FEATURE | Week 33 La Liga review

Real extend lead over Barca

Real Madrid relied on their captain Sergio Ramos to come up with the goods and take all three points against a strong Getafe side to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table. Ramos converted his 21st penalty in a row to ensure Zidane’s men got a vital victory at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano as work continues on the redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabeu. With just five games remaining Barca need some sort of miracle to climb above Los Blancos, who are four points ahead and boast the all-important head-to-head advantage.

Mallorca hand themselves a lifeline

Mallorca have scored very few goals this season, but today they looked like Bayern Munich,” Celta Vigo captain Iago Aspas said after his side were humiliated 5-1 by the islanders looking to survive in their first season back in the top-flight. Nobody gave Vicente Moreno’s side any hopes of survival this season, however this impressive victory over the Galician’s means they’re still in with a chance of maintaining their Primera status. Top-scorer Ante Budimir got a brace to send them on their way to claiming all three points.

Three penalties in thrilling 2-2 draw at Camp Nou

A Diego Costa nightmare few minutes involving an own goal and missed penalty sprung the biggest match of the week to life at Camp Nou. For Barcelona’s penalty it was the world’s best player versus the world’s best keeper: up stepped Leo Messi to score his 700th career goal with a panenka style penalty against Jan Oblak. Saul Niguez scored a brace of penalties on the night, after Costa handed over the ball to the Spanish midfielder having missed the opening spot-kick. A point apiece was a fair result and huge dent in the Blaugrana’s title hopes.

Espanyol all but down after 26 years in Primera

Real Sociedad came from behind at the Reale Arena on Thursday night to beat Espanyol 2-1, with a late strike from centre forward Alexander Isak. The super-sub hit a superb left-footed volley beyond Diego Lopez to all but relegate the Catalan club after 26 years in Primera. David Lopez opened the scoring for the visitors to give them a glimmer of hope, but Willian Jose’s goal before Isak’s winner keeps Espanyol bottom and 10 points from safety.

The Yellow Submarine keep on winning

Villarreal recorded their fifth win in six matches with a convincing 2-0 victory over a hapless Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin. The Yellow Submarine are just three points off Sevilla in fourth place and the in-form team since the return of La Liga action. Both goals came from Spanish forward Gerard Moreno, who is perhaps one of the most underrated attackers in Primera. Betis are on the lookout for a new manager and things went from bad to worse when French playmaker Nabil Fekir received a second yellow card and his marching orders in the 45th minute. The Andalusian club have reportedly held talks with former Real Madrid head coach Manuel Pellegrini regarding their managerial vacancy. The quicker this season ends for Betis, the better.

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