Spanish La Liga Week 4
Recreativo Huelva 2-1 Espanyol
Javi Guerrero scored two goals in six second half minutes as Recreativo Huelva staged a come from behind victory over Espanyol on Sunday.
The visitors had taken an early lead through Albert Riera in the 5th minute but Recreativo struck back eight minutes into the second half through Guerrero who then scored an excellent goal six minutes later to put his team in the lead.
Fresh from bagging their first victory of the season against Getafe, Espanyol raced to the lead in the 6th minute when Riera smashed a stinging volley past Stefano Sorrentino after being teed up by Luis Garcia from a free kick.
The visitors looked the better team for the opening period of the game as Riera was once again in the action when he crossed for Raul Tamudo but the striker was unable to reach the ball in time. Things almost got worse for the hosts when Quique Alvarez looked to have fouled Garcia with the defender being the last man. However the referee waved off the appeals for a second yellow card and urged the Espanyol players to get on with the game.
Espanyol almost doubled the lead five minutes before half time when Riera dodged two defenders before releasing a low drive towards the target that flew just wide of the post. Recreativo's first real chance fell to Carlos Martins when the midfielder saw his effort saved just in time by Carlos Kameni.
The hosts equalized eight minutes into the second half through an excellent goal by Guerrero as the striker showed brilliant control to flick the ball over Marc Torrejon before smashing home the volley past Kameni.
Six minutes later Recreativo took the lead when Guerrero latched on to a mistake by Clemente Rodriguez to release an unstoppable drive past Kameni to score his and Recreativo's second of the night.
Espanyol tried to get back into the game and had two great chances to equalize through Tamudo and substitute Moises Hurtado but both the players were denied by some excellent saves by Sorrentino, who made sure that Recreativo finished the game with all three points.
Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla
Sevilla's unbeaten start to the new season came to an abrupt end as Lionel Messi scored two goals late in the game to snatch a victory for Barcelona on Sunday.
In a game that saw very few chances in the first half, action exploded in the final third of the match which saw three goals scored in 16 minutes as Barca chalked up its second successive home victory to stay in touch with the league leaders.
Barca created the first chance of the match as Andres Iniesta controlled a pass from Lionel Messi before teeing up Thierry Henry but the striker saw his shot go harmlessly wide of the post. Messi was starting to get into his rhythm and went on a mazy run, beating three defenders in the process, but was unable to connect his shot.
Iniesta had a decent shot on target but saw his attempt deflect out of play as Barca dominated the possession, but were unable to create any real chance. Sevilla almost took the lead at the other end as Kanoute saw his header graze the cross bar before going out.
Eric Abidal, Deco and Yaya Toure all had decent chances but were unable to beat Andres Palop and ended the half with nothing to show for their dominance in possession. Henry's poor form continued as the striker looked a pale shadow of himself, struggling to get any purchase from his attempts.
However the Frenchman showed glimpses of his abilities as he superbly controlled Marquez's long ball before attempting to curl around Palop. But the Sevilla keeper was equal to the challenge and pulled of a brilliant save to deflect the ball onto the post and out.
Barca finally grabbed the lead in the 73rd minute when Henry found Messi at the far post with a brilliant through ball and the Argentine controlled the ball perfectly before smashing past a helpless Palop.
The hosts doubled the lead six minutes later when Giovani dos Santos was fouled inside the area by Poulsen and Messi made no mistake in converting the chance from the spot to score his second goal of the night.
Sevilla got one back in the final minute of the match when Kanoute dodged past Oleguer before looping his shot over Valdes' head. But it was too little too late for Sevilla as Barca maintained their 100% home record to secure their second win of the new season.
Almeria 1-1 Mallorca
Newly-promoted Almeria shrugged off consecutive defeats to Real Madrid and Valencia with a fine all round display against Real Mallorca, but were unfortunate to only get one point from the game. Jose Manuel Mane scored the only goal for Almeria in the first half only to have it nullified late on by Guiza.
Mallorca were lucky not to slip to their second loss this La Liga season as Guiza rescued them late on in the game. However it was Mallorca who began the stronger in the game with Guiza testing Almeria goalkeeper David Cobeno as early as the fourth minute.
Guiza was again threatening in the 14th minute, but his long-range effort drifted wide. Unai Emery's side were struggling to deal with a deluge of Mallorca attacks early on and were relieved when Kalu Uche sent in a fine cross from the left side only for Mane to put the ball home from a left foot shot.
Alvaro Negredo posed a threat minutes later, but his fine shot went painfully wide and the scored remained at 1-0 in favor of Almeria. Fernando Varela and Guiza had decent chances to equalize after the break, but could not find the target. Juan Arango forced Cobeno to save off his feet as Almeria withered in face of an onslaught.
