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La Liga Round-Up Week 14
As the Champions League group stage wraps up, the four Spanish participants had mixed weekends, including a managerial sacking.
Malaga where the first of the clubs to play on Saturday away to Getafe, but after their 4-0 win over Valencia last week, a disappointing performance saw them slump to a 1-0 defeat.
A Lopo header from a corner gave the hosts a win against their jaded apponents, and they slip down to fifth in the table.
Valencia were next up, hosting Real Sociedad at the Mestalla, but even though they took an early lead through Soldado, they slumped to a horrible 5-2 defeat, costing manager Mauricio Pellegrino his job.
After taking the lead, striker Jonas was sent off for a stray elbow, before Sociedad ran riot scoring five goals through, De la Bella, Mikel, Ifran, Agirretxe, and a Vela penalty, with Soldado grabbing another.
After the game protests where made against the Valencia directors with the club sitting in 12th place, and although they werent protesting against the manager, it was Pellegrino who was axed.
Ex Espanyol, Villarreal, and Olympiakos manager Ernesto Valverde has been hired until the end of the season, and his first game in charge will be the Champions league tie away to Lille.
Barcelona kept up their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-1 hammering of Athletic Bilbao, with Messi once again at the double.
Tito Vilanova’s side took the lead through Gerard Pique, before Messi, Adriano, Fabregas, and Messi again gave the home side a comfortable win, but Ibai Gomez did net a conselation for the relegation threatened Athletic Bilbao.
There was no doubting what the biggest match of the weekend was with the Madrid derby taking place on Saturday, between 3rd place Real, and Atletico in 2nd, with the home side triumphing 2-0.
A sublime Ronaldo free kick gave Jose Mourinho’s side the lead, before Mesut Ozil made the three points safe in the 2nd half.
The win still leaves Real 11 points behind Barcelona at the top, but closes the gap to Atletico in 2nd to only 5 points.
The race for fourth place is also tighter than ever with Betis replacing Malaga in the important spot, with a 3-2 away win over Deportivo featuring a brilliant strike from on loan Arsenal striker Joel Campbell.
Getafe and Valladolid also closed the gap on the top four with wins over Malaga, and Sevilla respectively, while Real Sociedad, and Levante are all in with a shout.
Twists and turns, wins and losses for the Champions League sides, La Liga is definitely the league to watch over the coming weeks.