It’s that time again folks! Late Night Liga is upon you! Okay, so it’s not really ‘late’ but I couldn’t help myself, so many things to discuss!
First off, not much of a change in league standings since our last post late Friday, however, Real Madrid and Barcelona are still racing for the title. Who would’ve thunk it? Both clubs played their most important matches Saturday with positive outcomes.
Sporting Gijon visited Real Madrid at the Bernabéu and left disappointed. I can honestly say, as a Madrid supporter, I was insanely nervous to see how we performed. Real’s defense was shaky with no help from Álvaro Arbeloa, who spent most of the match with a confused look on his face. Luckily, Sergio Ramos assisted in Real’s first goal as Gonzalo Higuaín knocked the ball past Gijon’s keeper in the 37th minute. For Gijon, Cuevas scored off a penalty in the 30th giving them their only goal.
The holy trinity of Real Madrid scored one goal each. Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo in the 74th and the Frenchie Karim Benzema in the 84th minute. Both Ronaldo and Benzema were voted as Men of the Match for their fantastic (and title saving) performance on the pitch. We’re leaders for another week!
Now for Barcelona; they faced a tough Levante club at the Cuidad de Valencia. Scoring opened when Levante’s Jose Barkero scored off a penalty in the 23rd. After that, it was a long road to recovery for the Catalans, who could feel their four-point gap from Real Madrid widen. But in true Barcelona fashion, King Messi saved his club with a comeback goal in 64th minute and scoring his fifth penalty in 5 matches in the 72nd, giving Barcelona a 2-1 victory.
While on the topic of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, they enter the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals this week. Real Madrid face Bayern Munich Tuesday, April 17th. Bayern, who have been one of the top clubs in the Champions League, are looking to break down Real Madrid. This match-up is definitely one to watch next week.
Barcelona faces Chelsea FC Wednesday, April 18th. Most people would likely pull Barcelona as the victors in this match-up but if you caught today’s FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea-Tottenham, you might have to re-think your assumption. When put on the spot, Chelsea can perform.
Moving on, today’s La Liga matches were pretty bland.
Espanyol beat Valencia 4-nil and recorded their first win in 6 matches. Cristian Gómez broke open the scoring from a cut-back from Sergio Garcia in the 26th. Four minutes later, Verdú added a second goal with a shot right outside the box. Beautiful.
Álvaro Vásquez was subbed into the match just after the half to score a goal in the 58th. Espanyol’s fourth and final goal came from Kalu Uche in the 80th which gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a total of 45 points, just behind Osasuna. Valencia failed in their two-point advantage over Málaga in the battle for Champions League football next season.
Málaga 1-1 Real Sociedad
Real Betis 1-0 Osasuna
Real Zaragoza 1-0 Granada
Villarreal 1-1 Racing Santander
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Mallorca
Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Atlético Madrid
On Monday, Getafe will host Sevilla FC.
This week is what I like to call as:
Stay tuned later in the week, either Thursday or Friday, for a very special edition of Road to El Clasico. All Clasicos are important, but this week’s Clasico April 21st is very pivotal for both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, as it could be the deciding factor on which club will raise the cup May 13th.
FUN FACT: Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi set a record-breaking tally with 41 goals each this season. I think it’s safe to say, these two are the best in the world? Probably.
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