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La Liga Week 16 Review

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Villarreal CF 3 - 1 RCD Mallorca
Villarreal continued their wining ways after sub-par performance a week ago. The host started the game with a quick goal when Santi Cazorla scored from their first real opportunity (11'). De Guzman then scored with a beautifully struck volley to tie it (20'). Villarreal took over the control and took the lead through Rossi who scored from a penalty kick after Webo handled the ball inside the box (35'). Nilmar added some insurance with a well executed counter attack that ended with a superb chip over Aouate (51').

Levante UD 1 - 2 Athletic Bilbao
A game featuring two evenly matched teams saw Athletic Bilbao earn the victory with Igor Gabilondo taking center stage. The Spaniard scored the first goal with a brilliant free kick to the top right corner from 25 yards out (9'). Caicedo leveled the score when he was sent through on goal (20'). The game then went back and forth for the next hour but then Gabilondo picked out Martinez who scored with a header (72') . Levante had a chance to salvage a point but could not finish.

Deportivo La Coruña 1 - 1 Sporting Gijón
Sporting stole a point with a last-gasp equalizer. Deportivo started the game on a strong note and had very good effort saved by Juan Pablo in the early minutes but the goalkeeper made a big mistake soon after and Aythami Oliva buried it home (12'). Chances were hard to come by for the rest of the game but Diego Castro tied it in the dying minutes from three feet out following a beautiful cross by Lora (89').

RCD Espanyol 1 - 5 FC Barcelona
Barcelona set a team record 10th straight road win with a dominating performance against their city rival. Pedro started the scoring when he was sent in on goal with a perfect pass by Messi (19'), Xavi then doubled the lead with a bad angle shot (30'). Pedro added his second when he tipped in a big rebound that Kameni left after Messi's shot (60'). Pedro came very close to a hat-trick a couple of minutes later but he had his attempt saved. On the ensuing counterattack Osvaldo lowered the score (63'). Villa's brace put the game beyond any doubt. The first one was an almost perfect copy of Pedro's first, with Messi getting another assist. His second came when Xavi sent him in all alone.

Real Sociedad 1 - 2 Valencia CF
Sociedad's good effort was not enough to add at least a point to their league total. The host took the lead through Xabi Prieto's penalty after a foul inside the area (23'). They continued pressing but had all attempts stopped. Valencia tied it with the last touch of the ball in the first half. Alberto Costa unleashed an unstoppable curling effort from a 25 yard free-kick (45+2'). Real Sociedad fought hard and created the most danger in the second half but it was the visitors who scored. It was the home keeper Claudio Bravo who handed the ball to Aduriz with an awful clearance who made no mistake and shot it past the goalie for the wining goal (90').

UD Almería 2 - 3 Getafe CF
Getafe mounted a fierce comeback to leave Almería fans heartbroken. The home side started the game in good fashion. Kalu Uche headed home a cross (7') and José Ulloa made it two when he fired home a loose ball (24'). Moments later Ulloa almost put the final nail in Getafe's coffin when he wasted a good opportunity. A couple minutes later the visitors pulled one back through Manu del Moral's excelent effort (29'). Getafe took over the second half and Miku tied it by tucking home a rebound (48'). Diego Alves made some big saves for the hosts but was unable to stop Derek Boateng's back-heeled shot (71').

Osasuna 0 - 0 Real Zaragoza
Real Zaradoza held Osasuna to a draw after being completely outplayed the entire game. Osasuna created all the good opportunities, controlled the possession but poor finishing and timely saves by Leo Franco denied the host the win. Nelson, Soriano and Juanfran were among the players that missed the best opportunities. Zaragoza almost stole all three points with their only scoring chance that came in added time.

Málaga CF 0 - 3 Atlético Madrid
Simão's three assist night inspired Atlético to win their second straight game. Atlético started strong and the scoring began when Simão picked out Tiago in the area who headed it home. Malaga picked up the pace and threatened often but it was the visitors who added to the lead. This time it was Alvaro Dominguez who was unmarked 15 feet from Rubén (66'). Three minutes later an unguarded Tiago made it three-nil.

Real Madrid 1 - 0 Sevilla FC
Real Madrid survived a scare at home against an out of form Sevilla. Real had more opportunities and controlled the possession but had difficulties producing high quality scoring chances. Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo missed their best chance as he sent the ball over the net while being one-on-one with Casillas. Real Madrid had work cut out for them when Ricardo Carvalho received his second yellow card (64') but that did not stop them. Angel Di Maria scored the game-wining goal after Palop inexplicably came out to meet him near the goalline and the Argentine calmly chipped the ball past the stranded goalie (77'). Mouhamadou Dabo was clearly frustrated and committed a late tackle that resulted in a straight red card in the dying minutes.

Racing Santander 0 - 0 Hércules CF
One of the most chances-filled football game of the weekend turned out to be the least scoring one. Both teams were pursuing the wining goal but all of the opportunities were stopped by either goalkeeper, the post and on one occasion a goal-line block by Gonzalo Colsa. The home side was the more attacking one in the first half but teams switched roles in the second to even things out.

Recap
No surprises in the last match-day of the year 2010 resulting in only two teams changing positions on the table. The refereeing crews are continuing their recent trend of showing less red cards and awarding fewer penalty shots. Those numbers that have been on the decline in the past four weeks and this weekend only two in each category were awarded. Both red cards were shown in the same game.

27 goals were scored, 6 less than the previous week and for the first time since week 11 a game ended in a scorless draw, well actually two did.

La Liga is going on a Christmas break and will return on New Year's day.

 



GP W D L +/- Pts
1 same FC Barcelona 16 14 1 1 42
43
2 same Real Madrid 16 13 2 1 27 41
3 same Villarreal CF 16 10 3 3 16 33
4 up Valencia CF
16 8 4 4 5
28
5 down RCD Espanyol 16 9 1 6
-4
28
6 same

Atlético Madrid

16 8 2 6 8 26
7 same Getafe CF 16 8 2 6 4
26
8 same Athletic Bilbao 16 8
1 7 -2 25
9 same Real Sociedad 16 7 1 8
-4 22
10 same RCD Mallorca 16 6 3 7
-4 21
11 same Sevilla CF 16 6 2 8 -6 20
12 same Hércules CF 16 5 4 7 -4 19
13 same Deportivo La Coruña 16 4 6 6 -6 18
14 same Racing Santander 16 5 3 8 -10 17
15 same Osasuna 16 4 5 7 -5 17
16 same Levante UD 16 4 3 8 -7 15
17 same UD Almería 16 2 7 7 -10 13
18 same Málaga CF 16 4 1 11 -13 13
19 same Sporting Gijón 16 2 6 8 -11 12
20 same Real Zaragoza 16 1 7 8 -13 10