La Liga: Madrid sides rise to the occasion in Gameweek 16

Madrid CFF's Itziar Pinillos avoids a tackle by Real Betis' Andrea Medina.
Itziar Pinillos of Madrid CFF during the Primera Iberdrola match between Real Betis and Madrid CFF at Ciudad Deportiva Luis del Sol in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Jose Luis Contreras)

Only five games went ahead in the Primera Iberdrola on gameweek 16, but that didn’t mean there was any shortage of drama.

As a consequence of Covid-19, four fixtures were postponed at the weekend in Spain. This included league leaders Barcelona’s match against highflying Granadilla Tenerife.

SD Eibar 2 – 2 Real Sociedad

Eibar took the lead in the first half of the Sociedad derby through Thembi Kgatlana when she rounded the keeper and fired home from an acute angle. Yet, the match really sprung into life in the final 10 minutes.

Kiana Palacios levelled things up when she hammered the ball into the net from close range. Eibar then regained the lead thanks to Maria Llompart Pons’ penalty, which she drilled low into the bottom corner.

Eibar looked to be taking all three points from there, but Sociedad had other ideas. Finnish international forward Sanni Franssi’s half-volley in stoppage time salvaged a point for the away side.

Santa Teresa CD 2 – 2 Athletic Bilbao

It was another dramatic four-goal match in Spain’s South West as Santa Teresa and Athletic Bilbao shared in the spoils.

The away side took the lead halfway through the first half with Eunate Arraiza’s successful shot from the edge of the area. Alba Mellado then evened things up. She let fly an absolute screamer from 30 yards out to take the teams into the dressing room level at half-time.

With 15 minutes left to go in the game, the visitors took the lead once again when Raquel Ayuso turned the ball into her own net. As the game inched towards its conclusion, Mariana Diaz Leal fired across goal. Her effort took a deflection by Athletic defender Garazi Murua Astorkiza that found the back of the net and ensured the match finished even.

The solitary point puts Santa Teresa level with Sporting Huelva. Thus, they sit in a very strong position of clawing their way out of the relegation zone.

Real Betis 1 – 2 Madrid CFF

It was defeat for Juan Amoros in his first match as Real Betis manager. This keeps them in the contention for relegation, four points from safety.

Laura Dominguez Rojo put the capital side ahead before the quarter hour mark, but the home side struck back shortly after. This came after Monica Hickmann was given her marching orders for denying a clear goalscoring chance in the area. Angela Sosa then stepped up and put away the resulting penalty to put the teams on equal terms.

Madrid had to play the majority of the match with just 10 players, providing Betis with a clear numerical advantage. However, Betis were unable to make it count.

Eventually, Madrid’s Rita Chikwelu got on the end of a corner and put her side back in front in the 65th minute. The win keeps Madrid just four points off the top three. Their dreams of a Champions League spot are still very much a possibility.

Valencia CF 3 – 0 Deportivo La Coruna

Valencia came out as emphatic winners over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, meaning the Galician side remain rooted at the foot of the table.

Dutch international Ellen Jansen put the home side ahead with a header at the near post after just 13 minutes. On-loan Barcelona forward Candela Andujar then doubled the lead in the second half. She went one-on-one with Esther Sullastres before slotting the ball to the keeper’s right. Shortly after, Florencia Bonsegundo then made it 3-0 to the hosts when she fired right-footed into the top left-hand corner.

Atletico Madrid 3 – 0 Sevilla FC

Despite a disappointing season thus far, Atletico Madrid were able to climb back into the top three with a convincing victory over midtable Sevilla.

Leicy Santos got the scoring underway in the first half with a very well-struck half-volley. Las Rojiblancas then put themselves two goals to the good just seconds from the restart. Deyna Castellanos weaved through the Sevilla defence and drilled a low shot past the keeper and into the back of the net. Ludmila then rounded off the scoring when the Brazilian converted a cross at the back post for her 11th goal of the season.

The victory puts Atleti back in a Champions League position. Still, Levante are breathing down their necks level on points with Dani Gonzalez’ side and with a game in hand.