Liga Iberdrola week 22 review: Betis make history
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Tomás Rubia

Following on from home wins for Madrid and Betis against Valencia and Santa Teresa, Espanyol and Sevilla both fell at home to Albacete and Sociedad to wrap up Saturday’s action. The next day Tenerife and Levante both added to their totals with their own home victories against Bilbao and Huelva as both Rayo and Barcelona were held at their respective homes by Zaragoza and Atletico.

Madrid 2-1 Valencia

In a match that should have arguably been called off for an unplayable pitch, Madrid claimed their tenth win of the season, consigning Valencia to a third straight defeat. Marta Peiró opened the scoring ten minutes after the break, slotting the ball home after Paola Ulloa had pushed Mari Paz’ cross into her path.

Digging in, the hosts pulled themselves level 20 minutes later when subsisted Laura Del Rio rolled the ball into the bottom corner before Geyse made her presence known four minutes after entering the fray. The match won when Paula Nicart’s attempted backpass stuck in a puddle en route back to Jennifer Vreugdenhil, quick feet from Geyse enough to see her pounce on the ball and send it home.

Betis 3-0 Santa Teresa

Making history by playing at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in front of a crowd of over six and a half thousand, the Verdiblancos were made to wait for the opening goal, Bea Parra’s gambit after the hour enough to see her write herself into the history books in Seville. Marking the occasion, the 30-year-old took a touch to get away from Chica before lashing the ball over Larqué and into the back of the net from 17-yards.

The dogged defence finally compromised, a second soon flew in for the hosts, Clau’s superb first-time effort enough to float over the box and beat Larqué once more. Betis weren’t done however and substitute Yaiza Relea fired in a third golazo, clipping the ball over the ‘keeper from the edge of the box to put the gloss on a solid win.

Espanyol 1-2 Albacete

As they have been all season, El Funda’s attacking duo of Kuki and Alba Redondo linked well to undo the Periquitos in Catalonia. Redondo’s scooped cross just before the half-hour gave Kuki something to go at, the 23-year-old getting enough of the ball ahead of Berta Pujadas to nod it over Mimi. The pair found each other again five minutes before the break, repeating their first the duo switched roles, Kuki’s cross from the left nodded home by her teammate. Struggling for form, Espanyol dug in and found a goal to pull themselves within one after the hour, substitute Letti on hand to poke the ball home at a corner, just minutes after coming on.

With something to go at and having had a man advantage since before the break when Sara Navarro was shown a second yellow, the hosts failed to find a second moment of magic and fell to their third successive defeat.

Tenerife 4-1 Athletic Club

Jockeying for third, the travelling Basques slipped into fourth after four of the best from Granadilla. Nekane’s opener for the visitors was swiftly cancelled out by two minutes after the 26-year-old had broken the deadlock, María José’s effort in first-half stoppage time giving the hosts the advantage at the break.

The match put just out of reach by Maria Estella after the hour, the defender then setting up Ana for Tenerife’s fourth and final goal at the death.

Credit: VAVEL ESP/Eduardo Ariño
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Eduardo Ariño

Sevilla 0-2 Real Sociedad

Enjoying a run of four games unbeaten, Sevilla slipped to a loss at home to a La Real side still climbing the table, Leire Baños’ early effort enough to put the visitors in the driving seat.

The match put to bed five minutes from time when Nahikari García bagged her eleventh of the season, seizing on poor defensive work to touch the ball home with her heel and keep Sociedad within touching distance of the top eight.

Rayo 1-1 Zaragoza

Following on from Pilar’s fourth-minute effort, Natalia fluffed her lines from the spot two minutes later, leaving Zaragoza room back into the match, Zenatha Coleman’s fourth in six enough for a point in Madrid.

Still dead last in the league, a strong run of results has seen Zaragoza close the gap to just one on fifteenth placed Santa Teresa, though they’ll need an extra strong finish to find safety.

Levante 2-1 Sporting Huelva

In a match not short of drama, Levante pulled themselves back from a goal down to find their second win in three. Sandra Bernal’s first of the season opened the scoring late in the first half as Huelva looked for their first win since January.

A straight red card for Maitane López left the Granotas a man down ten minutes into the second half, though digging in the hosts fired in a quick double. Alharilla’s equaliser added to within seconds by league top-goalscorer Charlyn Corral before Pachu saw red for Huelva, the visitors reduced to nine deep in stoppage time when Bernal was shown a second red.

Barcelona 1-1 Atleti

Given top billing, Barcelona and Atleti played out yet another 1-1 draw when they sparred in the last match of the weekend. A strong first half from the visitors saw Soni fire Las Colchoneras ahead with a fine chip after Sandra Paños had overcommitted. Struggling to get going in the first half, moving the ball too slowly and letting their opposition close them down, the break gave the hosts a chance to reset, the Catalunya’s finding their form after the restart. A handball against Kenti Robles gifted Barca the equaliser, half-time substitute Andressa Alves perfectly clinical from 12-yards, her thunderous effort slammed to Lola’s left.

Not quite the title-decided most expected, Barca sit a scant point behind Atleti, both having dropped points in unexpected places this season, the title race still wide open.  

Liga Iberdrola table as it stands (Credit: La Liga)
Liga Iberdrola table as it stands (Credit: La Liga)