La Liga Game Week 12 recap and where is Flamini??
Starting at the Wanda Metropolitano, in the biggest game of the weekend, the Madrid derby.
Atleti really should have taken the lead moments in following a double disaster at the back, firstly from Marcelo gave it away in midfield, then Raphael Varane on the cover poked the ball straight into the path of Angel Correa. The winger found himself free on goal and from 12 yards his dink beat Kiko Caillia and the post, trickling wide.
In a pretty disappointing yet, as expectantly, a physical game all round, it was a game of few chances. But there was still time right at the death for Ronaldo to grab all three points but was denied by an outstanding block from man of the match, Lucas.
The other major talking point from this game, would be the substitution of Antoine Griezmann which was greeted curiously with whistling from the Atleti faithful. Maybe a nod to all concerned that his time in the Spanish capital maybe coming to an end?
League leaders Barcelona piled the pressure on the chasing pack with a 3-0 victory away at Leganes, who had started the season well. The well rested Luis Suarez got his first goals in a month, having been given the last two weeks off to recover from a knee problem, Substitute Paulinho added a third in stoppage time, but the illustrious visitors didn’t have it all their own way with keeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen, in outstanding form recently, being forced into a string of top saves to keep his side in the game. Only real negative was for Barcelona was the yellow card shown to Gerard Pique who now misses next weeks huge clash with second in the table, Valencia.
The weekend got off to a cracker with the Girona hosting Real Sociedad but the impressive newly promoted side got off to a bad start when Willian Jose put the visitors in front. Girona’s talisman Cristhian Stuani headed the equalizer on the 65th minute for his 7th of the season as both teams shared the spoils.
Meanwhile at Sevilla came from behind to beat Celta vigo 2-1 with former “Celestes” hero Nolito netting the winner for his new side, in a high quality game with both teams undoubtedly vying for European places come the end of the season
Getafe smashed four past struggling Alaves with Angel Rodriguez helping himself to a couple before a late Christian Santos consolation for last seasons Copa del Rey finalists.
In other games, Malaga came out on top in a pretty entertaining 3-2 victory over potential relegation rivals Deportivo La Coruna. Levante won 2-0 at La Palmas as Pako Ayestaran suffered his 13th defeat in a row (including his previous clubs)
The old cliché of “title contenders win when not playing well” was out in force as high flying Los Che scraped a 1-0 victory away at Espanyol, who hit the woodwork twice in the first half. Midfield powerhouse Geoffrey Kondogbia was the hero smashing home from 25 yards.
After the dust has settled on yet another enthralling week of La Liga action, Barcelona now find themselves 10 points clear of fierce rivals Real and Atletico Madrid with a mouthwatering clash with second in the table Valencia on the horizon next weekend.
Random story of the weekend goes to ex-Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini currently on trial with Rayo Vallecano. The 33 year old is out of contract and without a club since leaving Crystal Palace in the summer.