Zaragoza continued their resurgence at home to Huelva as both Santa Teresa and Albacete were dealt losses against Espanyol and Levante respectively.
A surprise win for Sevilla at home to Bilbao mirrored the scoreline as Rayo slipped to Sociedad, elsewhere Betis held Valencia to their second 0-0 on the spin as both Atleti and Barcelona picked up wins away to Tenerife and Madrid.
Real Betis 0-0 Valencia
Recovering well from their narrow loss last time out to Athletic, Betis picked up their second scoreless draw of the season as Valencia showed their own defensive resilience with their seventh clean sheet of the season. Still reeling from a tough run in February, Las Che continue to sit just outside of the top five, the Verdiblancos still mixing it with the pack chasing the top two.
A team that doesn’t know where their next result will come from, Levante completed a delirious comeback at home to El Funda, the Granotes hitting their hosts for three in the space of four minutes to wrap up the points on Sunday. Continuing her fine form this season, 21-year-old Alba Redondo opened the scoring early in the first half as the two sides scrapped in Buñol. Alharilla lead the second half turn around for the hosts, putting Jéssica da Silva’s ball home fifteen minutes from time before setting up Ida Guehai two minutes later, the comeback complete when Tomo Matsukawa turned the ball past her own ‘keeper moments later. The match thoroughly put to bed by goal-machine Charlyn Corral six minutes from time as she found the back of the net for the 22 time this term. A team in desperate need of points, El Funda claimed the last honours when Redondo notched her thirteenth of the campaign in stoppage time, the Manchegans continue to tread water just above the drop zone.
On a breathless run that’s seen them as high as third, Tenerife were given an unwelcome wake-up call on Saturday as they shipped three first half goals to the league leaders. Still keen to prove that age ain’t nothing but a number, Sonia Bermúdez claimed her thirteenth of the season just two minutes in, finishing low into the left side of the net after picking up Mesi’s through ball. A bullet header from Esther Gonzalez doubled the Colchoneras’ advantage fifteen minutes later as the Granadin rose above Maria Estella to nod Amanda Sampedro’s floated cross home. Needing just two minutes more to find their third of the day, Cindy was left with her head in hands when Sampedro chased down her weak back-pass, picking up the ball before rounding a nervously looking Pili and finishing into the empty net.
With the hosts having recovered after the break and looking, things went from bad to worse when Ange N'Guessan was shown a straight red for a particularly bad reaction to a challenge from Marta Corredera. The Ivorian international lasting just eleven minutes after being substituted on for María José. Viola Calligaris the one to claim the final honours in stoppage time when she was left free to slam the ball home after Eva and Maria Estella had combined to nod the ball clear on the line.
Espanyol 3-0 Santa Teresa
Far from being the only team who’ve lacked consistency so far this season, Joan Bacardit’s Espanyol will be glad of their emphatic win at home to struggling Santa Teresa, the win putting an end to a run of five without. The loss the Extremadurans fifteenth of the season with hope fast fading for a late turn-around, though not mathematically doomed yet it’s hard to see where the points can be found for Antúnez’ team.
Letti’s thirteenth minute strike was a breath of fresh air for the Periquitos, the hosts forced to wait until after the hour for a cushion, Slovenian Dominika Čonč happy to oblige with her second of the season. The gloss put on late by Cristina Baudet, Espanyol yet to lose a game this season when the 26-year-old has scored.
Sevilla 3-2 Athletic Club
Unpredictable but unquestionably struggling this season, Sevilla did themselves no favours when they got underway against Bilbao. Maite’s scything tackle on Yulema Corres in the first minute leaving referee Marta Huerta no option but to award a very early penalty, Erika Vázquez clinical from 12-yards, thumping the ball into the bottom left corner beyond the reach of Pamela Tajonar.
19-year-old Lucía Ramírez’ first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for the Sevillistas, her rising header enough to get the better of Ainhoa Tirapu at the midway point of the first half. Having a match to forget, Maite found herself involved in another goal when she deflected a Vázquez effort away from Tajonar late in the first half, the defender more than grateful when Raquel Pinel restored parity two minutes later. The match not decided until the death when Nagore Calderón spun behind the defence, Tirapu’s intervention only good enough to see the ball float upwards before bouncing behind her and cresting into the hungry net.
Rayo 2-3 Real Sociedad
Stretching their unbeaten run to eight, La Real leapfrogged their opposition with their late win in the Spanish capital. Claudia Zornoza’s second minute opener set the pace for the visitors, the Rayistas needing little more than fifteen minutes to restore parity, Natalia’s ball set perfectly for Estela. Following on from Nahikari García’s second half gambit, Shelia pulled the hosts level once more, Rayo needing only eight minutes to get the better of Mariasun for the second time.
With the two sides going blow-for-blow the whole way, Gonzalo Arconada used his bench to perfection, 26-year-old Leyre Fernández needing just five minutes to give Sociedad the lead for the third time in the match. The midfielder’s first goal of the season in the last knockings of regular time ensuring Rayo had no time to find their third equaliser.
Continuing their second half of the season surge, Zaragoza took another half-step towards safety at home to Huelva, putting the Andalusian team in danger in the process. Their form since the turn of the year reminiscent of Wigan Athletic during the 2011-12 season, the winter singings consistently the difference in 2018.
Naima García found her second of the season 22 minutes in, the advantage doubled just four minutes later by Darlene when she was ably set up by Armisa Kuć as Sarita Serrat found herself beaten for the 41 time this campaign. On the back of a run of disappointing results in a drab season, Sporting dug out a late conciliation when second half substitute Carol found her first goal in 20 matches this season, Oihana’s clean sheet all that was affected.
Potentially leggy from a midweek trip to Lyon, Barcelona struggled to find their best rhythm in the capital. With both Paola Ulloa and Sandra Paños called into action before the break, it was the Valencian ‘keeper who was first to pick the ball out of her own net. A team already well used to scoring a stunner or two, Mascaró’s opener was right up there with the best of them, the attacker’s effort at the start of the second half from 20-yards wrapped over the box before dropping just under the bar.
Well aware of their position in La Liga, just trailing Atleti, Barca were in no mood to waste time in Madrid, Alexia Putellas’ thumping header enough to restore parity just two minutes after losing it. The comeback complete with little more than ten minutes of the match left, Patri Guijarro’s ball chipped forwards to Vicky Losada for the captain to take two touches to bring it under control and create space for herself. Costa’s efforts at getting back to cover the space left by Ana María and Leti half-hearted as Losada curled the ball around Paola’s outstretched glove.
Still just a lone point adrift of the current champions, Barcelona are doing all they can to keep their title hopes alive, Madrid’s debut season guaranteed to be a success no matter how their last six games turn out.