The first Monday in 2022 served up three excellent derbies.
Villareal thrash Levante.
Villareal compounded Levante UD miserable season by thrashing the side propping up the table 5-0.
Levante’s game plan went out the window within the first 15 minutes; their failure to deal with crosses was evident; Gerard Moreno crossed for Boulaye Dia, who headed in the opening goal.
Levante’s woeful defending continued; inexplicably, they allowed Spanish star Gerard Moreno time and space to run into the box; the forward made no mistake; calmly, he passed the ball into the bottom corner.
The second half started in much of the same fashion, and had it not been for Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernández it would have been four sooner; Gerard Moreno’s cross was met by Manu Trigueros, but his header was expertly stopped.
Trigueros finally made it four with the pick of the goals; from outside the box, left with all the space in the world, he smashed the ball into the top right-hand corner.
The rout was then completed by Moreno. Yéremy Pino beat his man, pulling the ball back across the six-yard box where Moreno was on hand to score easily.
Levante look like a team who are going to be relegated; they are yet to win this season; contrastingly, Villarreal’s victory puts them above local rivals Valencia CF and just two points behind the European places.
Athletic Club continue in their quest for European Qualification.
Athletic Club came from behind to defeat CA Osasuna 3-1. The atmosphere at El Sadar, Pamplona, was electric, and the noise only intensified during a frantic start that saw the hosts, Osasuna, open the scoring after 10 minutes. An excellent cross from youth academy graduate, Jon Moncayola, was expertly met by the experienced Kike García. He headed home just his third goal of the season.
However, the hosts early delight was short-lived. Athletic Club fought back with a header of their own. Pamplona born Oihan Sancet capped off an excellent counterattack with a stooping header from an Iñaki Williams cross.
Sancet doubled his tally for the night, cooly volleying Oscar De Marcos cross into the bottom corner.
Sancet completed the scoring and his hat trick after halftime. Another cross from the right-hand side was expertly converted from close range with the outside of his right foot; the hat-trick completed a memorable night for the youngster who made history, becoming the first player born this century to score a hat-trick in La Liga.
Things went from bad to worse for the home fans; Chimy Ávila was sent off in added time; his leg-breaking tackle on Nico Williams was bizarrely only awarded a yellow card by the referee and VAR. Eventually, the referee gave him his marching orders when he got involved in a fracas in the ensuing mealy.
Athletic Club will be looking to continue their fight for a European place, while for the home side, it’s now 10 games without a win with only Levante on a worse run.
A title-challenging performance.
Sevilla could have been left rueing a host of missed opportunities. In the opening minute, the ball was cut back for Joan Jordán, who should have done a lot better but hit the side netting.
Sevilla came out for the second half hungry to win. They found the breakthrough when Cadiz failed to clear a corner. The ball was worked to Lucas Ocampos, who made no mistake. His left-footed shot squeezed in past Jeremias Ledesma at the near post.
Apart from a long-range effort, Cadiz failed to make Yassine Bounou (Bono) work.
Sevilla should’ve wrapped the game up; Marcos Acuña’s deflected cross was saved, then the full-back's free-kick went just over the bar.
Sevilla’s best chance came when Lucas Ocampos tried a spectacular volley rather than leave the ball for his teammate Óscar Rodríguez to have a tap in. Yet, the ball fell to Munir, who blasted over the gaping goal. Rodríguez also had a chance to make it two, but his shot produced a fine save from Ledesma.
Sevilla will have their sights firmly set on Real Madrid. Los Blancos must travel to Andalusia to play in late April. On the other hand, Cadiz are in the thick of a relegation scrap and will be hoping to secure a few more points to secure safety.