Barca on track

A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division as Barcelona moved closer to a club-record points total.

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 23:08 Post Comment

Barca were handed the La Liga trophy on Sunday

Barca were handed the La Liga trophy on Sunday

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A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.

Barcelona remain on course for a club-record 100 points after seeing off Real Valladolid at a rain-swept Nou Camp.

Valladolid gave the recently-crowned champions a guard of honour before the match and then helped ensure the night would be a successful one for Tito Vilanova's men by conceding two sloppy first-half goals.

First a terrible pass from Jesus Rueda out of defence was intercepted by Xavi, who proceeded to put Pedro in for the opener, then Marc Valiente sliced a corner into his own net just before half-time to put Barca 2-0 up.

Barca were unable to build on that despite dominating the second half and were made to sweat a little at the end when Valladolid pulled a late goal back through Victor Perez's penalty - ruining Victor Valdes' hopes of a clean sheet on his 500th competitive appearance for the home side.

Valladolid never came close to an equaliser though as Barca moved onto 94 points with two games remaining. The Catalan club's previous-best tally was the 99 they got in the 2009/10 season, while the only team to reach 100 points in La Liga history was Real Madrid last season.

Real Zaragoza sank back into the relegation zone after seeing Athletic Bilbao snatch a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat at La Romareda.

Helder Postiga headed Zaragoza into the lead after 14 minutes but an equaliser from Fernando Llorente on 80 minutes and then a stoppage-time winner from Ibai Gomez condemned them to defeat.

Deportivo La Coruna kept their ambitions of staying up alive with a tense 2-0 victory over Espanyol at Riazor.

The Galicians took the lead through a wonderful goal by Bruno Gama five minutes into the second half, with Nelson Oliveira making sure of the points with his fine lob in stoppage time.

Rayo Vallecano survived a late fightback from Levante to take all three points with a 3-2 win at the Ciutat Valencia stadium and move up to eighth.

Top scorer Piti gave Paco Jemez's side a first-half lead which was cancelled out by Robert Acquafresca but then quickly restored by Franco Vazquez.

Piti struck again, this time from the penalty spot, to increase Rayo's advantage but Vicente Iborra set up an exciting finish to the game by scoring with four minutes remaining.

Levante, now without a win in their last seven games, remain 13th in the table.

On Saturday, Real Sociedad came from a goal down to register a crucial 2-1 victory at Sevilla as they reclaimed fourth spot in the race for the final Champions League spot.

Ivan Rakitic put Sevilla ahead in the 10th minute but he turned from hero to villain seven minutes later with a headed own goal.

Imanol Agirretxe then scored what turned out to be a winner with Sevilla then having unused substitute Jose Antonio Reyes given a straight red card and sent from the bench.

Victory saw Sociedad back into the fourth Champions League spot ahead of Valencia.

Ernesto Valverde's side had earlier been replaced in the final Champions League spot by Valencia, who were 1-0 winners over Getafe courtesy of Jeremy Mathieu's goal just before half-time.

But Sociedad responded by coming from a goal down to beat Sevilla. Ivan Rakitic gave the hosts an 11th-minute lead but put through his own net six minutes later to level the scores again.

Sociedad then got their noses in front with Imanol Agirretxe's 26th-minute strike and they stayed there, to return above Valencia in the standings with two matches remaining.

Granada, meanwhile, took a huge step towards securing their La Liga status with a 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Osasuna.

Granada edged the encounter in every department but the lead given to them by Youssef El Arabi's 23rd-minute goal was being increasingly tested until the 79th minute, when Fernando Nano felled Yacine Brahimi in the penalty area.

Nano saw red and Guilherme Siqueira's cheeky dinked penalty wrapped up three vital points, before Diego Buonanotte added an exclamation mark late on.


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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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