The weekend’s action in Spain saw Atletico Madrid take on Deportivo La Coruna, the match ending in a surprise 3-1 win for the capital side.
Roy Makaay put Depor on level terms after a 2nd minute strike from Josi Mari had given the home team the perfect start. Two late goals inthe second-half inspired by impressive young striker Fernando Torres, who scored one and set up the other for Correa, turned the game for Atletico.
The result means Depor drop to fourth in La Liga, behind Valencia on goal difference.
Current leaders Real Sociedad came close to losing their unbeaten record when they travelled to Valencia. The home team were two goals to the good midway through the second half.
They scored through Fabio Aurelio and an own goal by Sociedad defender Aranzabal, whose pass back to ‘keeper Westerveld was woefully inaccurate. Luckily for Sociedad, Kovacevic and Nihat were on hand to restore parity on 68 and 78 minutes.
The Yugoslav and Turk are having a fine season: they stand joint top of La Liga scoring chart with 10 goals apiece.
Valencia were denied a winner by the referee when Carew was penalized for shirt pulling having put the ball in the net.
Rafael Benitez, the Mestalla boss, was clearly aggrieved. “We scored three goals against Sociedad and they scored two, but the game has ended in a draw,” he said.
Real Madrid were able to reduce Sociedad’s lead at the top to just one point, after a 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo. Their form is ominous for those around them; this was their sixth win in a row.
With the Champions League due to restart next month, they are peaking at the right time. Big summer signing Ronaldo netted his seventh of the season for Madrid to keep the pressure on Sociedad. He may yet win the fans over after early criticism.
The Brazilian benefited from a rebound off Celta Vigo ‘keeper Cavallero from Raul Gonzalez’s shot in the seventh minute.
Celta Vigo were unable to capitalize on some decent approach play in the second half, and Madrid held on to their slim lead.
“This win gives us an excellent chance to win the league,” coach Del Bosque said after the game. The rest of Spain, and indeed Europe, beware.