Barcelona survive Mestalla; Real, Atletico win
Madrid, Nov 27 (IANS) FC Barcelona retain a four-point lead over Valencia at the top of the Liga Santander, although their advantage over Real and Atletico Madrid was reduced to eight points after they drew 1-1 away to Valencia in a controversial game in the Mestalla Stadium.
The game between second place in the league and the league leaders always promised to be tense and there was controversy in the first half on Sunday. Valencia keeper Neto failed to deal with a shot from Leo Messi, which clearly crossed the goal line, only for the referee to wave play on, reports Xinhua news agency.
Valencia took the lead on the hour when Rodrigo Moreno finished Juan Gaya’s low cross, but former Valencia defender Jordi Alba assured the points were shared eight minutes from the end with a spectacular finish following a pass from Messi.
The result means Barca remain unbeaten this season, but the Messi ‘goal’ will no doubt give plenty for pundits to talk about.
Real and Atletico Madrid both won their matches on Saturday with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both back among the goals as Real Madrid struggled to win 3-2 at home to Malaga.
Malaga, who had not scored a goal away from home before arriving in Madrid, were unlucky not to take a point after they had a goal harshly ruled out for pushing on the stroke of halftime.
Benzema and Casemiro both put Madrid ahead only for Malaga to peg them back with goals from Diego Rolan and Chori Castro, before Ronaldo sealed the win scoring a rebound after Roberto had saved his original penalty kick.
Atletico Madrid also got back among the goals with a 5-0 win away to Levante, where they hadn’t won in the past seven visits.
Levante made life easy for Atletico with an own goal from Rober, before a defensive error left Kevin Gameiro for a tap in for the first of his two goals on the night and Gameiro then turned provider to help tee up Antoine Griezmann for the fourth and fifth goals of the match.
Sevilla came back from 2-0 down away to Villarreal to claim a 3-2 win, just four days after coach Eduardo Berizzo confirmed he is suffering from prostate cancer.
Villarreal went 2-0 up through Carlos Bacca and Cedric Bakambu, who netted their second goal in the 53rd minute, but five minutes later Sevilla were level through Clement Lenglet and Fran Vazquez, before Ever Banega’s 78th minute penalty sealed an unlikely win.
Real Sociedad and Las Palmas drew 2-2 with Jonathan Viera’s 40-yard goal ending Las Palmas’ eight game losing streak.
Deportivo La Coruna came back from behind twice against Athletic Club Bilbao with goals from Adrian Lopez and Schar cancelling out strikes from Markel Susaeta and Inaki Williams in an entertain game on Sunday lunchtime.
There was an incredible finish to Betis’ 2-2 draw at home to Girona with goals in the 94th and 95th minutes.
The game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw after Andres Guardado’s 85th free kick cancelled out Portu’s 46th minute opener, but Portu put Girona back in front in the 4th minute of injury time only for Cristian Tello to make it 2-2 with the last kick of the match.
The day kicked off with Eibar claiming a vital and deserved 2-1 win away to Alaves in a Basque derby.
Joan Jordan opened the scoring for Eibar in the 33rd minute, before Charles doubled their lead with just over 20 minutes remaining before Burghi’s late consolation for Alaves, who are starting to look doomed.