Liga Iberdrola week 3 review: Top three remain unchanged

Albacete, Betis, Sevilla and Zaragoza pick up first points of the season

Liga Iberdrola week 3 review: Top three remain unchanged
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Ernesto Aradilla

Atletico, Athletic and Barcelona all made it three from three with respective wins over Santa Teresa, Valencia and Sociedad as Betis found their first win of the year over Levante. Elsewhere Albacete, Sevilla and Zaragoza all got off of the mark with 1-1 draws against Madrid, Rayo and Granada and Sporting served Espanyol their first defeat of the season.

Santa Teresa 0-3 Atletico

Locked in a pattern of scoring late goals, the theme continued for the reigning champions, the deadlock not broken until after the hour when Amanda Sampedro scooped the ball over Yolanda Aguirre from a rolling dead-ball on the edge of the area. Viola Calligaris grabbed a second seven minutes later, nodding the ball into the turf to catch the ‘keeper out before she put the gloss on deep in stoppage time, nicking the ball beyond Aguirre as both went for it a yard out. 

Levante 0-1 Betis

Having a frustrating season so far, Betis finally got off the mark for with a narrow win in Buñol after scrapping with the Granotes for eighty minutes, Bea Parra the one to find the winner, mopping up the scraps to blast the ball home after Noelia Ramos had parried Paula’s effort into the danger zone.

The win comes with a sigh of relief for Betis who’d been frustrated and left feeling hard done by after losses to Espanyol and Rayo. 

Albacete 1-1 Madrid

Despite chances for both earlier in the match there was little for either set of fans to get excited about until after the hour when Kuki nodded Costa’s lofted ball home after Aída Escobar had failed to claim, letting the ball slip between her gloves.

The lead, whilst deserved on the balance of play was however, short-lived and Madrid soon had their equaliser when former Vixens, Jade Boho and Laura Del Rio combined. Jade’s thumping header enough to get the better of Elena as the ball crested into the far side of the net, well beyond the ‘keeper’s reach. The goal enough to leave Madrid – surprisingly – unbeaten so far this year and Albacete still toiling near the bottom.

Rayo 1-1 Sevilla

With all the meaningful action reserved for the last twenty minutes, Rayo were left to rue their own sloppy first-half finishing when Sevilla took the lead through Martina Piemonte, the attacker diverting Olga’s cross past Ali with ease. From one header at one end to another at the other as Jeni powered Nieves Ibañez header over the crowded box and into the top corner. Rayo one of the five teams yet to lose a game this year, Sevilla finally off the mark for the season.

Credit: VAVEL ESP/Ángel Chacón
Credit: VAVEL ESP/Ángel Chacón

Sporting Huelva 2-0 Espanyol

Dealt their first loss of the year away at the Campo Federativo de la Orden, Espanyol sagged against Sporting, the hosts took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Anita when she flicked Carol’s low cross home. Despite their dominance in the game and persistent chances, the home fans forced to wait until the death to see the result confirmed when Geneviève Ngo Mbeleck danced and shimmied in the box, carving out space to slot the ball past Mimi

Athletic Club 3-2 Valencia

One of three teams yet to drop a point, Bilbao survived a late scare from Valencia. Yulema Corres neat tenth minute header had opened the door for the hosts before Marí Paz pulled the sides level six minutes later when she took advantage of Ainhoa Tirapu’s indecision on the ball to rob the ‘keeper and fire into the empty net.

The two sides remained locked until late in the second-half when Corres audaciously lobbed Jennifer Vreugdenhil from 40-yards, Leia bright to catch Vreugdenhil over-committed again minutes later and arc her shot into the open net. Not going down without a fight, Joyce slashed the deficit in half just two minutes later with a delightful looped shot that rolled over Tirapu and just under the bar to find the top corner but with little time to find a third, Valencia were left to return home empty-handed. 

Zaragoza 1-1 Tenerife

With a match that’s caught more headlines for what’s happened off of the pitch than on it, Tenerife coach Tony Ayala has ruffled feathers and drawn derision for his words about referee Rivera Olmedo in the wake of the match.

Feeling hard done-by, Tenerife took the lead half an hour in when Nora Sánchez knocked Pisco’s corner past her own ‘keeper before her team found an equaliser just after the hour through Maya Yamamoto after the midfielder was perfectly picked out by Ainhoa López.

The draw marks Zaragoza’s first point of the year and sees them move off of the floor of the table as UDG continue to labour, the only team to have two points from their opening three matches. 

Sociedad 0-1 Barcelona 

Not having things all their own way, Barcelona battled with Sociedad across the pitch for ninety long minutes in Lasarte-Oria, the Txuri-urdin giving as good as they got as much as they could, the hosts able Toni Duggan quiet throughout as the Liverpudlian consistently asked questions of Mariasun.

The deadlock finally broken in the 71 minute when Elise Bussaglia’s half-volley from 20-yards rocketed through the box and snuck in against the left upright, their tails up, the Catalans ramped up the pressure but couldn’t get the better of the home defence again.

The loss sees Sociedad without a win in their last seven in all competitions, Barcelona still top of the table on goal difference. 

 

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