Having fared rather differently in their midweek UWCL encounters, Barcelona and Atletico continued their perfect start to the season both picking up narrow wins away to Valencia and Athletic Club.
A draw away to Santa Teresa helped keep Madrid unbeaten so far in their maiden Liga Iberdrola season who have a minimal advantage over Sporting who bested Rayo in Huelva. Moving down the table, Albacete picked up their second win of the year at home to Betis and Espanyol grabbed a draw away to Levante as Sevilla and Tenerife both got back to winning ways at the expense of bottom pair, Zaragoza and Sociedad.
With both teams still looking for their first this year it was Sevilla who scooped all three points in Aragon, Martina Piemonte’s fourth minute goal into the roof of the net all to separate the teams come full-time despite heavy pressure on both goalkeepers throughout.
Picking right up from where they left off against Tenerife last week, Albacete eased to a healthy win over a Betis team yet to fully find their feet this season.
Miri’s touch just enough to divert Tomo Matsukawa’s deep free kick past Miriam on the quarter hour before Kuki added a second five minutes later with a plumb header after Miriam had been pulled way out of position. Priscila’s third for her new team after the break looked like it could have tipped the scales back in Betis’ favour and although Las Verdiblancos continued to threaten it was the hosts who struck again. Carmen’s floated chip fifteen minutes in time enough to secure all three points, Alba Redondo’s fourth of the year minutes later the cherry on top for El Funda whose 2017-18 season is already going far better than their 2016-17.
Following on from a bruising home loss to Wolfsburg in the week, Atletico would have been keen to get back to winning ways, any signs of weakness not acceptable as they looked to hold onto their 100% league record.
Bright from the off against last season’s third place finishers, the visitors were largely left frustrated by the firm home defence, the game’s only goal tucked away by Marta Corredera late in the first-half after pinball in the box. Though Valencia threatned an equaliser, Atleti looked largely comfortable in the game despite failing to further their lead, the three points the perfect tonic for the champions who face a tough trip to Germany in a few days.
Santa Teresa 1-1 Madrid
Madrid continued their fine start to the season with a well-earned point in Badajoz. Despite a hard-fought match there was nothing to separate the two at the break, the tug of war continuing deep into the second-half before the visitors took the lead late in the day when Jade Boho grabbed her fourth in three matches, her low shot enough to get the better of Yolanda Aguirre. Estefa bright to get the better of Paola Ulloa ten minutes from time when she sent Alba Merino’s deft ball spinning over the line, the hosts able to hang onto a late point despite being reduce to ten after Marta Parralejo was shown a second yellow.
Charlyn Corral continued her fine scoring run to make it five in five for Las Granotas, her opening gambit just after the half-hour enough to give the hosts the lead after they’d squandered some early chances. Having rather come off of the boil after winning their first two matches of the season, Espanyol did well to dig in and keep the scores at 1-0 until their found an unlikely equaliser through Luana Lima deep in second-half stoppage time.
It was more misery for Sociedad as they fell to their seventh consecutive loss by a lone goal when they took to the pitch against a Tenerife side looking to recover from a bruising defeat to Albacete last time out.
Arguably having the better of it before the break, UDG took the lead after the hour when María José empathically put her spot kick away just eight minutes after captain, Pisco had seen her penalty saved by Mariasun. For Las Txuri-urdin hope could possibly be what kills them, the team given a boost less than ten minutes later when Ramajo restored parity with a dine dipping shot from the top of the box. The game won five minutes from time after a sublime solo goal from Ange N'Guessan, the Ivorian bright to carried the ball forward, dancing in front of the defence before letting fly from over 20-yards with an outrageous curler.
The win, Tenerife’s first of the season and Sociedad’s ninth consecutive loss in all competitions, the team without a win since April.
Sporting Huelva 3-1 Rayo
Anita gave the hosts the perfect start just two minutes in when she nodded Elena Pavel’s dinked cross past Ali, the goal the perfect way for Sporting to start and recover from their narrow loss to Valencia last time out. The goal gave Huelva an extra edge of pace as they had much the better of it and doubled their advantage just before the break when Francisca Lara caught Ali with slippery gloves, the attacker able to pick up the dropped ball with ease and fire it across the face into the far side of the netting.
Lara the one to all but confirm the win for the hosts just before the hour when she flicked Geneviève Ngo Mbeleck’s cute cross past the ‘keeper and into the near side. Ángeles’ goal five minutes from time a mere consolation for Rayo, the side from Madrid well outclassed in Andalusia.
Having seen Atleti grab all three points the previous day, Barca knew the pressure would be back on them against a Bilbao team keen to put the memories of a drubbing at the hands of the current champions behind them.
Lieke Martens opened the scoring six minutes in with a characteristic solo goal, nipping in and around the defence before clinically beating the ‘keeper, the Dutch maestro involved again on the half-hour as she tried to replicate her opening strike only to be tripped in the area. Mariona’s penalty unstoppable, the young attacker thundering it against the inside of the bar as it rocketed into the top corner.
But in no way out of the match at any point, María Díaz cut the advantage back down to one minutes later with a clean header to see the Catalan defence beaten for the first time with season. The goal spurred the former champions on but ultimately wasn’t enough as Barcelona continued to move through the gears and out-class their opposition, Ainhoa Tirapu kept busy throughout.