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Jornada 24: Espanyol vs. Real Betis; Cornella-El Prat
To coin an old cliché, football is a very funny game.
Another illustration of this took place at Cornella-El Prat on Sunday night as an Espanyol team, inflated with the confidence that not so long ago resided in Real Betis, took on Los Verdiblancos from Seville.
one. Real Sociedad end Barca’s unbeaten season.
We should have seen it coming. Anoeta has hardly been the happiest of places for Barca to visit in recent years, and on Saturday night that again proved the case. Familiar circumstances dominated the early exchanges, first Messi and then Pedro putting La Blaugrana 2-0 up. Game over? No. Just before half time Chory Castro pulled one back, then in the second half Pique saw red for two (silly but deserved) yellow cards. Castro soon added his second and then in stoppage time Imanol Agirretxe nicked it for La Real - who were very good. It’s the first time Barca have surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose since they lost 4-3 to Atletico in March 2009.
Raul Baena scored a late winner as Espanyol clinched a crucial three points against ten-man Mallorca in a relegation battle which had five goals and one red card.
OK, we admit it, we’ve been negligent. Week eighteen admittedly passed with us failing to register a look back on what had actually happened. To all eight of our readers, we are sorry.
BUT. We’re back with a round up from week nineteen - the half way mark in La Liga - and promise not to leave you hanging again. So here it is, the five main talking points from the weekend’s (Friday and Monday included) action…
Sergio Garcia’s first half goal was enough to help Espanyol to back-to-back home wins, moving them level on 18 points with Celta Vigo who were forced to leave Cornella-el Prat pointless on Saturday.
Before anyone shouts at us, this list doesn’t necessarily feature each clubs’s statistically best player.
In some cases it may, but in other cases it may recognise an unexpected contribution of a player to their club, or a player exceeding all expectations.
So take your mind off the Christmas gap in La Liga by reminiscing on some of our top performers from the first half of the season…
With one final twist - if they were’t already damned as it was - the 2012 half of the La Liga season came to an end with another Real Madrid defear in Andulucia.
‘BUT WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?’ We hear you scream. Read on friends…
Whether this is a valid excuse or not, we have been very busy recently. Due to this busy-ness here is an abridged version of ‘five things from…’
Who knows, you’ll probably prefer it.
one. Pellegrino pushed from Mestalla bench. It has been a bad week for people called Mauricio; first Pochettino and now Pellegrino. Of those with MP initials only Manuel Pellegrini remains in a job. Journalists, sub-editors and bloggers can at least breathe a sigh of relief.Valencia decided enough was enough this weekend following a 5-2 defeat at home to Real Sociedad. Couple that with no league wins away from home and President Llorente felt it was time to wield the axe on the man who only replaced Unai Emery in the summer.
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