La Liga: Atlético falter while city rivals rise

Laia Aleixandri of Atletico de Madrid warms up.
Laia Aleixandri of Atletico de Madrid warms up during her side's Primera Iberdrola match on November 15, 2020. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso)

It was another disappointing matchweek for Atlético Madrid. While Las Rojiblancas fail to find league consistency, Real Madrid and Madrid CFF continue to solidify their spots in the top five.

Real Madrid 1-0 Santa Teresa

It was heartbreak for Santa Teresa and relief for Real Madrid. The capital side snatched a victory in the 95th minute, ensuring their opponents remain in the relegation zone.

Las Blancas were on top for the majority of the game with Sofia Jakobsson looking particularly bright. Yet, she couldn’t penetrate the Santa Teresa defence. Kosovare Asllani also had a goal wrongfully disallowed for offside and it appeared like it wasn’t to be Real’s day.

Then, Lorena Navarro stepped up. With virtually the last action of the game, Navarro headed her side into the lead. Her goal means they hold onto second place. For Santa Teresa, however, it was a devastating blow.

Madrid CFF 1-0 Sevilla

Only one goal came from this fixture, but it was enough to earn Madrid their fourth consecutive victory. They are still well in the hunt for a Champions League place.

The goal itself came from a powerful driving run by Brazilian forward Geyse. She all but ran the full length of the pitch before cutting the ball back in the Sevilla area. Priscila Borja got on the end of the pass and hammered the ball into the top corner just after the hour mark.

The strike was enough for the home side to take all three points. Meanwhile, Sevilla remain comfortably midtable. Though, the teams around them have games in hand.

Espanyol 1-1 Valencia

The spoils were shared between Espanyol and Valencia as the home side had to come from behind to salvage a point against the Valencianas.

On-loan Barcelona forward Candela Andujar continued her excellent form for Valencia. She put the East Coast club ahead with less than 20 minutes remaining. It was a free-kick for the away side which rebounded off the bar, but Andujar was the first to react and nod the ball into the net.

Valencia looked to be heading for back-to-back wins. That is until the 90th minute when a looping Espanyol header came back off the woodwork and was bundled in by Paola Soldevila on the goal line. It was an important point for Espanyol as it puts distance between themselves and the bottom four.

Logrono 2-1 Rayo Vallecano

Logrono earned their third victory of the season as they overcame Madrid side Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Vallecano took the lead in the first half after a delightful free-kick rebounded off the post. María Pilar García Villalba was the first to react, tapping the ball into an unguarded net.

The second half had barely took off however, and Lorgono were level. Ivory Coast forward Rebecca Elloh had ghosted in at the back post and fired her shot into the roof of the net. Then, 20-year-old Ghanaian international Grace Asantewaa conjured up a moment of brilliance just six minutes later. Weaving in and out of defenders, Asantewaa powered her way through the Vallecano backline. She then let it fly from 30 yards out, thrashing the ball into the top corner. The La Rioja club were able to hold on until the final whistle, securing an important three points. This pulls themselves up from 16th to 14th and out of the relegation zone.

Real Sociedad 5-1 Real Betis

Real Sociedad produced a convincing victory against Betis to condemn Juan Amoros to another defeat since his arrival at the Andalusian club. Sociedad dominated from start to finish but only went into the break at 1-1. This came after Maitane Lopez’s goal was cancelled out by Beatriz Para’s equaliser just before half-time.

Gemma Gili then restored the lead for Sociedad before Nerea Eizaguirre doubled the advantage. To really compound Betis’ misery, the hosts scored two quick fire goals in stoppage time from Cecilia Marcos and Sanni Franssi. The 5-1 defeat means Betis remain second from bottom whilst Sociedad climb up to sixth.

Levante 3-0 Atletico Madrid

It was a top-of-the-table “six-pointer” between Levante and Atletico Madrid in which the Granotes ran out victorious.

Estefania Banini got the scoring underway after 20 minutes when she converted a low cross at the back post. Alba Redondo then widened the gap in the second period with a coolly taken side-footed finish. The 24-year-old then bagged her brace when Levante snatched the ball off the Atleti defence. The ball was laid on a plate for the forward to tap in six yards out.

The win gives the home side a huge advantage over Atletico in the Champions League race at the halfway point of the season.

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