So we are now officially halfway through the La Liga season, with the weekend seeing Sevilla losing patience with their manager Michel, after another defeat.
The club from Andalusia traveled to Valencia on Saturday night, and after an abject performance, two goals from Robert Soldado, saw the home side victorious. The win moved Valencia up to 7th, and only 4 points away from fourth.
Monday morning came with the news that Michel was to be sacked after less than a year in the position, and the afternoon brought confirmation. It was also confirmed that ex-Valencia boss Unai Emery would
be taking over after recently losing his job at Spartak Moscow.
From one team struggling to another, and possibly the shock of the weekend as bottom of the table Osasuna held Real Madrid to a goalless draw. Without Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho’s side once again looked off the pace, and struggled to break down the usually leaky Osasuna defence, with a late red card for Kaka, making matters worse.
The result means the chances of the club retaining the title are all but over, and the chances of even catching Atletico Madrid are looking slim after their rivals so off Zaragoza 2-0.
It wasn’t the best performance by Atletico, but goals from Tiago, and a penalty by an out of sorts Falcao gave them the three points. It moved them seven points clear of Real at the half way point of the season, and fans will be getting excited at the prospect of finishing above their bitter rivals.
The biggest game of the weekend saw Malaga host Barcelona at La Rosaleda, with the battle between Iniesta, and Isco being anticipated by all. After an even start, it took an absolute clanger of a backpass from Ignacio Camacho to gift Lionel Messi, and Barcelona the lead.
After that there was only one winner, and Barcelona were at their best, giving Malaga a masterclass in passing, going on to score further through Cesc Fabregas, and Thiago, before a Buonanotte free kick gave Malaga a consolation.
While Isco looked good at times, he was well marshelled by Sergio Busquets, who quelled all Malaga’s positive attacks, completing 100% of his tackles in a dominant display.
This loss meant Real Betis were able to snatch 4th place from Malaga, after a 2-0 victory over Levante, thanks to goals from Joel Campbell, and Ruben Castro. Right behind them is Rayo Vallecano, who moved 6th after an impressive 2-1 away win over struggling Athletic Bilbao, with Lass, and Piti scoring, before they held on with 10 men despite San Jose pulling one back.
Espanyol earned a much needed 1-0 win over Celta Vigo thanks to a goal by Serio Garcia Valladolid pushed Mallorca into the relegation places after a terrific Patrick Ebert strike set them on their way to a 3-1 win.
Real Sociedad once again failed to beat 10 men, after drawing 1-1 at home with Deportivo la Coruna, with Pizzi giving the away side the lead, before Carlos Vela equalised, and despite Evaldo seeing red, the home side could not convert any of their chances.
The final game of the weekend saw Granada scramble out of the relegation places after a 2-2 draw with Getafe, despite the home side leading twice. An early Rodriguez goal gave Getafe the lead, before a Siqueira penalty levelled it. Striker Alcacer restored the home sides lead, but a dodgy penalty in the last minute, netted once again by Siqueira earned Granada a point.
Another week of La Liga flies by, and next week we will see the return of the character that is Unai Emery, return next week to see how he gets on.