La Liga: Barcelona sets league record, Real Madrid reach new heights

Kosovare Asllani of Real Madrid competes for the ball with Maria Jimenez of Valencia CF.
Kosovare Asllani of Real Madrid competes for the ball with Maria Jimenez of Valencia CF during the Primera Iberdrola match between Real Madrid and Valencia CF at Ciudad Real Madrid on February 06, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

It was a full weekend of fixtures after several postponements in recent weeks. Barcelona set records as they march closer and closer to the title. Meanwhile, Real Madrid continues to climb as the trailing pack fall further behind.

Real Betis 2 – 0 Sporting Huelva

Juan Carlos Amoros earned his first win as Real Betis boss in a crucial six-pointer against relegation rivals Sporting Huelva.

Rosa Otermin Abella got the scoring underway after just two minutes. Huelva goalkeeper Anna Rosa Buhigas couldn’t hold onto the ball and it was hammered home by the Betis winger.

The home side then doubled their advantage on the quarter-hour-mark. Forward Oriana Altuve’s low driven shot from close range skipped into the back of the net.

The win means Betis narrow the gap between them and safety to just three points. Amoros could very much be on his way to masterminding an unlikely escape.

Real Sociedad 1 – 1 Madrid CFF

The points were shared in a clash between two Champions League dark horses. Sixth placed Real Sociedad faced off against fifth placed Madrid CFF in the coastal city of San Sebastián.

Sara González put the away side in the lead through a well-taken header. However, the goal was cancelled out in first-half stoppage time by Kiana Palicios’ shot from a narrow angle.

Though, the action wasn’t finished there. Sociedad defender Núria Mendoza Miralles was given her marching orders after receiving a second yellow card in the 71st minute. The hosts had to finish the game with 10 players, but they were able to hold on and come away with a point.

Logroño 0 – 2 Barcelona

It was poor performance as far as Barcelona’s extraordinarily high standards go. They were only able to beat relegation-threatened Logroño 2-0 over the weekend.

Goals from Vicki Losada and Kheira Hamraoui on both sides of the interval guaranteed Barcalona the win.

Victory in Bilbao meant that this was the 15th consecutive win for the Catalan side. They have so far maintained a 100% record in the league this season. This achievement also marks the longest winning run in Primera Iberdrola history. At this rate, you wouldn’t bet against them extending the record.

Real Madrid 3 – 1 Valencia

Real Madrid were the real winners of the weekend. All the teams around them dropped points whilst they took all three against Valencia. Thus, their position in the race for a Champions League spot strengthens.

After a goalless first 60 minutes in the capital, the match exploded into life when Kosovare Asllani scored a hat-trick in less than three minutes. The first goal came from a lateral free-kick that deflected in at the near post. This was quickly followed by a delightful lob that beat the on-rushing keeper to bag her second. She then completed her hat-trick in just 155 seconds when she tapped in Marta Cardona’s cross at the back post.

As if feeling left out, Dutch forward Ellen Jansen got on the scoresheet herself less than a minute later. However, Jansen’s strike was merely a consolation goal for Valencia.

Granadilla Tenerife 2 – 2 Atlético Madrid

Atletico Madrid’s inconsistent form continued in Tenerife on Saturday. Yet, they managed to salvage a point after trailing twice against Granadilla.

The hosts took the lead after just four minutes through a wonderful left-footed free-kick from Raquel Peña. Atleti then equalised through new Cameroonian signing Ajara Nchout. She converted from six yards out in the 28th minute.

Peña then regained the lead for her side when she coolly converted from the spot. This came after Kylie Strom brought Natalia Ramos down in the box.

Tenerife thought they had all three points but were denied the win when Deyna Castellanos diverted Nchout’s shot past a helpless Aline Villares Reis.

In the end, the game finished level and Tenerife had victory snatched from under their noses. Yet, they will probably be the happier of the two sides. They still have games in hand on those around them, meaning they could still easily climb into the top three.

Rayo Vallecano 1 – 1 Levante

After defeat at the hands of Barcelona midweek, Levante lost even more ground on the runaway league leaders after Rayo Vallecano held them to a 1-1 draw.

Levante went ahead just before half-time. A header from Esther González rebounded off the post and straight to 19-year-old María Méndez for a simple finish. Rayo then got back into the game through their own 19-year-old when Ana Lucía de Teresa fired into the roof of the net to restore parity in the match.

The draw keeps Levante in second position. However, Real Madrid are breathing down their necks with just one point behind and a game in hand.

Athletic Club 3 – 0 Espanyol

It was an electric opening 30 minutes in the first match of Sunday as Athletic hurried to a three-goal lead against Espanyol.

Irene Oguiza got the scoring underway after scoring from close after eight minutes. Nekane Diaz then doubled the Bilbao club’s advantage. Goalkeeper Montserrat Quesada could only parry a shot into the path of the Athletic forward who finished calmly. Oguiza then had her brace just before the half-hour mark when she headed in a corner to put her side three goals to the good.

The win means that Athletic now leapfrog Espanyol into 11th positino. The Periquitas will now be looking over their shoulder as they edge closer to the relegation zone.

Eibar 1 – 3 Sevilla

Sevilla took the bragging rights in the battle of the midtable sides as they overcame Eibar 3-1 in the Basque Country.

The Andalusian club got the goals rolling in first half stoppage time. On-loan Barcelona forward Carla Armengol fired her team in front from the edge of the area.

In the second half, American-Nigerian forward Toni Payne made it 2-0 to Sevilla. Her composed finish came after getting one-on-one with the keeper.

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Thembi Kgatlana then halved the deficit for Eibar as she calmly slotted her finish underneath the Sevilla goalkeeper.

In the end, Sevilla put the game to bed with María Teresa Albarrán Jiménez’s stoppage time strike. She fired in at the near post with a first-time finish making it 3-1.

Santa Teresa 0 – 3 Deportivo de La Coruña

It was a huge victory for bottom side Deportivo away at 15th-placed Santa Teresa. As a result, things are becoming very congested at the bottom of the table.

Santa Teresa had plenty of opportunities to take the lead in the opening period but couldn’t make any of them count. Instead, it was the Galician side who took the lead through young forward Athenea del Castillo with her fourth goal of the season.

The away side then went two goals ahead when the sides returned from half-time. This came when Ainize Barea Nuñez turned in a rebound just less than a minute after the restart. Colombian international Lady Andrade then made it three for the visitors when she fired a shot into the net from inside the area.

The victory puts an end to Deprotivo’s five-game winless run, whereas Santa Teresa now haven’t won in their last ten. The bottom of the table lurks ever closer if this form continues.