The fight for first place Santander League it’s tighter than ever. FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have options to win the title and none of them seem to be letting up. None failed this weekend: Xavi Hernández’s men beat Getafe with a solitary goal from Pedri, the whites stormed San Mamés and Imanol Alguacil’s men emerged victors from the always difficult Vallecas stadium.
Below, the parties are being heart attack. After the closing of this day, The relegation places are occupied by Valladolid, Cádiz and Elche. But the rest cannot be calm: Getafe and Celta are tied on points, Sevilla and Almería only have one point of rent. Gattuso’s Valencia, despite the good feelings, is only two above burning.
The next day has vibrant duels scheduled: a Catalan derby (Girona-FC Barcelona), an emergency duel (Sevilla-Elche) and a game in style (Real Madrid-Real Sociedad).
Mallorca – Celtic (1-0)
The Mallorca won (1-0) this Friday at RC Celta at the start of day 18 of LaLiga Santander, an intense clash by the locals in Son Moix and with the goal by Daniel Rodríguez to achieve three gold points in your goal of permanence. Javier Aguirre’s team was once again the serious team of the first leg of the season, somewhat blurred after the World Cup break, to add a figure of 25 points that they would have signed for the first round. Mallorca put intensity to be superior to a Celta in trouble, with the possibility of falling into the relegation zone and, although they dominated in phases, they barely knew how to create danger.
Lightning – Real Sociedad (0-2)
The Real Sociedad extended its state of grace this Saturday after beating Rayo Vallecano (0-2) at home thanks to the goals from Sorloth and Barrenetxea in the first half, a hard-fought victory that allows them to settle in third place. The people from San Sebastian signed their ninth consecutive victory at the Vallecas Stadium and achieved the best winning streak in their history.
Espanyol – Betis (1-0)
The RCD Espanyol prevailed (1-0) by the minimum against Real Betis and got three gold points in their fight to get away from the relegation places. The solitary goal by Martin Braithwaite on the brink of half-time it was enough to recover sensations after their defeat (1-0) last Wednesday against Athletic Club. Manuel Pellegrini’s men, who had also just lost their round of 16 tie against Osasuna in a penalty shootout, were unable to overcome a compact Espanyol who resisted tooth and nail.
Athletic – Valladolid (3-0)
The Atlético de Madrid thrashed (3-0) to Real Valladolid this Saturday on matchday 18 of LaLiga Santander solving their goal problem in 10 minutes of offensive euphoria in the first half, led by Antoine Griezmann to defend the Champions League zone and fill themselves with morale before the clash with Real Madrid in the Cup Diego Pablo Simeone’s men took a step forward to scare away the ghosts of the first leg of the season, who seemed to remain on hiatus for the World Cup, although without having them all with them. Atlético looked like another without coming to fruition and Pucela suffered the goal-scoring hunger that the locals satisfied with alvaro morata, griezmann and Mario Hermoso.
Seville – Cádiz (1-0)
The Sevilla stayed (1-0) in a high-voltage Andalusian derby against Cádiz, three points that take him out of the relegation zone and that came in the 89th minute of penalty reported by the VAR and converted by Rakitic. With both teams in the red zone before starting, nervousness was chewed, especially in a Seville far from its natural habitat. Thus, Jorge Sampaoli was going at a thousand revolutions on the band, sent off in the 59th minute for a protest, and Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán accompanied without pause in search of victory.
Villarreal – Girona (1-0)
Villarreal, with a penalty goal from Dani Parejo in the 101st minute, beat Girona this Sunday (1-0) to settle in fifth position. Quique Setién’s men sealed their fourth win in the last five rounds against a Girona team that played with one less from the 78th minute and that was supported by the superb performance of the Argentine goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, who stopped up to seven shots from the people of Castellón, including another maximum penalty that Gerard Moreno ordered in the discount.
Elche – Osasuna (1-1)
Osasuna and Elche have shared the points at Martínez Valero (1-1), a draw that did not satisfy either of them. The Navarrese group warned in the first minutes with several arrivals in the area and some shot without excessive danger, but it was the ‘Chimy’ Ávila the one who managed to open the can. In the 20th minute, Kike Barja put a cross into the area that the Argentine, unmarked, finished off into the back of the net. After the restart, Lucas Boyé tried with a somewhat defective shot, and in minute 67, but it was José Ángel Carmona who, with a shot to the squad, managed to tie the clash for those of Pablo Machín.
Barcelona – Getafe (1-0)
The FC Barcelona beat Getafe (1-0), one more step in his good moment of results, although without as much brilliance as the one he had been showing, to consolidate the lead and put the pressure on Real Madrid with a solitary goal from Pedri. Xavi Hernández’s team increased the bad streak of the ‘azulón’ team, two victories in 12 games and they remain with the same points as the relegation zone, although they did so with the law of minimum effort. Barça, who came from a much more intensive calendar than their rival, lacked the rhythm to attack and to withdraw, against a ‘Geta’ who had his danger although without aim.
Athletic – Real Madrid (0-2)
The Real Madrid replicated Barça’s victory with a lot of work and remained three points behind the blaugranas in the fight for LaLiga after beating a fierce Athletic Club 0-2 this Sunday in San Mamés, a victory that continues to help them get out of a doubtful moment. The leader put pressure on and forced his pursuer, who was also squeezed by Real Sociedad, to succeed in the always difficult visit to a packed ‘Cathedral’ with a record number of spectators. He managed to do it, despite the efforts of the ‘Lions’, intense, but with less success in the final meters against an opponent who this time managed to sign a safe match behind and that gives him strength for another difficult week with a cup derby against Atlético de Madrid and visits ‘txuri-urdin’ in the League.