The Primera Iberdrola may seem like a foregone conclusion these days but that shouldn’t take away from the way the current champions are performing (leagues ahead of everyone in Europe) or from the rest of the league who, on their day, can be a match for anyone
This weekend, FC Barcelona travelled to Madrid to face Real Madrid CF and came away as 3-1 winners. On another day, Barcelona could have easily had a couple in the first half but goalkeeper María Isabel Rodríguez aka Misa, was in fantastic form and kept her team in the game as much as she could. In the end, there was nothing Misa could do to stop the three goals that Barcelona ended up with but she can take a lot confidence from her overall day against the champions.
The visitors got off to a quick start thanks to Lieke Martens who found the back of the net in the eighth minute. Fridolina Rolfö found room out wide and her cutback found the Dutch forward in a great position to score. After two smart saves by Misa, Martens followed up her own rebound to head the ball into the back of the net before any of the Real Madrid defenders could recover.
Misa was one of the reasons why Barcelona didn’t extend their lead to a great number throughout the game. No matter what came at her, Misa was equal to the task and had those around been a little sharper, her performances would’ve been highlighted even further. Instead, the Real Madrid goalkeeper could not stop the three goals that went by her as her defenders left her defenseless so to speak, time and time again against Barcelona’s attack.
Martens turned provider in the 18th minute when her corner kick found Irene Paredes who beat her marker in the air and thumped a strong header into the back of the net. Lieke Martens then got her second of the game five minutes later when a great through ball by Mariona Caldentey beat the offside trap and allowed Martens to be one-on-one with Misa. Instead of going towards the far corner, Martens chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper and found the back of the net with ease.
Even though Barcelona are still miles ahead of their fiercest rivals, the hosts today can take a lot of heart from their performance. Kosovare Asllani may have scored a consolation goal in the 52nd minute but the overall performance that the home side put in and the tactics they tried to employ showed a much better plan to counter Barcelona than what they have produced in the past. They’re still eight points away from a Champions League spot but after the start they had, there’s a lot to be encouraged by from today if you’re new manager Alberto Toril.
- Sporting Club de Huelva stopped Real Sociedad’s wining streak as they drew 2-2 with the Basque side. Anita Marcos and Sanni Franssi traded goal for each team, leaving the score at one all after 28 minutes before Nierra Eizagirre put the hosts ahead in the 49th minute. With the game reaching its conclusion, Real must’ve thought they had done enough to get their fifth win in a row but Kristina Fisher popped up in the 90th minute to equalise. The result leaves Real still in second but now nine points behind Barcelona. Sporting Huelva are now in 13th and three points away from the relegation zone.
- Sevilla FC held Atlético de Madrid to a 0-0 draw, a surprising result to anyone who had watched the game. Atlético were billed as the favourites but could not find their way past Esther Sullastres in goal. To make matters worse for the visitors, Deyna Castellanos received red card in stoppage time which means she’ll miss next week’s game against Real Betis. The draw leaves Atlético just two points ahead of Real Betis in third while Sevilla remain in tenth.
- Athletic Club put four past Deportivo Alavés Gloriosas this weekend to stay in fourth and right in the hunt for a Champions League spot. Yulema Corres and Lucía García bookended two goals by Ane Fuente while Míriam Diéguez got the only goal of the game for Alavés. Despite the loss, Alavés are still within touching distance of the Champions League in sixth, four points behind Atlético.
- UD Granadilla Tenerife were away at SD Eibar and picked up a two-nil win. Jassina Blom and Cristina Gutierrez got the two goals either side of half time to make sure of the three points for Tenerife. Tenerife leapfrog Alavés into fifth with this win while Eibar remain in 12th, seven points above the relegation zone.
- Despite a red card for Geyse Ferreira in the 51st miunute, Madrid CFF still pulled off a 3-1 win away at Valencia CF. Kerolin Ferraz got the first goal of the game in the 10th minute and Ferreira got the second in the 22nd minute. Candela Andújar pulled one back for Valencia in the 40th minute but Madrid CFF still had enough in them to find one more through Gabi Nunes to ensure their win. The win lifts Madrid CFF into seventh while Valenica remain in the 14th, three point above the relegation zone.
- Villareal CF picked up only their second win of the season away to Levante UD thanks to a brace by Belén Sousa. Sousa was on hand to score goals in the 47th and 75th minute and despite getting a scare late on thanks to Aldana Cometti, Villareal hung on for a huge three points. They still sit right at the bottom of the table but they have given themselves a chance to move closer to those above them. Levante slipped down to eighth after two losses in a row. They will want to stop this slide as soon as possible.
- Real Betis remained in eleventh despite their win away to Rayo Vallecano. Paula Andújar scored an own goal in the 43rd minute which paved the way to Betis’ win and Mari Paz Vilas made certain of the victory with a goal in the 84th minute. Rayo remain in 15th after succumbing to their tenth loss of the season. They’re only three points away from safety as we reach the halfway point of the season so they have time to figure things out and save themselves from relegation.