It only took about 10 minutes for Atlético Madrid to jumpstart their domination of Valladolid in the Nuevo Jose Zorilla Stadium. After suffering a shameful defeat at home in the midweek Europa League fixture, Atleti looked to turn their current trend around with a sound 3-0 win.
Valladolid managed absolutely zero shots on goal. Zilch! Atleti, strengthened by the return of Diego Costa from his two game suspension, put on an impressive display netting 3 goals by Falcao, Costa and Cristian Rodriguez. This win will certainly provide a spark to boost Atleti in their upcoming matches as they had not won an away game since November and had only managed to win 2 of their last 6 games. If they want to hang on to their placed behind the league leaders Barça, they’ll need to carry this strong form on to their next games.
The other game that caught my eye this weekend was the Real Madrid – Rayo Vallecano match in the Santiago Bernabeu and what a strange game it was! Youth team product Álvaro Morata opened the scoring for Real Madrid within two and a half minutes. This was also his first start for the first team. The second goal for los blancos came from Sergio Ramos, who managed to head the ball into the back of the net even though a he had a defender clinging to his back as if asking for a piggy back ride.
Then the game got really strange. I don’t remember the last time I watched a game with such a card-happy referee. It all started with Ramos who managed to receive two yellows within one (maybe two) minutes. There were 8 cards handed out by the hour mark. It was a bit surprising by the end of the game that only one player was sent off the field.
The other hilarious aspect of the game was Rayo’s coach. Paco Jémez was suspended (for some reason unbeknownst to me) and therefore had to sit in the box behind a wall of glass. By the end of the game, I’m not sure he could see out of it anymore since he had covered it with hand prints from consistent hits. Then it appeared Paco was on the phone with his assistant coach (who was down on the field) and yelling at the poor man for his decisions. Thankfully for the glass, Paco didn’t manage to break free of his containment, haha!
Other stories from the weekend include Granada holding their own against Barcelona. The league leaders barely managed to get away with a 2-1 win. Real Sociedad also has had a good run of form, and now they’re sitting happily in a European spot once held by Rayo. Mallorca on the other hand are still falling hard including their most recent defeat at the hands of Valencia. Here are the full results from the weekend:
Sevilla 3-1 Deportivo La Coruña
Getafe 3-1 Celta Vigo
Málaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao
Granada 1-2 Barcelona
Osasuna 1-0 Real Zaragoza
Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante
Valencia 2-0 Mallorca
Valladolid 0-3 Atlético Madrid
Real Madrid 2-0 Rayo Vallecano
Espanyol 1-0 Real Betis
Photos courtesy of LigaBBVA.com. Tune into @AerysSoccer for updates on the wonderful world of soccer.