La Liga Review: Valencia in crisis as Barcelona race ahead

A mostly entertaining week in La Liga was overshadowed by Valencia sacking their manager Mauricio Pellegrino, after only 14 league games in charge. His Valencia side lost 5-2 to Real Sociedad on Saturday, even though they took the lead after only only two minutes through Roberto Soldado.

A red card for Jonas, for an elbow changed the game,and goals from De la Bella, Mikel, Ifran, Iggaretxe, and Vela gave Sociedad an impressive win, although Soldado netted a consolation. After the match fans protested against the clubs directors, but they decided to sack manager Pellegrino, replacing him with ex- Espanyol manager Ernesto Valverde until the end of the season. The overall feeling is that it was a harsh sacking, but with the club sitting 12th in the table, many believed it was time for a change.

The sacking overshadowed the Madrid derby that took place on Saturday, between 3rd placed Real, and Atletico in 2nd.
Many believed with Atletico so impressive so far this season they may be able to get a result in the Bernabeu, but it was the home side that triumphed 2-0.

A Ronaldo free kick gave the home side the lead before an Ozil strike sealed the points, closing the gap to their city rivals to five points, but still eleven behind Barcelona in first after another victory. This time Messi & co dispatched of Athletic Bilbao 5-1 with the Argentinian netting yet another double, meaning he is only one goal behind Gerd Muller’s record.

Other goals from Pique, Adriano, and Fabregas, cancelled out a Ibai Gomez consolation, condemning Athletic to their 7th defeat of the year, leaving them 15th. The win left Barcelona six points clear at the top of the table, and Tito Vilanova’s side look unbeatable.
The race for fourth spot heated up, after Getafe beat Malaga 1-0, giving Betis the chance to overtake them in the table, and they sealed it with a 3-2 win away to Deportivo la Coruna.

Elsewhere Osasuna beat Rayo Vallecano to move out of the bottom three, Celta Vigo drew 1-1 with Levante, Mallorca also drew 1-1 with Zaragoza, and Javier Aguirre’s first match in charge of Espanyol finished 0-0 away to Granada.
The Monday night match saw a depleted Sevilla side lose 2-1 to Valladolid, heaping the pressure on manager Michel, who was without the likes of Negredo, and Rakitic.

Player of the week

Ronaldo was the standout star of this week, with his free-kick setting Real on their way to a 2-0 victory in the Madrid derby, before setting up Ozil for the second, and hitting the woodwork twice.

Goal of the week

A sublime Joel Campbell strike from outside the box gave Real Betis the win over Deportivo, really is a goal to watch again and again:

Team of the week

Real Sociedad were absolutely brilliant against Valencia, even before the red card, and fully deserved the 5-2 victory they had, if they can keep up that form then a top 6 finish could really be on the cards.

Follow Michael on Twitter here @laligafooty for more excellent coverage

1 comment for “La Liga Review: Valencia in crisis as Barcelona race ahead

Comments are closed.