Cementing their Champions League spot for next season, Barcelona rounded out the fixtures with a win away to Betis, keeping parity with Atleti who took three points from Sevilla as Athletic were held by Rayo. Further down the table, both Huelva and Zaragoza gave their safety prospects a shot in the arm with respective wins over Albacete and Sociedad with Santa Teresa falling to Levante. Elsewhere, Tenerife picked up three points at home to Madrid as Valencia played out another scoreless draw, Espanyol undoubtedly happy with the point.
Rayo 2-2 Athletic Club
Putting an end to a three-match losing run, Rayo took a first half lead at home when Codonal’s low effort just evaded Ainhoa Tirapu to slip inside of the near post on the half hour. Not down for long, Bilbao equalised before the break, Nekane’s twelfth of the campaign a smart chip to lift the ball over Ali, the goalkeeper two yards in front of her, the ball clipping off of the bar as it bounced over the line. Not a team that has problems finding the back of the net, Rayo found their second just before the hour when Pilar scooped the ball over Tirapu from outside the box, the ball dropping just under the bar.
Having already been dealt nine losses this season, Athletic weren’t looking to make it ten, Yulema Corres’ deft flick over her hip enough to see the ball slip over Paula Andújar and around Ali, cresting into the net. The result enough to see Athletic keep a slender lead over Tenerife in the race for third.
With opposing fortunes, Sevilla did well to run Atleti close on the scores, the hosts still battling for safety and the visitors aware any slip up will see Barcelona take the initiative in the title race. The visitors broke the deadlock ten minutes before the break at a corner, the initial effort parried into the ground in front of her as Pamela Tajonar dove to her left, Soni well-placed to hammer the loose ball home. Wasting no time, Amanda Sampedro doubled lead two minutes later, the captain lurking at the far post to send the ball emphatically home after Tajonar had batted Soni’s cross-cum-shot away.
Undone in the same fashion twice in quick succession, the Sevillistas learnt from their mistakes, reducing the chances for their opposition. The deficit reduced late in the day by Olga, the attacker johnny on the spot to slam the ball across the face of goal, slipping it through the cluster of bodies to find the far side of the net. The chance again made by the goalkeeper, Lola’s touch enough to take the ball away from her net but only enough to see the ball drop straight down, Kenti Robles’ acrobatic volley on the line enough to clear the ball out to Olga. The lone goal not enough to knock the table-toppers.
Levante 3-0 Santa Teresa
Cementing her status as league top goalscorer, Charlyn Corral netted her third hat trick of the term, taking her tally to 25 goals in as many matches. Despite the visitors starting the game stronger an early foul on Alharilla, gave the Granotas the chances to take the lead from 12-yards, Corral more than obliging. With both teams going hammer and tong, the Mexican dynamo came up trumps for her team once more, finding the back of the net from the edge of the box. Having already finished three matches with a brace, the striker extended her tally of hat tricks when she mined a stoppage time third to give Levante’s goal difference a further boost.
Having already shown that if they’re to be relegated, it will be kicking and screaming, Zaragoza pulled out another win to increase their chances of safety, shocking La Real in the process. Nora Sánchez’ dead ball delivery seven minutes into the tie brought about the first goal as Armisa Kuć rose well to head the ball over Mariasun and home. Finding her fifth in ten matches, Zenatha Coleman doubled the advantage on the half hour to leave the visitors with it all to do, the task proving too great for Sociedad.
Claiming their eighth clean sheet of the season, marking the seventh time they’ve failed to score, Las Che registered their fourth 0-0 draw of the term. Espanyol, with a less joyous run of results this season have, to their credit, done well to pick up seven clean sheets themselves, though with just seven wins, the Periquitos sit in a precarious position.
Having slipped into dangerous territory with the teams below them picking up points, Huelva claimed a big three points away to Albacete, their second 3-0 win on the spin, the team from Andalucía are a stone’s throw from safety. Denied a goal in the first ten minutes by the upright, the hosts took the lead part-way through the first half with a bullet header from Pachu.
With the game still hanging in the balance, Joy Bokiri doubled the advantage late in the game, poking home after Elena had saved low with an outrushed boot. The teenager’s celebration – jumping over the hoardings to sit in the stands and applaud – more impressive than the goal and enough to earn her a yellow. The match won, there was still time for substitute Bárbara Santibañez to add a third in stoppage time, seconds after coming on, her rocket frmo 30-yards the pick of the goals.
With the two playing out a stalemate, both seemingly equally matched the hosts found a breakthrough late in the first half when Paloma Lázaro’s curt header got the better of Aída Escobar. Pressing well after the break, Tenerife found their cushion after the hour when Sara Tui scored straight from a corner, the goal only spurring the visitors on. Unable to find a goal to pull them back into the tie, Madrid ran out of time and faded away.
Real Betis 0-2 Barcelona
One of the few teams that could yet derail the Catalans and give Atleti breathing room at the top of the table, Betis came close to breaking the deadlock a handful of times before the break. The hosts dealt a blow early in the second half when Toni Duggan notched her eleventh of the season, racing in behind to reach a dinked ball from Lieke Martens before curling it into the bottom corner. Alexia Putellas made sure of the result fifteen minutes from time with a firm header to put Melanie Serrano’s corner beyond the reach of Erina Yamane and keep the visitors in touching distance of Atleti.