVA.com and Real Oviedo.