La Liga weekend thus far: Real Madrid, Barcelona cruise to victories
With much focus directed toward Saturday’s action in the Premier League, let’s take a look at some of the latest La Liga fixtures from the weekend so far.
The biggest news heard around the soccer world is Messi’s record-breaking hat-trick that put his career La Liga goal tally at 253, two scores above Telmo Zarra’s sum, making the Argentine striker the top goal scorer in league history.
[RELATED: La Liga standings]
Cristiano Ronaldo, the other superstar in Spain and front-runner for the Ballon d’Or, netted a brace in a 4-0 outcome over Eibar before being substituted out for Alvaro Arbeloa in the 84th minute.
RESULTS (Friday and Saturday)
Athletic Bilbao 3-1 Espanyol: Aritz Aduriz was the man that greatly aided Bilbao’s attack to victory in this one, totaling both a goal and an assist for the Basques. The Spaniard then led Borja Viguera forward for the second goal of the match, with Ander Iturraspe’s curling screamer from long range building the score up to 3-0. Victor Sanchez’s strike in the 83rd minute, though, ended the possibility of a shutout. Bilbao have won three of its last four matches, while Espanyol remains slightly lower in the league table at 12th place.
Atletico Madrid 3-1 Malaga: The Anchovies had enjoyed a five-game winning streak prior to this match, and Atletico, turning around their lackluster play from last week’s 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad, abruptly halted this momentum. Tiago’s header arrived in the 12th minute to grab the initial lead, and Antoine Griezmann, scoring yet again for Diego Simeone, sat in perfect position at the back post to bury the second goal. Roque Santa Cruz’s conversion made the score 2-1, but Godin’s header in the 83rd minute essentially ended any Malaga hopes of getting at least a point.
Eibar 0-4 Real Madrid: World Cup star James Rodriquez opened up the scoring in the 23rd minute with a great headed finish from a Ronaldo cross, and then the world-class Portugal international ripped a top-shelved strike to put Real two goals ahead twenty minutes later. Karim Benzema applied a nice touch in the 69th minute to make the scoreline 3-0; then, it was Ronaldo on the PK to end it in the 83rd minute.
Barcelona 5-1 Sevilla: The story of this game was a brilliant Messi, accounting for sixty percent of Barcelona’s scoring, that started with his first goal, a stunning free kick bent around Sevilla’s wall in the 21st minute. From then on, Messi found the net on a quick shot on the doorstep and a well-placed strike from the outskirts of the penalty area. Neymar and Ivan Rakitic also scored, while it was clear Jordi Alba’s 47th minute own goal wouldn’t really help the Red and Whites in the long run.
Deportivo 0-0 Real Sociedad: This competition was the true start of David Moyes’ time in Spain managing Real Sociedad. Even though the match’s conclusion was a scoreless draw and Real had their defensive backs against the wall toward the end, Carlos Vela showed bright spots in the attack, and overall, the state of the Turks appeared much improved from previous matches. The end result marked Sociedad’s first clean sheet since April.