Liga F round up: Real Madrid hit five, Barcelona edge out Atleti

Alexia Putellas of Barcelona applauds the fans
Alexia Putellas celebrates after the UEFA Women's Champions League semifinal 2nd leg match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Real Madrid and Barcelona are still yet to drop points in Liga F this season after the two clubs recorded victories on matchday five. Alberto Toril’s side got the better of Granada in a seven-goal thriller, while the reigning Liga F champions squeezed past Atlético Madrid in a record-breaking day for Alexia Putellas.

Let’s delve into all nine matches that took place over an entertaining weekend of football.

Villarreal 3-0 Athletic Club

After beginning the campaign with four consecutive defeats, Villarreal finally got up and running in Saturday’s home meeting with Athletic Club. Francisca Lara’s third-minute strike ensured the hosts took a slender lead into the break. María Llompart doubled Villarreal’s advantage in the 67th minute, guiding the ball home from Fatou Kanteh’s cross. Athletic’s Patricia Zugasti thought she had pulled a goal back for the Basque side, but her left-foot strike was swiftly chalked off by the assistant’s flag. Kayla McKenna then compounded Athletic’s miserable afternoon when she scored her second goal in three games to wrap up all three points.

Granada 2-5 Real Madrid

Real Madrid travelled to Andalusia off the back of a 2-1 win over Vålerenga in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying tie. Toril’s side moved in front in the 13th minute thanks to Athenea del Castillo’s first goal of the season. However, an Ivana Andrés own goal ensured Las Blancas went into the interval on level terms. Naomie Feller restored her side’s slender advantage within four minutes of the restart, but newly-promoted Granada refused to go away, as they pulled a goal back through Edna Imade, who tapped home after Ornella Vignola had struck the post.

Toril subsequently called for reinforcements, and it proved to be an inspired move after Sandie Toletti came off the bench to net a quick-fire brace, before her fellow substitute Signe Bruun headed home from close range to secure all three points. With their 100% record still intact, Real Madrid will now prepare for a midweek trip to Norway, as they look to seal their place in the Champions League group stage for a third consecutive season.

Real Sociedad 3-1 Eibar

Real Sociedad flew out of the blocks to quash Eibar’s hopes of claiming a positive result inside the opening 20 minutes. Nerea Eizagirre produced a delicate chip to open the scoring before Synne Jensen and Mirari Uria grabbed a goal apiece to give Natalia Arroyo’s side an unassailable lead. Despite claiming the spoils, the hosts did miss the chance to record their first clean sheet of the season after Nati Cano netted a late consolation.

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Sevilla 1-2 Valencia

Sevilla were seemingly on course to claim their second win of the season when Inma Gabarro lifted the ball over the onrushing Enith Salón just after the hour mark. As it proved, the hosts were unable to hold onto their lead, as two Valencia substitutes helped their side stage a late turnaround. Sara Tamarit levelled the scoreline in the 79th minute before Anita Marcos snatched maximum points with a delightful lob over Esther Sullastres.

Sporting Huelva 1-3 Madrid CFF

Bottom-placed Huelva made an impressive start to their home meeting with Madrid CFF, taking the lead within eight minutes thanks to Jessica De Filippo’s first goal for the club. Despite drawing first blood, Huelva were unable to keep one of the league’s most entertaining sides at bay, with Luany scoring her second goal of the campaign to restore parity before half time. The home side’s challenge became much tougher when Katarzyna Konat was given her marching orders in the 55th minute. Zala Meršnik did her utmost to keep the scores level, with the goalkeeper pulling off two sublime penalty saves to deny Mônica and Ana González. However, Meršnik’s heroics were ultimately in vain, as Karen Araya and Mônica grabbed a goal apiece in the final 10 minutes to ensure the visitors recorded a fourth consecutive victory in Liga F.

Costa Adeje Tenerife 1-0 Real Betis

After edging out newly-promoted Eibar in their previous outing, Tenerife squeezed past Real Betis to record back-to-back 1-0 victories. Sandra Hernández scored the decisive goal in the second minute, flicking the ball home from Claudia Blanco’s inswinging cross. Betis spent the remainder of the contest searching for what proved to be an elusive equaliser. The visitors finished the encounter without registering a shot on target – a concerning statistic for a side that are currently the joint-lowest scorers in Liga F alongside Huelva.

Levante 1-1 Levante Las Planas

After missing three matches through injury, Alba Redondo went close to marking her return with a goal, but her headed effort was kept out by the quick reactions of Nayluisa Cáceres. Levante continued to push forward, and duly found the breakthrough in the 35th minute. Erika González, who replaced the injured Nataša Andonova in the opening stages, was on hand to tap the ball in from Ángela Sosa’s squared pass. Their lead lasted just six minutes, though, before Morgane Nicoli headed home from a free-kick to send the two teams into the break on level terms. With neither side able to find a winner in the second period, the draw ensured both teams remained unbeaten in Liga F this season.

Atlético Madrid 0-1 Barcelona

The most highly-anticipated game of the weekend proved to be a close-fought contest. After being involved in a cagey first half, Barcelona only required six minutes to open the scoring in the second period. Esmee Brugts found the run of Patri Guijarro, who squared the ball for Alexia Putellas to guide home her 182nd goal for the club, moving her past Jenni Hermoso to become Barcelona Femení’s all-time leading scorer.

The visitors threatened to add a second through Lucy Bronze, who forced Lola Gallardo to tip the ball over the bar. Atleti carved out chances of their own in the closing stages, with Cata Coll required to deny Sheila García and Leicy Santos. Despite their best efforts, the hosts could not find a late leveller, as Barcelona held firm to extend their perfect start to the season.

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