La Liga

Madrid Go Top After Challengers Slip Up: La Liga Review

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 12: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 12, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Madrid Go Top After Challengers Slip Up: La Liga Review

Real Madrid went back to the top of the table after a 2-1 win over Real Betis in a topsy-turvy weekend of La Liga football.

Madrid fell behind in the first half through a Keylor Navas own goal, but Cristiano Ronaldo equalised shortly after before Sergio Ramos sent the home fans into jubilation.

Madrid almost found the breakthrough in the 12th minute, but Isco’s long-range drive went inches wide of the left-hand post.

However Los Blancos should have been down to ten-men when Keylor Navas brought down Darko Brasanac on the edge of the box, but the referee waved play on.

But then in the 25th minute, the Costa Rican goalkeeper was guilty for one of the howlers of season as he scored an own goal, letting the ball squirm out of his hands after he saved the initial shot from Antonio Sanabria, and somehow clawed the ball into the net.

 

But Zinedine Zidane’s men got back on level terms in the 41st minute when Ronaldo headed home from eight yards out after meeting a beautiful whipped in delivery from Marcelo to score his 19th La Liga goal of the season.

 

The equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo was his 46th headed goal in La Liga – the most of any player in the league.

Victor Sanchez’s side were then reduced to ten men when Cristiano Piccini was shown a second yellow after he brought down Isco when Real were in a promising position.

Just when it looked like Barcelona would be staying top of the league, up stepped Sergio Ramos once again to head home a late goal for his tenth strike this campaign in the 81st minute from an in-swinging Toni Kroos corner.

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Elsewhere, Barcelona were stunned in La Coruna just as it looked like their season had been transformed by their sensational comeback against PSG.

On 40 minutes Deportivo took the lead after a comedy of errors from the Barcelona defence and as Javier Mascherano failed to clear from a goalmouth scramble and, rather than pick the ball up, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen simply pushed it into the path of Joselu and the on-loan Stoke striker made no mistake in blasting the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

 

However, just one minute into the second half, Luis Suarez emphatically struck the equaliser low into the goal after a Denis Suarez cross was only partially cleared.

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In the 73rd minute Deportivo fired a warning shot as a header from a corner was pushed onto the post by Ter Stegen.

But the warning wasn’t heeded as centre-back Alex Bergantinos headed into the bottom corner from the resulting set piece.

 

Sevilla were also rumbled by lowly opponents as Leganes held them to a 1-1 draw at the Sanchez Pijuan Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors, looking to avoid the drop in its first season in the top flight, scored three minutes in with a back-heel flick by striker Gabriel Pires.

 

Stevan Jovetic equalized after getting past goalkeeper Iago Herrerin in a breakaway in the 43rd, but the hosts were unable to create many more significant chances.

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La Liga
@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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