Respective losses to Betis, Rayo and Sevilla have kept Santa Teresa, Zaragoza and Sociedad still on the hunt for their first wins of the season as Tenerife surprised Athletic in Bilbao and Espanyol hit Albacete for three.
Elsewhere, Valencia put four past Madrid, Levante left Huelva with all three points and the top two were forced to settle for a point a piece in the capital.
Santa Teresa 1-2 Betis
Looking the better team over the opening minutes, the hosts were soon pegged back by Betis when Paula Perea nodded Bea Parra’s seventh minute corner over Larqué, helping the visitors find their footing.
Perea then turned creator, setting up Laura at the near post as the attacker nipped ahead of Larqué and flicked the ball home to double the advantage early in the day.
Staunchly on the back foot but not out of it, ST pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time, Priscila Borja left red-faced after firing a superb header beyond Miriam, the game finely poised for the second-half.
A late penalty gifted Betis the chance to confirm the win although Paula Moreno’s Panenka wasn’t enough to deceive Larqué, the hosts too had one last chance when Miriam’s dropped claim cannoned off of Nana and clipped the inside of the post.
Athletic Club 0-1 Tenerife
Granadilla served up the surprise of the week with their third win on the spin as they held Athletic off for the entirety of the match in Bilbao, Pili kept busy throughout as the visitors sat and countered.
Tenerife’s persistence paid off late in the day as the momentum shifted and they snatched the winner deep in stoppage time, María José’s audatious effort from 40-yards clipped in off of the inside of the post after the bounce took it away from Ainhoa Tirapu.
Frustrated throughout, the loss is surely enough to leave Athletic out of the title race, having lost too much ground on the top two.
Valencia 4-0 Madrid
On the front foot from the get-go, Valencia’s opening goal seemed to take an age to arrive, Lombi’s low strike the tonic enough to beat an in-form Paola Ulloa just before the break.
The hosts kept the pressure on after the restart and were soon two to the good when Marianela Szymanowski slipped Sandra Hernández’s through ball past Ulloa’s near post.
Lombi made it three just after the hour when she got behind the defence and fired the ball against the far post, the ‘keeper taken out the equation as it ricocheted from one upright to the other before dropping over the line.
There was yet time for Russian international Nadezhda Karpova to grab her first goal for the Las Ches when she latched onto Carol’s low pass and swept the ball into the far corner to give Valencia their biggest win of the season.
Zaragoza 0-1 Rayo
Despite having gone all the season so far without a win, Zaragoza have been growing as the weeks progress and looked a better prospect at home to Vallecano, the visitors doing well to control the game with a firm defensive stance.
Though chances were few and far between both created a clear opportunity after the just after the restart though neither could capitalise, Naima closest for the hosts as she cannoned the bar.
The decisive moment came just before the hour when Estela found space to get her shot away and bested Oihana, the ball slipping in off of the upright, from then on, Rayo controlled the game, comfortable to sit and absorb pressure even after losing Natalia to a second yellow for dissent ten minutes before the whistle.
Albacete 1-3 Espanyol
Cruising form the whistle, Espanyol took a big step up the table with their fourth win of the year. Elena Julve set the ball rolling 14 minutes in capitalising on a dummy from Paloma Fernández, the two linking up again twenty minutes later to double the advantage before Elisa del Estal made it three, spending the ball home after a super pass from Cristina Baudet.
With the pressure only going one way, El Funda looked considerably off of the pace at the break but did well to pull one back at the start of the second-half courtesy of Alba Redondo’s fifth of the season.
Better for the half-time changes, Albacete were able to rebalance the game though up against a strong Espanyol team couldn’t find another to get the better of Maríajo and close the gap and were consigned to the loss.
Sporting Huelva 0-1 Levante
Enjoying a solid run of form, Levante looked to continue their good showing when they travelled to Huelva to face a Sporting team in need of their own good run, though there were few surprises to be had.
Though Sandra was kept busy during the match, the hosts had little in the way of a clinical finish to beat the teenager ‘keeper, the side undone at the start of the second-half when Charlyn Corral caught the ball well as she arced it across the box and into the top corner as she spun on the spot. An open game to the last, Levante did well to hang in and scoop all three points leaving Huelva a little off of the pace in eleventh.
Real Sociedad 0-1 Sevilla
Sociedad were consigned to their tenth straight loss in all competitions at home to Sevilla in the penultimate match of the weekend, las Txuri Urdin as characteristically unlucky in front of goal as they have been in recent times.
Chances came and went for both until Rocío broke the deadlock 26 minutes in after pinball in the box at a corner, Mariasun unable to hold onto the ball and the defender in the right place to poke home.
Continuing to press for the rest of the match the hosts still came up short in front of goal and were consigned to the loss, Sevilla up to tenth with their second win of the season.
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
On top from the outside, Atleti did well to control the game in midfield and allow their visitors few things to go at though their finishing remained stunted against the stubborn Barcelona defence. Rather again the run of play Barca took the lead when Andressa Alves capitalised on a defensive error to get in and fire the ball over Lola just before the half-hour as the temperature began to raise on the pitch.
With little love lost between the two they continued on as the game rolled into the second-half, the hosts never far from goal though they continued to look unlikely to get the better of Sandra Paños.
One of the better players for the hosts, Kenti Robles came up trumps just after the hour when she slammed the ball into the back of the net from outside the area on the volley before being replaced with an injury – a common theme throughout a feisty match.
All square, the visitors soon found themselves a player down when Vicky Losada was shown a second yellow for dissent, the pressure well and truly on as they saw out a draw which arguably benefits them more than the hosts.