Liga F: Atlético Madrid edge closer to Champions League qualification

A general view of Atletico Madrid flags
A general view outside the stadium as flags are seen being sold prior to the UEFA Champions League group B match between Atletico Madrid and AC Milan at Wanda Metropolitano on November 24, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Atlético Madrid claimed a 3-1 victory over Levante Las Planas to boost their hopes of securing Champions League qualification. However, they are still being chased by fourth-placed Levante, who picked up a 2-1 win against Villarreal at the weekend.

Here, we will round up all the action from the latest round of Liga F fixtures.

Athletic Club 4-1 Costa Adeje Tenerife

Mariana Cerro opened the scoring in the 12th minute. The 24-year-old latched onto a loose ball to drive her shot past Aline Reis. After taking a narrow lead into the break, Athletic’s Patricia Zugasti tapped home from close range to double her side’s advantage. Cerro then grabbed her second and Athletic’s third, before Clara Pinedo swept home a fourth goal.

Tenerife did at least net a late consolation, but it did little to improve their mood. Despite claiming all three points, Athletic are now out of Champions League contention.

Atlético Madrid 3-1 Levante Las Planas

Atlético required just nine minutes to open the scoring against Levante Las Planas. Ludmila drove into the box before squaring the ball for Marta Cardona to guide home. Allegra Poljak provided the visitors’ response, squeezing the ball in at the near post to send the two sides into the break on level terms.

However, the hosts quickly restored their advantage in the opening stages of the second half. Xènia Pérez fired a bouncing ball into the top corner to register her second Liga F goal of the season. Rasheedat Ajibade then added a third to round off a crucial victory for her side. Atlético Madrid remain in third place and pushing for Champions League football, while Levante Las Planas are in 13th and two points above the drop zone.

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Levante 2-1 Villarreal

Levante remain three points behind Atlético Madrid after they edged out Villarreal at the weekend. Alba Redondo tapped the ball in to open the scoring in the fifth minute. Redondo quickly turned provider, cutting the ball back for Paula Fernández to stroke home.

The hosts kept hold of their two-goal advantage until Kayla McKenna pulled a goal back in the 80th minute. The forward brought down a looping pass before prodding the ball beyond Andrea Tarazona. It ultimately proved too little too late, as Levante saw out the remainder of the contest to claim all three points. Villarreal are left languishing in the relegation zone with two points separating them from safety.

Sporting Club Huelva 2-1 Granada

Having endured a difficult campaign, basement side Huelva finally celebrated their first Liga F win of the season. Miku Kojima nodded the ball home to move Huelva in front inside the opening 15 minutes. After taking a slender lead into the break, the hosts doubled their advantage in bizarre fashion. Granada goalkeeper Sandra Estévez failed to control Raiderlin Carrasco’s shot from inside the Huelva half, causing the ball to trickle into the net.

Edna Imade halved the deficit in the 83rd minute, but Granada could not find the elusive equaliser. The visitors could still be relegated alongside Huelva, with the Andalusian side sitting two points above the bottom two.

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Valencia 3-1 Sevilla

Valencia secured their safety with a dominant win over Sevilla. The hosts produced a scintillating first half display to effectively wrap up all three points before the break. Ainhoa Alguacil poked home from close range to get Valencia up and running. Marina Martí then slotted past Yolanda Aguirre to double the advantage after 30 minutes.

There was still time left in the first period for Ivonne Chacón to pick out the bottom corner with a neat right-foot finish. Sevilla’s miserable afternoon worsened when Pamela González was given her marching orders in the 68th minute. Despite being reduced to 10 players, Sevilla still managed to grab a late consolation through Cristina Martín-Prieto.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid bounced back from a Madrid derby defeat in Sunday’s clash with Real Sociedad. Signe Bruun pounced on a rebound to break the deadlock in the eighth minute. As the half reached the 30-minute mark, Athenea del Castillo exchanged a neat one-two with Caroline Møller, before drilling the ball into the top corner.

Real Betis 0-0 Madrid CFF

Madrid CFF’s Champions League hopes were quashed by a goalless draw against Real Betis. Both teams created multiple chances to win the game, but they were unable to find the all-important breakthrough. The visitors remain in fifth place, while Betis are on the verge of securing safety. The hosts have moved five points clear ahead of their final two games against Barcelona and Tenerife.

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