Aritz Aduriz

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

La Liga wrap: Bilbao, Villarreal rise; Atleti wins fifth-straight

Leave a comment

Three La Liga matches served as an appetizer for Wednesday’s tasty Barcelona-Sevilla encounter, with the Madrid Derby on tap for Saturday at the Bernabeu.

[ BUNDESLIGA: In-form Kramaric tops Bayern ]


Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Espanyol

Aritz Aduriz may play until he’s 50. The 36-year-old Spaniard added his 11th and 12th goals of the season on Tuesday, giving him goals in three-straight matches. Bilbao goes sixth with the win thanks to Real Sociedad’s loss.

Real Betis 0-1 Villarreal

Villarreal also took advantage of Sociedad’s loss, getting a first goal of the season from Adrian to move fifth

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Real Sociedad

Atleti is flying ahead of the weekend’s Madrid Derby, now winners of five-straight after this goal from Filipe Luis to Fernando Torres and back to Luis.

Wednesday’s games

Barcelona vs. Sevilla — 1:30 p.m. EDT
Alaves vs. Osasuna — 2:30 p.m. EDT
Deportivo de la Coruna vs. Granada — 2:30 p.m. EDT
Sporting de Gijon vs. Malaga – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Leganes vs. Real Madrid — 3:30 p.m. EDT

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 28 21 5 2 74 28 46 12-3-0 9-2-2 68
 Barcelona 29 20 6 3 85 26 59 10-3-1 10-3-2 66
 Atlético Madrid 30 18 7 5 55 23 32 11-2-2 7-5-3 61
 Sevilla 29 17 7 5 52 34 18 10-3-1 7-4-4 58
 Villarreal 30 14 9 7 42 23 19 8-3-4 6-6-3 51
 Athletic 30 15 5 10 39 33 6 11-3-2 4-2-8 50
 Real Sociedad 30 15 4 11 43 41 2 7-4-4 8-0-7 49
 Eibar 29 12 8 9 47 41 6 8-3-4 4-5-5 44
 Espanyol 30 11 10 9 42 42 0 7-5-3 4-5-6 43
 Celta Vigo 28 12 5 11 43 46 -3 9-1-4 3-4-7 41
 Alavés 29 10 10 9 29 36 -7 4-7-3 6-3-6 40
 Las Palmas 29 9 8 12 45 48 -3 8-5-2 1-3-10 35
 Valencia 29 9 6 14 41 51 -10 6-3-5 3-3-9 33
 Betis 30 8 7 15 32 47 -15 5-6-5 3-1-10 31
 Málaga 29 6 9 14 33 47 -14 6-2-6 0-7-8 27
 Deportivo 29 6 9 14 31 46 -15 5-4-5 1-5-9 27
 Leganes 29 6 9 14 23 42 -19 3-5-6 3-4-8 27
 Sporting de Gijón 29 5 7 17 31 57 -26 4-2-8 1-5-9 22
 Granada 29 4 7 18 26 62 -36 4-4-6 0-3-12 19
 Osasuna 29 1 8 20 29 69 -40 0-5-10 1-3-10 11

Barcelona falls to Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The referee was the focal point as Barcelona fell to Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey matchup.

Goals from Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams downed the Catalans, while a free-kick from Lionel Messi gave Barcelona life heading into the second leg.

There were a number of key refereeing decisions that led to the result. The most scrutinized was a pretty awful no-call in the first half after a challenge by Xabier Etxeita that left Neymar in a heap in the penalty area, but instead the referee shook his head.

Later, the referee was back in the spotlight after he sent off both Raul Gardia and Ander Iturraspe of Athletic in the second half for questionable second yellow cards. Despite the two-man advantage, Barcelona was never able to level things up. There was also a heated exchange between Aduriz and Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti which saw them both receive yellow cards.

Despite all this, Barcelona only had itself to blame. The second Athletic goal, from Inaki Williams in the 27th minute, came from absolutely nothing, when Jordi Alba gave the ball away and the hosts pounced swiftly, as Aduriz delivered a back-heel to Williams who hammered the ball with blistering pace into the back of the net.

The two will play the second leg at the Camp Nou on January 11th.

International friendly roundup: Spain, Italy draw as Aduriz nets again

Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Antonio Conte led Italy in a home friendly against Spain while Wales tried its luck without Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in the headlining matches of Thursday’s friendlies across Europe.

[ MORE: Cruyff diesMost influential man in soccer history ]

Italy 1-1 Spain

Thirty-five year old Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz scored his second international goal in three caps to quickly answer Lorenzo Insigne’s first Italian goal since 2013, as these two powers drew a high-profile friendly at Stadio Friuli, home of Udinese. Spain had the better of possession, but Italy put 7 of 11 shots on target.

Czech Republic 0-1 Scotland

Ikechi Anya scored on a counter attack in the first half, and that was all Scotland needed to land a win in Prague. The Czechs out shot Scotland 20-11 (6-2 on target), but Hull City’s Allan McGregor was unbeatable in the win.

