Welcome back fútbol fans! This past week of La Liga has been a crazy one with matches Monday-Thursday!
Current standings for the 2-12-2013 campaign are as follows:
On Monday, Málaga beat Racing Santander 3-nil with goals from Santi Cazorla, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Isco. Málaga, who were almost relegated last season, has improved tremendous amounts and will begin the weekend sitting at 4th.
Barca faced Getafe, a club who they lost to earlier in the season, came up on top as they scored 4-nil at the Nou camp with Alexis Sánchez rounding out with two goals. Barcelona are still within a 4-point reach of current leaders Real Madrid, with only 6 matches left of the season and a huge El Clasico coming up next Saturday.
Espanyol lost 2-nil to Osasuna while Real Sociedad and Real Betis drew at 1-1.
Wednesday was a whole different ballgame as all four matches were very entertaining to watch. First on the list was Atlético Madrid – Real Madrid in El Derbi Madrileño. It was a do or die match for Real, who could have seen their title hopes fall out of place. Falcao scored the lone goal for Atléti off a header from Adrian Lopez in the 55′, but it was Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo who made headlines with his 7th hattrick of the season. José Callejón scored their 4th goal minutes after Ronnie’s penalty kick.
Valencia proved why they’re sitting in 3rd after a 4-1 victory against Rayo Vallecano at the Mestalla. After a couple rough weeks, plagued with bad form, Valencia opened up the scoring in the 41′ by Jonas. Jordi Alba, Pablo and another goal by Jonas gave Valencia their win. Diego Costa fired low into the corner giving Rayo their only goal.
Granada drew with Athletic Bilbao 2-2 and Sporting Gijon beat Levante 3-2.
Thursday was another high-scoring day of fútbol as Sevilla sank Zaragoza at home with 3 goals, two from Álvaro Negredo and one from Federico Fazio. Santander lost to Mallorca 3-nil while Villarreal beat Málaga 2-1.
This weekend is another busy one for the players. Real Madrid face Sporting Gijon at the Bernabéu, hoping to pull off a victory. The whites can’t afford to be down ANY points. If Madrid grasp a victory but lose during El Clasico, they’ll still be Liga leaders, even if it’s by one point.
Levante play Barcelona Saturday as well and that match will be broadcasted on ESPN3.com at 4 p.m. ET. Levante have had a fantastic season so they’ll give Barca a little difficulty at the Ciudad de Valencia.
On Sunday, all the other clubs face off with the televised matches being Espanyol – Valencia on ESPN Deportes at 6 a.m. ET and Rayo Vallecano playing Athletic Bilbao on ESPN Deportes at 3:30 p.m. ET.
On Monday Getafe will play Sevilla at the Coliseum Afonso Perez which is a must-watch match as Getafe’s defense are a perfect match for Sevilla’s fast offense.
Ever wondered how Messi & Ronaldo match up? Just check out this video for some interesting statistics!
In other news around Liga, Villarreal took a huge blow today as Giuseppe Rossi tore his ACL in training. Rossi, who was on his way back to a good form after suffering an injury in October, will miss Euro 2012 for Italy who were to face Spain in the tournament opener.
We have an update on Barca defender Eric Abidal, who underwent a liver transplant Tuesday. Barca manager, Pep Guardiola (King of the Skinny Ties) stated that the French international was recovering well and that everything is going as planned. It’s unlikely he will return this season, let alone represent France in Euro, but we all wish his a fast recovery!
Twitter is a pretty interesting place to find weird news. Today I noticed a hashtag called #footballermovies. Some of my favorite La Liga inspired ones are ‘Guti & The Beast,’ ‘Lionel King,’ ‘Cesc & The City,’ ‘One Flew Over the Kaka’s Nest,’ ‘Xavitar,’ and ‘Don’t Messi With The Zlatan.’