Real Madrid geared up for a big match against Valencia on Saturday with a BBC-less trouncing of Deportivo, in what could be the shape of things to come
In an unsurprising turn of events for anyone except Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid performed brilliantly in its away game against Deportivo La Coruña (2-6) with a starting XI featuring no Cristiano Ronaldo, no Gareth Bale and no Karim Benzemá in sight.
With Isco Alarcón once again proving himself as the leader in the shadows of this team, he was amazingly supported by Lucas Vázquez, Marco Asensio and Álvaro Morata, amongst others, to deliver a spectacular first half of total football, destroying the opposition and securing the three points mere hours after being owned in El Clásico.
James Rodríguez scored twice, adding some value to a lackluster season. However, the debate is already raging in Real’s environment: with a declining Cristiano, a disappointing Benzemá and an injured Gareth Bale… is the BBC era over? And, watching how the ‘new kids’ perform and excel on top of the pitch… should it be?
Barça toys with a dead Osasuna
After Leo Messi’s roaring performance in El Clásico and with renewed faith in their chances of winning La Liga, top dog FC Barcelona preyed on a doomed Osasuna in the easiest win of the season (7-1). Barça toyed with their opponents, and Messi himself was the one to open the scoring with outlandish ease.
André Gomes and Paco Alcácer, both Valencia signings whose output has been lacking this year, scored twice in a placid night for the home team. The mood was so festive that Javier Mascherano, after 319 games and seven years as one of the team’s fiercest players, was prompted to score from the penalty spot in what was his first goal as a Barça player.
On the other aisle, things were completely opposite. It was a matter of time, but Osasuna’s relegation was finally official this Wednesday. After a disastrous season with three different managers on the bench and many different tests and desperate struggles, the battle is over.
Even after fighting tooth and nail, the Rojillo’s spirit and hope couldn’t balance the lack of quality. They will play in La Segunda next year… although their top scorer, Sergio Leon, sure won’t after an outstanding season that has made him target for many bigger sides this summer.
Valencia CF embarrasses its fans at Mestalla with Setién as main choice next year
Valencia CF’s game last Wednesday encased in a nutshell most of the traits and key factors that have dragged the team down this year and forced the fans to flock away from the stands in Mestalla. With a measly 26.000 supporters witnessing the debacle, Real Sociedad destroyed Voro Gonzalez’s men in a beautiful first-half where the home team was a rag doll in their hands.
A disgraceful play in the first minute with mistakes both from Diego Alves and Aderlan Santos allowed the first one for the Txuri Urdin team, and striker Willian José scored the 0-2 during the half hour mark. Oyarzabal made it a three-goal lead in the second-half, with angry fans dismayed at such an embarrassing performance by the local team. A last minute rush allowed Valencia to narrow the gap (Nani and Simone Zaza scored), but it was ultimately pointless.
However, the loss was indeed useful to clear the smoke surrounding the next coach on Valencia’s bench. Voro’s choices of being renewed were squashed earlier this week, and right now Quique Setien sits at the pole position regarding the job. Las Palmas’ manager has been contacted by Valencia and will sit at their bench if owner Peter Lim green-lights the appointment.
Leganes wins a huge game towards their relegation fight
Precisely Setien and Las Palmas were obliterated in their visit to tiny Butarque in a tremendous effort by Leganes, a side that has managed to widen the gap to 30 points and a six-point advantage over relegation spots (3-0). After a very balanced first half, Luciano da Rocha’s doublet and Miguel Ángel Guerrero’s single goal trounced the opposition in five minutes of excitement that KO’d Las Palmas, a side with an increasingly awful track-record away from the Islands (nine straight defeats).
Granada’s ‘Adams family’ keeps spooking hope away from Los Cármenes
Granada CF might be the next side to mathematically get relegated very, very soon. Tony Adams is proving himself to be incapable of making his men to turn around the situation and, sitting right down in the standings (20 points, ten away from Leganés with only twelve points remaining), seems to be as doomed as Osasuna. This time, Barça striker Sandro Ramírez (on loan in Málaga) was the executor with two goals in the second half (0-2) that leave the Los Cármenes side one step away from La Segunda.