Wales 1-1 Northern Ireland

Church scores his late penalty (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Watford’s Craig Cathcart netted in the 60th minute for the visitors before Simon Church was adjudged to have been taken down in the box by West Brom’s Gareth McAuley and Wales found an equalizer. No Gareth Bale in this one; The Welsh star is being rested.

Elsewhere
Denmark 2-1 Iceland
Turkey 2-1 Sweden
Ukraine 1-0 Cyprus
Estonia 0-0 Norway
Malta 0-0 Moldova
Greece 2-1 Montenegro
Singapore 2-1 Myanmar
Solomon Islands 2-0 Papua New Guinea

La Liga race tightens as Bilbao stops Real Madrid on Aduriz header

Leave a comment

Game on.

If Barcelona beats Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, the Blaugranas will be atop La Liga, as Athletic Bilbao topped Real Madrid 1-0 on Saturday.

[ MATCH RECAP: QPR 1-2 Spurs ]

Aritz Aduriz turned Mikel Rico’s cross past Iker Casillas with a pretty header to keep Bilbao’s momentum from the midweek Copa del Rey semifinals in a 1-0 home win over the table toppers.

It’s the third-straight game with a goal for the 34-year-old.

Real Madrid out shot Bilbao 13-6 and won the corner battle 8-1, but couldn’t overcome this:

Spain roundup: Atletico now three wins away, but Barcelona keeps pace

Leave a comment

Atletico Madrid is now three wins away from its first La Liga title since 1996, but Barcelona is doing what it can to prolong the race. Meanwhile, idle Real Madrid could only watch as it fell to third.

After 70 minutes of scoreless play, Miranda put Atletico on the scoreboard before a Diego Costa penalty in the 90th minute ensured that the hosts wouldn’t give any ground to Barca before the Blaugranas kicked off.

And there were concerns at Camp Nou thanks to a brilliant goal by Aritz Aduriz in the 50th minute, but Pedro equalized in the 72nd minute before — who else? — Lionel Messi netted his 26th La Liga goal of the season.

Celta Vigo is feeling much better about its La Liga life after a three-goal second half propelled it to a 4-2 win in a 6-point relegation scrap against Almeria. Nolito scored his 9th and 10th goals, one in each half, as the visitors spoiled the scene — and maybe season — of the hosts.

Elsewhere

  • Rayo Vallecano 3-1 Real Betis — The hosts led 3-0 by the 51st minute, coasting to make safety a near-certainty after a brutal start to the season.
  • Osasuna 1-1 Valencia — Jonas canceled out Riera’s early goal with an 82nd minute goal.
  • Sevilla 4-0 Granada — Three different goal scorers were aided by an own-goal, as Kevin Gameiro kept up his fine form with his 14th goal of the season and fifth in three matches.
  • Real Sociedad 2-1 Espanyol— Barcelona’s “other” team continues to tumble as Sociedad rises, at least for a day, to sixth.
  • Levante 0-0 Getafe – Goal differential keeps Getafe in the drop zone despite point.
  • Malaga vs. Villarreal – Monday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Atlético Madrid 34 27 4 3 74 22 52 15-3-0 12-1-3 85
Barcelona 34 26 3 5 94 28 66 16-0-1 10-3-4 81
Real Madrid 33 25 4 4 94 32 62 14-0-2 11-4-2 79
Athletic 34 18 8 8 59 37 22 12-3-2 6-5-6 62
Sevilla 34 17 8 9 65 47 18 10-3-4 7-5-5 59
Real Sociedad 34 15 9 10 58 51 7 11-3-3 4-6-7 54
Villarreal 33 15 7 11 52 38 14 8-6-3 7-1-8 52
Valencia 34 12 9 13 47 47 0 9-3-5 3-6-8 45
Levante 34 10 11 13 30 41 -11 5-6-6 5-5-7 41
Espanyol 34 11 8 15 38 44 -6 7-4-6 4-4-9 41
Rayo Vallecano 34 12 4 18 42 71 -29 8-0-9 4-4-9 40
Celta Vigo 34 11 7 16 40 51 -11 4-7-6 7-0-10 40
Málaga 33 10 8 15 35 43 -8 6-2-8 4-6-7 38
Granada 34 11 4 19 30 50 -20 7-1-9 4-3-10 37
Osasuna 34 9 8 17 29 54 -25 5-5-7 4-3-10 35
Elche 34 8 11 15 27 46 -19 6-6-5 2-5-10 35
Valladolid 33 6 14 13 32 50 -18 5-8-3 1-6-10 32
Getafe 34 8 8 18 29 51 -22 4-6-7 4-2-11 32
Almería 34 8 6 20 36 68 -32 5-5-7 3-1-13 30
Betis 34 5 7 22 29 69 -40 4-3-10 1-4-12 22