A roundup of the weekend’s results in La Liga, where Real Madrid lost once again, Lionel Messi honored Diego Maradona with a special goal and tribute, and Atletico Madrid are inching closer toward being title favorites…
Real Madrid 1-2 Alaves
Zinedine Zidane’s side suffered its third loss of the season on Saturday — all in their last six outings, with just seven points to show for their efforts — after falling 2-0 behind to Alaves. It was 1-0 after just five minutes, thanks to Nacho giving away an early penalty kick for handball.
Joselu pounced on Thibaut Courtois’s errant pass to make it 2-0 for Alaves in the 49th minute, and Real Madrid were very quickly in a very uncomfortable position. Casemiro didn’t make it 2-1 until he bundled the ball over the line in the 86th minute, at which point Los Blancos had precious little time left to begin their search for an equalizer.
To make matters even worse, Eden Hazard was forced off in just the 28th minute due to a knock he suffered in the first half. He is expected to miss Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday as they await word on a longer-term prognosis.
As consequence of the result, Real Madrid have fallen to seven points back of the league leaders and sit fourth in the La Liga table.
Barcelona 4-0 Osasuna
On a day of somber and celebratory scenes at the Camp Nou, Barcelona bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Atletico Madrid last weekend by thrashing relegation-battling Osasuna on Sunday.
Former Barcelona star Diego Maradona was honored heavily throughout the proceedings — before, during and after the game.
Martin Braithwaite (29th minute), Antoine Griezmann (42nd) and Philippe Coutinho (57th) scored goals to make it 3-0 for the home side with nary a contribution from Lionel Messi. But, of course Messi wouldn’t remain silent with Maradona, the Argentine legend who came before him, to be remembered and honored.
When Messi scored Barcelona’s fourth goal — a left-footed rocket from the edge of the box after a brief slaloming run through midfield with the ball glued to his feet — in the 73rd minute, Messi celebrated by removing his own no. 10 shirt and revealing a classic Newell’s Old Boys shirt with Maradona’s no. 10 on the back as he kissed his hands and reached toward the sky (WATCH HERE).
The victory sees Barcelona rise up to seventh in the La Liga table, now 10 points off the top spot.
Valencia 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid moved to within one point of the top of the table with a win over Valencia on Saturday (and Real Sociedad’s draw with Villarreal on Sunday).
Diego Simeone’s side didn’t even score the game’s only goal themselves — they have Valencia’s Toni Lato to thank for that — but three points are three points no matter which way they’re won.
Other La Liga results
Real Sociedad 1-1 Villarreal
Real Valladolid 1-1 Levante
Elche 1-1 Cadiz
Huesca 0-1 Sevilla
Getafe 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Celta Vigo 3-1 Granada