In what was a memorable Saturday in the Spanish La Liga, Villareal was stunned by Real Betis by a 14th-minute strike while Mallorca and Espanyol scripted victories against Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad. The match of the day, however, saw Eibar and Osasuna play out a sensational six-goal thriller.
Mallorca prevailed in the battle between the two bottom-placed teams having piped Celta Vigo 2-1 in what was a neck-to-neck encounter. Celta Vigo drew first blood, having taken the lead in the 30th minute and managed to keep the lead for more than 50 minutes. Mallorca’s constant pressing paid off in the 81st minute when they were awarded a penalty, which they converted to level the scores. It took them seven minutes to double their scoreline and seal the deal in the vital fixture.
Both the teams had equal say in terms of dangerous attacks they created with Mallorca taking nine shots at goal compared to Celta Vigo’s five. The hosts spent an average of 16 seconds per attack while Celta Vigo remarkably clocked 19 seconds for the same. Mallorca scripted 61 dangerous attacks, which was a notch better than their oppositions’ 56 and subsequently emerged victorious.
Bottom-placed Espanyol rallied to snatch away three vital away points from sixth-placed Real Sociedad by scripting a 1-0 victory, giving them a major boost in their bid to stay in the top-flight this season. The battle was mainly between Real Sociedad’s attack and the visitors’ resistance. Interestingly, the winning goal in the dying minutes of the match was against the run of play. The hosts had outwitted Espanyol in each and every department for the entire match, but it was too much of a task to recover from the 95th-minute strike.
Sociedad accounted for the lion’s share of attacks in the game, more than 60% to be precise, and hurled in dangerous attacks as many as 62 times compared to Espanyol’s 44. Surprisingly, both the teams had five shots on target, but the visitors had the most significant one to their name – which led to the winning goal.
Osasuna gave away a three-goal lead to settle with a point in a six-goal thriller that saw all the goals in the first half itself. Osasuna’s initial thrust was too hot to handle for the hosts and eventually, they scored in the eighth minute to stride forward in the contest. Eibar’s misery continued as the visitors doubled the lead at the stroke of the half-hour mark, following up with a third one in the 34th minute.
The hosts staged a surprising comeback and pulled back two goals within quick succession, with five minutes separating them and half-time. That also meant that the third goal came one minute into the stoppage time of the first half. By the end of the match, Eibar had a superior shots-on-target and spent more time on attacks than the visitors who were four places above them in the league table.
Villarreal was shutdown by an unexpected defeat away to Real Betis, denting their chances of finishing in the top six in the league. Betis made the most out of the home advantage and took an early lead in the 14th minute to put the pressure on Villareal. Apart from the goal, the first half was largely uneventful with the teams sharing equal possession and similar shots on goal. Even though Villareal toiled hard to score the all-important equalizer, luck was not on their side.
The Yellow Submarines outwitted the hosts in all the possible departments except the scoreline. As far as the number of attacks is concerned, they had 71 to their name, while the shots on target were 4, having failed to convert any one of them. From Real Betis’ point of view, the win means that they are that much closer to finishing in the top four of the league table.
Real Madrid 2 - 2 Getafe
Real Madrid’s title aspirations were dealt a huge blow as they were held 2-2 at home by fourth-placed Getafe after an intriguing 90 minutes of football. Getafe scored as early as the fourth minute and put all the pressure back on the hosts. Needing to deliver to keep their championship hopes alive, Real Madrid came back strong in the second half, scoring the equalizer in the 54th minute, while taking the lead in the 70th minute via a penalty kick.
When everyone thought that the curtains of the game were drawn, Getafe pulled the second goal out of nowhere in the 85th minute to secure a vital away point. Naturally, Real Madrid was the better attacking team having clocked 19 seconds per attack and managed along with a count of 69 dangerous moves. They are still at the top of the league table, four points ahead of FC Barcelona, having played a game more.
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