Borja Valero had a golden chance to put Mallorca level on 75 minutes, but was unable to put the finishing touches. However he atoned for his miss minutes later, crossing for Guiza to net his third goal of the new season.
Victor Casadesus had two gilt-edged chances to seal the game for the visitors, but failed to convert them.
Getafe 0-0 Deportivo La Coruña
Getafe coach Michael Laudrup is still looking for his first win as his side was involved in a dull and dreary 0-0 draw at home against Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. Getafe had a wonderful season last year under the present Real Madrid coach Brend Schuster.
However they seem unable to replicate the same form under new coach Laudrup as they have struggled to get going this season. They were shot out 4-1 by Sevilla on the opening day; Getafe had managed to hold Recreativo Huelva in their second outing only to suffer a 1-0 loss to Espanyol before this uninspiring draw.
However they had managed to win 1-0 in the game against FC Twente triggering hopes that they had finally turned the corner. For much of the first half, Getafe dominated the possession. Defender Daniel Diaz had a chance to put the home side ahead in the eighth minute. However he failed to direct his header, which sailed over the crossbar.
Getafe midfielder Javi Casquero was presented with another chance on 10 minutes, but his shot also sailed over the goal. Braulio had another chance on 36th minute, but Dudu Aouate made a fine save. Deportivo finally managed to pose a threat in the 40th minute when Angel Lafita's cross was headed goal ward by Verdu. However Getafe goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri affected a brilliant save to keep his side in the game.
Abbondanzieri and Aouate were largely bored in the second half as were the crowd, but Aoute had to be alert in injury time when Juan Albin sent his free-kick goal ward, but the ball was well over.
Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao finally got their first win of the new La Liga season thanks to a fine brace from Aritz Aduriz. The latter was in fine form as the visitors beat Levante 1-2 on Sunday.
Castedo David fouled Fernando Llorente in the eighth minute of the game to hand the visitors a free-kick. Carrion Aitor Ocio's free kick went off to Aduriz, who made no mistake from close range. Bruno Cirillo was then adjudged to have made a deliberate handball giving the visitors another free kick in a potentially dangerous area.
However Markel Susaeta was unable to keep the ball down from 20 yards out. Cirillo had a chance to draw level on the half hour mark, but his header from Bortolini Savio's out swinging corner sailed harmlessly over the Bilbao goal.
Levante forced the pace late in the half, but were unable to break Bilbao's resolute defense. After the break, the home side continued to attack and was rewarded in the 69th minute with a penalty after Aduriz handled the ball. However Rigano was unable to score much to the dismay of the home fans.
Aduriz atoned for his error with a super strike from 20 yards out that left Marco Storari helpless in the Levante goal. However the home side bounced back through Rigano whose wonderful shot went beyond Gorka Iraizoz in the 78th minute.
This led to a frantic last 10 minutes in which Amorebieta was sent off by the referee. However Bilbao held on to register a fine win.
Levante next face Osasuna in the mid-week game, while Bilbao meet Atletico Madrid.
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Real Betis 1-2 Valencia
Valencia were made to work hard at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium, but still managed to carve out their third win of the season as they overcame Real Betis 2-1 in a weekend La Liga clash on Sunday.
The loss meant Betis are winless at home since January this year. Both teams wore a new look as managers were forced to make mass changes with as many as 15 players on wither side battling injuries. However that did not affect the quality of the game as David Villa had an early chance to break the deadlock in the 6th minute.
His fierce shot forced a wonderful save from Ricardo. Betis midfielder Mark Gonzalez replied almost immediately, but his shot went just wide. Ivan Helguera then had a chance to put Valencia ahead, but his header went wide with Ricardo helplessly watching.
David Silva had another golden chance just after the break, but Ricardo was alert to fend him off. However on 69 minutes, Valencia finally inched ahead when Miguel managed to stall two defenders and then beat Ricardo.
Betis were spurred into action with this goal and substitutes David Odonkor and Juan Pablo Caffa came close to equalizing. However Valencia doubled their advantage as Miguel Angulo's cross was put away in fine fashion by Joaquin in the 83rd minute.
Late on Betis created a frantic finish as Sobis scored in the 87th minute, however they were unable to trouble Valencia thereafter and slipped to another loss.
Real Betis next travel to Real Madrid, while Valencia welcome Getafe.
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Villarreal 2-0 Murcia
Giuseppe Rossi came off the bench to slot home two late goals as Villarreal continued their impressive form with a 2-0 victory over Murcia on Sunday.
