Monday, July 22, 2024

Real Madrid back on top, Barca second while Atletico, Real Sociedad keep up form

Real Madrid reclaimed the top spot in La Liga after the eighth round of matches over the weekend.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side triumphed 3-0 away against Girona, who had led the table with 19 points from the first seven matches of the season, having won their last six, reports Xinhua.

However, their previous form eluded them as Joselu netted the opener for Madrid in the 17th minute, following a superb pass from Jude Bellingham, with Aurelien Tchouameni extending the lead just four minutes later.

Bellingham added Madrid’s third in the 71st minute, before a reckless challenge by Nacho Fernandez on Girona’s Portu resulted in a red card for Nacho and a hospital trip for Portu.

Sergio Ramos inadvertently scored the only goal of the match in his own net as Sevilla suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Barcelona on Friday night.

Barcelona struggled yet again, but Ramos’ own goal in the closing minutes, following a header from Lamine Yamal into the Sevilla six-yard box, sealed the game in Barca’s favor, elevating them to second place.

Angel Correa’s brace helped Atletico Madrid rally from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at home against Cadiz on Sunday night.

Early strikes from Lucas Pires and Roger Marti stunned Atletico, who were without the suspended Alvaro Morata. However, they equalized before halftime with Correa’s first and a goal from Nahuel Molina, before Correa’s second secured Atletico’s third victory of the week with 25 minutes to spare.

Betis returned to winning ways, defeating Valencia 3-0 at home, courtesy of goals from Assane Diao, Marc Roca, and Eze Abde.

Real Sociedad surpassed neighbors Athletic Bilbao after a 3-0 victory in the Basque derby on Saturday night.

Despite the closely contested game, Real Sociedad’s clinical finishing in their rival’s penalty area made the difference, with Robin le Normand, who later retired injured, scoring from close range in the first half.

Take Kubo extended the lead early in the second half on a counterattack, and Mikel Oyarzabal secured the win, breaking clear through on goal.

Athletic had as many opportunities but were thwarted by poor finishing.

Osasuna emerged victorious away to Alaves in another northern derby on Sunday, capitalizing on a red card shown to Alaves midfielder Antonio Blanco. The visitors were already leading 1-0 through Arnaiz’s first-half goal, with Ante Budimir ensuring the three points in the closing minutes.

Despite an early red card for forward Alex Baena in the 23rd minute, Villarreal managed a 0-0 draw in their visit to Getafe, even though they couldn’t muster a shot on target throughout the game while their opponents had 23 attempts.

Radamel Falcao’s 12th-minute injury-time penalty earned Rayo Vallecano a 2-2 draw away to Mallorca in a controversial game ending.

The VAR was heavily involved in injury time, initially overturning a red card for Rayo striker Raul de Tomas, and then awarding Rayo a penalty, after it seemed like goals from Vedat Muriqi and Antonio Sanchez would overshadow Alvaro Garcia’s early opener.

The bottom-of-the-table derby on Sunday between Almeria and Granada was a thriller as Granada rallied from 3-1 down to draw 3-3, leaving Almeria still in search of their first win.

Luis Suarez’s hat-trick appeared to have sealed the game for Almeria, who had sacked Vicente Moreno as coach during the week, but Granada mounted a comeback from 3-0 down at halftime to snatch an unlikely point, with Bryan Zaragoza converting a penalty before Ricard Sanchez and Myrto Uzuni equalized to make it 3-3.

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