Liga F round up: Levante stun Real Madrid, Athletic Club claim derby bragging rights

Real Madrid's Vaitiare Robles is replaced by Oihane Hernandez
Real Madrid's Vaitiare Robles is replaced by Oihane Hernandez (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Levante showcased their quality on Sunday to ruin Real Madrid’s 100% start to the Liga F season. As a result, Barcelona have moved three points clear after they maintained their perfect record with a dominant win over Granada. It was also a successful weekend for Athletic Club, who beat their rivals Real Sociedad in Sunday’s Basque derby.

Let’s round up all of the action from the final round of fixtures before the international break.

Eibar 0-0 Villarreal

Saturday’s encounter at Ipurua proved to be a rather underwhelming affair. Although the visitors struck the woodwork in the first period, clearcut chances were few and far between. Ultimately, both Eibar and Villarreal lacked the cutting edge required to carve out a winner, ensuring the contest finished up as a goalless draw. While newly-promoted Eibar are now winless in four matches, they can take positives from claiming their first clean sheet of the campaign. The result also moved both sides onto four points, leaving them one point clear of the drop zone ahead of the international break.

Real Betis 2-2 Valencia

After coming from behind to beat Sevilla last weekend, Valencia were seemingly on course to claim another victory in Saturday’s clash with Real Betis. The visitors took the lead through Anita Marcos, who guided the ball in from Estela Fernández’s deep free-kick. Valencia quickly doubled their advantage, courtesy of a Fiamma Iannuzzi header. The 18-year-old nodded the ball into the bottom corner after meeting Asun Martínez’s inviting cross. Crucially, Betis pulled a goal back before the break, as Carmen Álvarez poked home from Natalia Montilla’s cut-back. Former Valencia player Carol Férez completed the comeback just after the hour-mark when she turned the ball in from Carla Armengol’s delivery. There was to be no winning goal for either side, although Valencia finished the contest with 10 players after Pauleta was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Sporting Club Huelva 0-2 Atlético Madrid

Atlético Madrid bounced back from their narrow defeat to Barcelona to claim maximum points in Saturday’s meeting with Huelva. The unmarked Sheila Guijarro met Andrea Medina’s inch-perfect cross to head home the opening goal just after the 30-minute mark. Guijarro third strike of the Liga F season was followed by Cinta Rodríguez’s first-ever goal for the club. The former Sporting Huelva defender rose high in the box to nod home from Carmen Menayo’s out-swinging corner. Colombia international Leicy Santos went close to adding a third in the second half when her right-foot strike rattled the woodwork. In the end, the visitors would have been content with the 2-0 victory, which leaves them in third place. As for Huelva, they remain bottom of the standings with just a solitary point to their name.

Barcelona 6-1 Granada

Barcelona required just six minutes to open the scoring, with Patri Guijarro driving a low shot in at the near post to register her first goal of the campaign. Salma Paralluelo went close to doubling the advantage when her left-foot strike was pushed onto the post by Sandra Estévez. A second ultimately arrived in the 29th minute, and it proved to be a significant moment for Ona Batlle, who guided the ball into the far corner to score her first goal for the Calatan club. 

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After taking a two-goal lead into the break, Barcelona moved through the gears in the second period as their opponents began to tire. Paralluelo tucked home a rebound to make it three, before substitute Mariona Caldentey found the net within two minutes of her arrival. Asisat Oshaola netted a quick-fire brace to take the Barça tally to six, but they did miss out on a clean sheet following Laura Pérez’s late consolation.

Madrid CFF 3-2 Costa Adeje Tenerife

Unsurprisingly, the league’s great entertainers, Madrid CFF, played their part in another exciting encounter on Sunday. They moved into a two-goal lead thanks to Aida Esteve’s thumping strike and Racheal Kundananji’s fifth goal of the season. Agustina Barroso pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 44th minute, nodding in from close range after Madrid CFF failed to deal with a deep free-kick. The hosts were punished from another set-piece in the closing stages of the contest when Esther Okoronkwo headed home from Natalia Ramos’s delivery. Despite giving up a two-goal lead, the home side still managed to clinch all three points after Laura Domínguez found the bottom corner with an accurate left-foot strike in the fourth minute of stoppage. As a result of a fifth straight win,  Madrid CFF head into the international break in second place in the Liga F table.

Athletic Club 2-1 Real Sociedad

Sunday’s Basque derby served up a dramatic contest, as Athletic fought their way back from a goal down to claim a third consecutive home victory. The hosts fell behind in the 41st minute when Nerea Eizagirre found the bottom corner after latching onto Emma Ramírez’s neat cut-back. Crucially, Athletic restored parity before the break after Ane Azkona steered her header past the outstretched Elene Lete. While both sides searched for a winner, it seemed as though the two Basque rivals would have to settle for a draw. However, 18-year-old forward Jone Amezaga had a decisive role to play, coming off the bench to net the winning goal within two minutes of her arrival. As a result of the victory, Athletic moved up to eighth place, leaving them two points and two places better off than Real Sociedad.

Levante Las Planas 1-2 Sevilla

Anissa Lahmari netted her second goal of the Liga F campaign to put the home side in front inside the opening 20 minutes. With less than 10 minutes remaining of the first half, Sevilla restored parity following a well-executed set piece. A corner to the far post found the towering Klára Cahynová, who knocked the ball down for Eva Llamas to nod in from close range. Sevilla ultimately completed the turnaround in the 91st minute when Inma Gabarro smartly controlled Pamela González’s delivery, before poking the ball past Nayluisa Cáceres.

Real Madrid 1-2 Levante

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Levante took a slender lead into the break following Paula Fernández’s 12th-minute effort. The 24-year-old squeezed the ball over the line after Gabi Nunes had flicked on a near-post corner. As the rain drove down at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, Real Madrid carved out an equaliser within five minutes of the restart when Olga Carmona’s fizzing cross was tucked home by Linda Caicedo. Real Madrid were on level terms for 17 minutes, before they were undone by another corner. Gabi Nunes produced a clinical header from Nataša Andonova’s inswinging deliver to restore the visitiors’ advantage. The hosts were unable to fight back a second time, ensuring they fell to their first defeat of the season. Third-placed Real Madrid are now three points adrift of Liga F leaders Barcelona, while Levante occupy fifth position.

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