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Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Big wins for Barca and Real

Barcelona and Real Madrid both enjoyed big home wins in La Liga as Deportivo La Coruna breathed life into their fight for survival.

Last Updated: 07/04/13 at 08:41 Post Comment

Alexis Sanchez: Scored twice in Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Mallorca

Alexis Sanchez: Scored twice in Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Mallorca

Leaders Barcelona maintained their 13-point gap at the top after a much-changed team hammered Real Mallorca 5-0 at the Nou Camp in a match which marked Eric Abidal's return to action.

Cesc Fabregas scored a hat-trick for Barcelona and he opened the scoring on 20 minutes before Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead two minutes later.

Former Arsenal midfielder Fabregas netted again on 37 minutes and a minute into the second half, after Sanchez had made it 4-0 before half-time.

In the 70th minute, Abidal made his first appearance for Barcelona's first team following a liver transplant 12 months ago and he was given a standing ovation when he replaced Gerard Pique.

A much-changed Real Madrid recovered from another slow start to secure a regulation 5-1 home win over European hopefuls Levante.

Jose Mourinho made seven changes from the team that beat Galatasaray 3-0 to take control of their Champions League quarter-final in midweek.

Real fell behind to Michel's 31st minute goal for Levante, but the hosts' response was swift, however, as Gonzalo Higuain hooked in before a Kaka penalty sent Madrid ahead within eight minutes of falling behind.

Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced at the break and killed the game off on 84 minutes before fellow substitute Mesut Ozil added two more to lift Real four points clear of third-placed city rivals Atletico.

Real Sociedad opened up a four-point lead on their rivals for fourth place in the Primera Division with a resounding 4-2 win at home to Malaga.

The hosts took a commanding lead in the first half thanks to a frenetic nine minutes in which they found the net three times, through Carlos Vela, Alberto de la Bella and Antoine Griezmann.

Pedro Morales pulled one back for Malaga before the break, but any hope of a comeback was then vanquished by a goal by Inigo Martinez shortly after the re-start.

Roque Santa Cruz scored a second consolation goal with 20 minutes remaining, but a home victory was never in doubt, which means Sociedad are ever closer to qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 10 years.

Deportivo La Coruna gave their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Primera Division a fillip by beating fellow strugglers Real Zaragoza 3-2 in a thriller at the Riazor.

Bruno Gama put Deportivo ahead early in the first half but Helder Postiga levelled from the penalty spot and then Paco Montanes put Manolo Jimenez's visitors ahead.

However, Carlos Marchena equalised before half-time and Depor took the lead for a second time 10 minutes into the second half thanks to an own goal by Abraham Minero, whose night was made even worse when he was sent off with nine minutes remaining.

Depor have now won three consecutive games and moved off the bottom of the table for the first time since December 2. Meanwhile, Zaragoza, who have not been in the relegation zone once all season, could find themselves in it by Sunday lunchtime.

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C

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.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

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

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

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.

bale doubt
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