In another typical attacking weekend of Liga Iberdrola action both Barca and Atletico kept up their 100% league records with respective wins over Valencia and Sporting before Madrid lost their unbeaten status with a narrow loss to Athletic.
Albacete kept up their fine goal scoring run with an attacking draw in Sevilla as Levante hit Rayo for four – the same margin Sociedad lost by to Betis. Elsewhere Santa Teresa’s defensive woes worsened in Tenerife as Espanyol grabbed their third win of the year at home to strugglers, Zaragoza.
Still looking for a win this season, things went from bad to worse for Sociedad as they fell to a heavy defeat in Seville as Betis claimed their third win of the season.
Bea Parra set the tone in the eighth minute with a deft lob over Mariasun from ten yard before Irene doubled the advantage after the half-hour with a bullet to the bottom corner after some light footwork by Yaiza Relea.
Sociedad’s luck refused to improve after the break as Las Verdiblancos went from strength to strength, outclassing and outmuscling their opposition across the pitch. Relea linked well with Parra ten minutes into the second-half to blast the ball into the roof of the net near Mariasun’s near post before the rout was completed by Andrea seconds after she’d been subbed on. The midfielder sweeping home the rebound after fellow substitute Paula had seen her shot clip the post and stay out, the win more than enough for Betis to shoot up the table as Sociedad stay rooted to the floor.
Scoring for fun away from home, Levante cruised to a big win in Madrid as they hit Rayo for four, Charlyn Corral her usual effervescent self, having a hand in three of the four.
Corral opened the scoring for the visitors just before the half-hour with a low shot that slipped under Ana, both keepers able to keep the scores untouched until after the break when Sofie Junge nodded Corral’s floated pass home.
Natalia Ramos added a third after the hour as her direct free-kick chipped over the wall and dropped in just under the bar, Corral well-placed to chase down Alharilla’s long ball and dance around the defence before firing in the fourth. The win leaves Levante unbeaten in their last three, the team from Valencia striding up the table as Rayo have rather stalled in place.
Having scored nine in their previous two, El Funda looked in no mood to stop when they travelled to Seville though Martina Piemonte’s rising strike from outside the box gave them pause for thought as Elena failed to prevent it from landing in the back of the net. Striding forward, Claudia Florentino restored parity two minutes later with a firm strike to Pamela Tajonar’s left before Lucía nodded the ball into her own net just before the break.
Not on the back-foot for long, Ali swept Olga’s neat square ball past Elena and into the hungry net early in the second-half, the match far from over as just four minutes later Kuki stroked the ball home from the penalty spot. The frantic six-minutes capped off when Claudia Fernandez slipped through the defence to run onto Piemonte’s threaded ball, getting to it before Elena as she chased out, Fernandez rolled it into the open net to grab a point.
Well held by Valencia over the first quarter of the match, Barcelona stuck to their guns to dig in and find something special to break the deadlock, Toni Duggan’s pearler just before the half hour enough to finally get the better of Jennifer Vreugdenhil. A goal to the good, the Catalans continued to struggle against a stubborn Valencia team who gave them little in the way of ground to attack until Alexia Putellas found a second for the hosts, hammering a deflected ball into the waiting net.
Not as fresh as they might have been, Barca did well to ride the storm and find a win to keep them top of the table ahead of the international break and an early crunch game against Atletico when the season resumes.
Elisa del Estal was the beneficiary of some sloppy defending from winless Zaragoza, the visitors frequently unable to clear their lines and the attacker on hand to mop up the scraps just before the break. As scrappy as the first goal was there was nothing by style about her second, the 24-year-old letting the ball bounce in front of her before dropping back and lifting it over her head and into the back of the goal.
Having only scored three goals over the course of the season so far, Maya Yamamoto grabbed a much needed fourth from the spot late in the day, a consolation to show the side from Aragon still have fight left in them.
Tenerife 5-1 Santa Teresa
After a heavy defeat two weeks ago, Tenerife found more stability with their second win of the season, firing five past a Santa Teresa team short on luck.
Maria Estella opened the scoring seven minutes in at Sara Tui’s early corner before María José fired in a quick second, the visitors overrun by the side from the Canary Islands, Estefa’s gambit late in the half enough to have the two looking more respectable at the break.
With the game having slowed, José sparked it back into life just after the hour, neatly putting Cristina Martín-Prieto’s pass beyond Yolanda Aguirre before Estella grabbed her second of the game eight minutes from time.
Staring the worst defensive record in the league down the barrel, the side from Badajoz were powerless to stop UDG from adding a fifth deep in stoppage, Martín-Prieto once again the creator, this time Paloma Lázaro the beneficiary. The result sees Tenerife slip up the table and away from the bottom three as Santa Teresa tread water, still looking for their first win of the term.
Still smarting from a stomach-churning mid-week loss to Wolfsburg that saw their second-string get pulverised in Germany, Atleti were hoping to make their gamble and desire to prioritise count when they took to the pitch in Madrid this weekend.
Sonia Bermúdez well-placed to send Ludmila's square ball into the back of the net early in the match, the game slowing down afterwards as Huelva found their footing Ana Martínez’ nippy run in behind and clinical finish to the bottom corner enough to have the match in doubt. With time fast ticking away, Atleti dug deep as they have countless times this season and found a late clutch of goals to take the match from potential disaster to handsome win. The ball half-cleared to Aurélie Kaci, the midfielder took a touch before letting rip from distance, Sarita Serrat unable to get anywhere near it at full stretch. 2-1 fast became 3-1 as Las Colchoneras put the match beyond Sporting’s reach, Carla’s quick-fire third more than enough to keep Atleti on par with Barca.
Madrid 0-1 Athletic Club
Although many could have predicted Bilbao being in contention this season, few would have suggested that Madrid would be unbeaten in their first five, the newcomers’ streak cut short as they squared off against last season’s champions. Though the match had few chances it was the visitors who were having the better of it in the capital, Nekane’s first-half strike chalked off for offside but enough of a warning to the hosts.
With the game still stilted after the break it was Basques who finally broke the deadlock late in the day, no offside flag to deny Nekane as she got the better of Paola Ulloa to finish into the waiting net and keep them just beyond touching distance of the top two.