Another weekend of football comes to an end. A predictable week, without many surprises. The worst news being World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi picked up an ankle injury because of a horrendous tackle by Ujfalusi. Here’s a round-up of Week-3 results:
The champions are back but they lose their champion…
Champions FC Barcelona played a fixture they usually struggle in, against Europa League champions Atletico Madrid. Although they came back home with all three points, their talismanic attacker, Lionel Messi succumbed to an injury that will keep him out of the starting eleven for at least a couple of matches. The diminutive Argentine gave the visitors an early lead in the 14th minute which was canceled out by Raul Garcia’s header from a Simao corner. The defending champions again went ahead in the 33rd minute thanks to a Gerard Pique finish off a Lionel Messi cross. In the dying moments of the match, Czech defender went for an unnecessary tackle which not only resulted in a red card but also injured the World Player of the Year. Fortunately for the Catalans, Messi escaped a serious injury.
Los Che coping well without Davids..
Valencia are off to a flyer. The only team with a 100% record so far. They maintained their undefeated streak courtesy a win against newly promoted, high-flying Hercules. The home team managed to stun FC Barcelona last week away from their home, thanks to a brace from the Paraguayan Nelson Valdez. Valencia started their onslaught as early as the 2nd minute when starlet Juan Mata scored from a difficult angle off a Pablo Hernandez-corner. Pablo and Mata were again instrumental in their second goal. This time it was Mata’s assist and Pablo’s goal. Valencia’s David Navarro procured a second yellow card for handling the ball inside the penalty box and was subsequently sent-off. David Trezeguet scored his first goal for the Blanquiazules from the penalty spot. There weren’t any further goals as a 10-men Los Che managed to hold onto their lead. Given the kind of team Hercules is turning out to be, it could turn out to be a very crucial 3 points for Valencia.
Madrid still awaits a special delivery from ‘The Special One’…
Real Madrid travelled to Estadio Anoeta where they took on Real Sociedad. The visitors managed to hold on to an exuberant Txuri-urdin for a goalless first half. Recently signed Argentine winger, Angel Di Maria gave the capital team the lead; a superb strike to say the least. The lead lasted only 11 minutes before veteran Raul Tamudo brought the home side on level terms. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid thus conceded for the first time under his tutelage. Real’s second goal came from a very likely source – Cristiano Ronaldo. A 25-yard free kick which on its was took a deflection of Pepe and went into the goal. Claudio Bravo, the home side’s custodian could only watch, rooted to the spot. Madrid were close to getting a third goal as Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo all came close. A fighting Real Sociedad made it difficult for the Los Blancos. A decent win indeed.
Latin flavour at the Cuitat de Valencia
Elsewhere, Villarreal got their second successive league win against Levante, after a disappointing start to their league campaign against Real Sociedad. Brazilian striker Nilmar scored a brace and put the visitors ahead for the first time in the 16th minute and for the second and last time in the 43rd minute. Ecuadorian Felipe Calceido who is on loan from Manchester City, scored the only goal for the Granotes in the dying moments of the match from an Asier del Horno cross. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.
Racing races away
A couple of late goals fetched 3 points for the home side at El Sardinero. Racing Santander were completely outplayed in their first match at home against FC Barcelona. They travelled to Mestalla the week after and failed to get any points. This time at home against Real Zaragoza they finally registered their first league win of 2010. The victory is a controversial one as the visitor’s had a strike rebuffed because of an alleged foul by Ander Herrara . Although, the replays suggested otherwise. Brazilian defender Henrique Adriano Buss, on loan from FC Barcelona, gave the home side a lead in the 76th minute, scoring from a header. Young Argentine striker Ariel Nahuelpan scored in the 90th minute to reaffirm the win. Jose Aurelio Gay’s side had a missed an opportunity in the dying moments of the match when Marco Perez beat Racing goalkeeper Tono only to see his shot ricochet off the post.
Caceres saves Sevilla
Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres scored the winner for the visiting Sevillistas against Malaga. This was the first Andalusian derby of the season. Thanks to the defender, yet another loan player from FC Barcelona, Sevilla is now in second position in the Spanish La Liga. The home team began confidently and took the lead as early as the 14th minute. Striker Rondon Jimenez gave the Boquerones a lead which they could defend for only six minutes. When the match was just 20 minutes old, midfielder Alejandro Alfaro brought the visitors on level terms with the home side. Sevilla then went on to score another goal in the 45th minute, which eventually won the match.