The hosts huffed and puffed for the majority of the match with little success before the 84th minute strike from the Italian youngster who then doubled the lead four minutes later to put the result beyond a resilient Murcia line up.
Both the teams started the game cautiously and the first real chance fell to Villarreal in the 15th minute when Jon Dahl Tomasson tried to shoot past keeper Notario from a one-on-one situation, but was unable to hit the target.
The visitors came very close to taking the lead through Mario Regueiro who saw his long range shot fly inches wide of the far post. Villarreal were dominating the possession, but were unable to create any real chances, though Josico and Pascal Cygan had decent chances to score.
Murcia's best chance of the match fell to Quique De Lucas as he raced behind the Villarreal defense and had just Viera to beat but was unable to power his shot that went harmlessly wide. Nihat had a great chance to put the hosts in the lead but his stinging drive in the 61st minute was saved by Notario on the second attempt.
Villarreal then took the lead with just 5 minutes remaining on the clock when Rossi teamed up with Franco to play a delightful one-two before slotting the ball past Notario from just 12 yards out. Four minutes later, Rossi doubled the lead as he latched on to Fernandez's through ball before firing into the net.
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Racing Santander
Atletico Madrid announced their return to form with a thumping 4-0 victory over Racing Santander in their La Liga clash on Sunday.
Atletico went into the lead with a Raul Garcia goal in the 12th minute before three goals in 16 minutes deep into the second half by Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Simao clinched a thumping win for Atletico as Racing ended the match with 10 men on the field after Lopez Jordi was given his marching orders in the 64th minute.
After an anxious start, Atletico took the lead in the 12th minute when Forlan latched on to Aguero's cross from the left flank before driving the ball towards the target. However the shot was blocked by the defenders and rolled up straight to Reyes who fed Garcia and the midfielder hit a left footed drive into the net to give his team the lead.
Forlan had a great chance of doubling the lead for Atletico as he was released by Reyes' through ball but the Uruguayan striker was unable complete his shot after hesitating to shoot from a one-on-one position with Tono.
Aguero, Forlan and Reyes all had chances to score but were unable to hit the target as the hosts dominated the possession with nothing worthwhile to show. The match was over for Racing in the 64th minute when Jordi Lopez was sent off after receiving yellow cards for fouls on Garcia and Reyes.
Atletico made the most of their numerical advantage in the 70th minute Aguero jumped high to head home Reyes' free kick to double the lead. Forlan made it 3-0 in the 77th minute when he latched on to Aguero's pass to fire home a low shot past Tono.
There was a fourth goal for Atletico in the 86th minute as Garcia squared the ball for Simao and the winger was left with a simple effort from close range to complete the rout.
Valladolid 1-1 Real Madrid
Defending champions Real Madrid lost their 100 percent record as they were held to a 1-1 draw by newly promoted Valladolid in their La Liga clash on Sunday.
A determined Valladolid team matched the champions in every area of the pitch and took a deserved lead deep in the second half through Pedro Lopez in the 70th minute. However Javier Saviola scored a dramatic late equalizer to snatch a point for Madrid.
Madrid started the game on the back foot as the hosts started confidently with Joseba Llorente hitting his 25-yard free kick over the bar. With Madrid unable to create any meaningful chance, it was Valladolid all the way in the opening minutes of the first half as Jose Antonio Garcia Calvo and Borja Fernandez both had decent chances to score.
Madrid's first real chance fell to Raul as he latched on to Royston Drenthe's cross from the left but his first time shot was saved brilliantly by Ludovic Butelle. It was an end-to-end action as Iker Casillas had to be alert to deny Sisi Gonzalez's curling drive. Valladolid finally out the ball in the Madrid goal in the stoppage time of the first half, but Daniel Kome was ruled as off side.
The hosts took a deserved lead in the 70th minute as Lopez latched on to the ball near the penalty area and released a stinging drive past Casillas and into the top left corner of the net from 30 yards out to give his team the lead.
With time running out it looked like a defeat for Bernd Schuster's men but Saviola snatched a controversial goal with just three minutes remaining to draw Madrid level. The Argentine striker was released by Van Nistelrooy's through ball and the former Barcelona striker slid the ball under the goalkeeper to pull Madrid level.
Things went almost wrong for Casillas in the final minutes of the match as he spilled a simple cross and Llorente pounced on the ball but was unable to put the ball in an open net.
Tags: Recreativo Huelva, Espanyol, Barcelona, Sevilla, Almeria, Mallorca, Getafe, Deportivo La Coruna, Levante, Athletic Bilbao, Real Betis, Valencia, Villarreal, Murcia, Atletico Madrid, Racing Santander, Valladolid, Real Madrid