The weekend in Spain
Lionel Messi showed why he is the world’s greatest player with a brace in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Villarreal at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.
David Villa opened up the scoring for the home-side in the 22nd minute before Nilmar drew Villarreal level just four minutes later. However, Messi restored the home-side’s lead with a sublime, sensational, superb and let’s face it – rather ridiculous chip – over Diego López in the 58th minute.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Diego Forlán ended his two-month goalscoring drought as he scored two in Atlético Madrid’s 3-0 victory against Osasuna at the Vicente Calderón while nine-man Athletic Bilbao held on for a 1-0 victory against Almería at San Mamés.
Sunday evening saw Real Madrid reclaim the top spot as Gonzalo Higuaín’s 82nd-minute goal secured all three points against Sporting Gijón at El Molinon.
The build-up to the game was overshadowed by accusations from Real coach José Mourinho that Manuel Preciado’s team didn’t make a serious attempt at trying to beat Barcelona earlier this season. Preciado replied with some less than lovely comments before Madrid cancelled their press conference prior to the match to diffuse the situation. However, judging by the amount of fouls being committed at El Molinon, mostly against Cristiano Ronaldo, it hardly did anything of the sort.
It was an aggressive and dirty game to say the least – one which José Mourinho watched from the stands – but it leaves Madrid one point ahead of Barca before the clásico which has been set for Monday 29 November.
Hércules 2-1 Real Sociedad
Racing Santander 0-0 Espanyol
Málaga 1-0 Levante
Real Zaragoza 1-2 Sevilla
Valencia 2-0 Getafe
Mallorca 0-0 Deportivo La Coruña