Liga Iberdrola week 27 review: Valencia back to winning ways
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Tomás Rubia

Liga Iberdrola week 27 review: Valencia back to winning ways

Huelva a breath from safety

Sophie Lawson

Wins for Atleti, Barca and Athletic over Espanyol, Sevilla and Levante kept the top three perfectly intact, Tenerife’s draw away in Huelva doing nothing to knock them from fourth as Betis and Valencia found wins over Madrid and Rayo.

Elsewhere, Santa Teresa dented Zaragoza’s safety hopes as Sociedad restricted El Funda to a point in the north.

Athletic Club 1-0 Levante

Still pulling out mixed results since changing their manager, Levente were always in for a tough test in Bilbao though they did themselves no favours 12 minutes in when Sandra rolled her goal kick out to Maite Oroz.

The midfielder sharp to knock the ball back the way it came for Erika Vázquez to chase down and send home with the ‘keeper having already gone to ground, leaving her goal exposed.

With their strength laying in attack, the Granotes did well to keep themselves in the tie, Ainhoa Tirapu unable to relax with the likes of Jéssica da Silva and Charlyn Corral about.

The lone goal proving to be enough for all three points come the full-time whistle.

Atleti 2-0 Espanyol

Under fire from the off, Maríajo was kept on her toes as Las Colchoneras looked for their opening goal, Andrea Pereira’s low cross thundered home by Soni late in the first half.

Against an Espanyol team that have struggled to find their best after a solid start to the season, the host wasted no time doubling their lead after the break, Angela Sosa’s light touch enough to send the ball past Maríajo from close range.

Unable to get going in attack, the Periquitos did at least succeed in keeping the home side out for the rest of the contest, the two goals and three points more than enough for the current champions.

Valencia 4-1 Rayo

María Paz Villas was back to her fine goalscoring ways when Valencia played host to Rayo, the match bringing about her second hat trick of the season.

Jeni’s early own goal handed the hosts the advantage before Paz found the bottom right corner from inside the box, the 30-year-old back to trouble Ali ten minutes later.

With her initial penalty saved, Paz pounced first after the goalkeeper had let the ball dribble away from her, the striker not needing a third bite of the cherry.

Paz’ hat-trick completed five minutes into the second half when she emphatically volleyed into the far side of the net at a corner, leaving Rayo zero room for a comeback.

Beaten but not letting their heads hang too low, the Rayistas dug out a consolation goal ten minutes from time when Laura Domínguez took off running. Striding through midfield, the young attacker dipped left then right, then left again to shake Ivana and open up just enough space to strike from outside the box, the ball chipped over Jennifer Vreugdenhil and into the back of the net.

Real Sociedad 2-2 Albacete

Still battling for their safety, El Funda will be left kicking themselves after letting two points go away to La Real. Nahikari García needed just five minutes to score her fourteenth goal of the season, racing through the defence and pouncing when Elena spilled Naiara Beristain’s low effort.

Not down for long, the visitors equalised soon after when a muddled back-pass from Ramajo ran too long for Iraia and too short for Cristina Cornejo, gifting Sara Navarro the chance to run in and slip it behind the goalkeeper.

One fast became two when Andrea Ojeda’s ball into the box kicked up and caught Cornejo short, the ball curling over the ‘keeper and home. With their tails up, Albacete carved out a handful of chances for the third but unable to take them, they succumbed to a 70th-minute equaliser.

Probing for the goal for some time, the hosts found parity when substitute Michi Goto ran unmarked into the box, chasing down Leyre Fernández’s low cross, her first touch enough to slip the ball beyond Elena.

Madrid 0-1 Real Betis

Stretching their losing run to four, had no joy at home to high-flying Betis, the visitors busy throughout but needing more than a little time to break the deadlock. Paula Perea’s corner eight minutes from time whipped into the box for Rocío to head goalwards, claims of hands waved away as the ball deflected back into the danger zone.

On her toes, Paula Moreno brought the ball under control with a deft touch before chipping it over Paola Ulloa, the goal enough for all three points in the capital.

Credit: VAVEL ESP/Daniel Nieto
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Daniel Nieto

Santa Teresa 3-1 Zaragoza

Taking no prisoners on their hunt for safety, Zaragoza were stopped in their tracks by relegation rivals, Santa Teresa. Using their home advantage, Carla gave Santa Teresa the lead deep into first-half stoppage time when her cross-cum-shot slipped in at the near post before Chica added the second on the hour.

The centre-back’s header dropping between the bar and Oihanna’s lofted glove, bouncing from one to the other as the ‘keeper fell backwards hoping her last bat at the ball had kept it out only for it to bounce in front of the line and back on itself into the goal.

The match put away with fine strike form Estefa, the 28-year-old finding the back of the net from 30-yards with a side-footed half-volley that left Oihana grabbing at air.

Zenatha Coleman’s stoppage-time strike a mere consolation for the visitors, who like the hosts will do well to get any change out of their remaining fixtures and look doomed for the drop.

Sporting Huelva 1-1 Tenerife

All but confirming their safety with a point, taking them nine points clear of Zaragoza with a drastically better goal difference, Huelva handed Granadilla their sixth draw of the season. Though the chances flowed for both teams, neither side had the required punch to get the better of the opposing goalkeepers, Sarita Serrat in notably fine form. The 22-year-old finally beaten early in the second half by Eva Llamas’ audacious strike from just outside the area to the far side of the net. Parity restored fifteen minutes later after Ana Martínez had been floored in the area, Anita assured from 12-yards with a bullet penalty to the bottom left corner.

Barcelona 5-0 Sevilla

At home to struggling Sevilla, Barcelona brushed their visitor aside with ease, a second start since returning from injury for Mariona a profitable one. The attacker on the scoresheet inside of fifteen minutes with a vicious volley to put Lieke Martens’ pin-point cross home.

Making it two just before the half-hour, the 22-year-old took advantage of confusion in the box to pounce on the loose ball and send it home to similar range to her first.

Sloppy defending lead to the third five minutes later, Alexia Putellas in the right place to slip the ball inside of Pamela Tajonar’s near post.

The Sevillistas improved after the break enough to limit Barca’s chances, Tajonar in more command of her box, grateful that most of what was fired at her was from range.

Not content to settle for three, Élise Bussaglia added a late fourth after being set-up by Mariona, the Frenchwoman pulled the trigger from 23-yards to hammer the ball over the ‘keeper and leave the net rippling. There was yet time for a fifth when Martens cut in on the left side of the box, firing a rocket through the area and into the back of the goal.

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