Barcelona back on top after Betis defeats Real Madrid

cristian tello real madrid
Former Barcelona player Cristian Tello scored Betis winner over Real Madrid Credits: Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In Italy, Serie A has been suspended due to the epidemic of Coronavirus and it is possible that the same takes place in Spain. However, matchday 27 of La Liga still happened under the normality, with all games taking place.

The highlight as the match between Betis and Real Madrid, as the Andalusians defeated the La Liga table leaders. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s single goal, from a Messi penalty kick brought back the leadership to the ‘Blaugrana’.

The loss during El Clasico has now been forgotten and Barcelona has the title into their own hands if they win all the remaining fixtures.

Real Betis 2 x 1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid came into their away game at Real Betis with things nice and clear; win the match and they’d end the weekend where they started it – top – and they began brightly with Vinicius Junior going close but his effort narrowly went wide.

At the other end, Nabil Fekir saw a powerful strike kept out by Thibaut Courtois’ big right hand and then, on 40, Fekir was tripped in the box. Betis screamed for a penalty with the exception of Sidnei who was alive to the loose ball and a lashed a fierce drive in at Courtois’ near post to give Betis a 1-0 lead.

Real were handed a way back just before the half time whistle when Sidnei went from hero to zero for hauling Marcelo over in the area and Karim Benzema confidently buried the penalty.

After the break, Betis should have retaken the lead when Joaquin rounded Courtois but for some reason, he tried to tee up a teammate rather than turn in for an easy finish and Luka Modric was able to clear.

Madrid then went within inches of a second goal as Ferland Mendy curled a right-footed strike past Joel Robles but onto the bar in what was becoming an entertaining affair and on 82 Betis sent their fans wild with a goal that proved the winner.

Benzema played a loose square ball on halfway, which Andres Guardado collected and rolled through to Christian Tello who did the rest. The former La Masia product would be the hero that Barcelona did not know they needed.

Barcelona 1 x 0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona fell to a lackluster defeat in El Clasico last weekend but came into their home game with Real Sociedad as big favorites and they started in the ascendancy with Martin Braithwaite testing Alex Remiro early on.

After that, Lionel Messi uncharacteristically spurned a golden chance to open the scoring.

As time ticked on, it looked like Barca was in danger of being frustrated as Remiro looked in fine form as he denied the hosts again, this time Ivan Rakitic the man to be thwarted.

Fast forward to minute 81 though and Sociedad was incensed as a VAR check saw a penalty awarded for handball. The decision was harsh but Messi did what he does best and made it 1-0.

In the dying seconds of injury time, Jordi Alba thought he’d made it 2-0 after a slick counter involving Messi and Ansu Fati but the latter had wandered into an offside position.

Quique Setien can be relieved, as his team is now back to first place.

Real Valladolid 1 x 4 Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao might have a chance of sneaking into the European places if they can string some wins together whilst their hosts, Real Valladolid, aren’t yet completely out of danger at the other end of the table.

The league positions shone through early on when Unai Lopez lashed a fourth minute 30-yard free-kick into the top corner and on 24 Inigo Cordoba stood up a cross from the left flank and Raul Garcia met it with a towering header to put Bilbao two up.

Sandro halved the deficit on 77 with a sublime solo goal but by the time the closing stages came around Bilbao had restored their two-goal advantage through Inaki Williams.

Mohammed Salisu headed back towards Valladolid keeper Jordi Masip but failed to connect cleanly, which left Masip in no man’s land and a simple side-footed finish from Williams made it 1-3. On 93 Cordoba added a fourth goal for the away side as he found the bottom corner after a poor clearance.

Villarreal 1 x 2 Leganes

Leganes are fighting to keep their place in the top tier whilst Villarreal is battling for a European spot so it was of little surprise when Gerard Moreno nodded the hosts in front after just five minutes.

Leganes wouldn’t lay down though and only the upright and a smart save from Sergio Asenjo would keep Guido Carrillo at bay.

The strugglers did make it 1-1 shortly after the interval though as Oscar Rodriguez slammed a stunning volley in off the underside of Asenjo’s bar from 20 yards.

On 70, Rodriguez grabbed his brace to complete an unlikely turnaround; Roger Assale was brought down in the box and Rodriguez sent Asenjo the wrong way from the spot.

Atletico Madrid 2 x 2 Sevilla

Atletico faces Liverpool in the Champions League in the week, hoping to hold on into their first-leg lead. First up, on Saturday, was a home tie with Sevilla. The hosts found themselves behind after just 19 minutes.

Luuk de Jong with two touches in the box, one to get the ball out of his feet and the other was an emphatic finish past Jan Oblak. Shortly after the half-hour mark through Atletico flipped the match on its head.

On 32, Alvaro Morata tucked a penalty away to make it 1-1 and four minutes later Joao Felix beat Tomas Vaclik after collecting Koke’s pass.

It wouldn’t stay at 2-1 for long though as on 43 it was all square again. Oblak reacted superbly to bat away a powerful Sergio Reguilon header but in the aftermath, Kieran Trippier fouled Lucas Ocampos.

The Sevilla winger made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick. The second period passed without any real clear cut openings but if any side was going to win the game it was Atletico with their best opportunities both falling.

Yannick Carrasco was denied by Vaclik first time round and then struck an effort over the crossbar.

Eibar 1 x 2 Mallorca

Eibar hosted Mallorca on Saturday knowing a win would put eight points between themselves and their third-bottom opponent but it was Mallorca who threatened first when Cucho Hernandez forced Marko Dmitrovic into a low save.

The home side went close to an opener of their own shortly after when Jose Angel struck the bar with a long-range free-kick but Mallorca went one better on 42 when Dani Rodriguez saw his left-wing set-piece drift all the way in to give the visitors the advantage.

Mallorca doubled their lead on 78 thanks to a smart goal by Takefusa Kubo. Alex Pozo teed him up with a routine pass and Kubo worked an opening when squared up by both Paulo Oliveira and Pedro Bigas and fired a strike into the bottom corner.

A two-goal advantage looked like it would be good enough but Bigas headed in during stoppage time to make for a few nervy seconds. However, Eibar couldn’t find another.

Alaves 1 x 1 Valencia

Alaves came into their Friday night match against Valencia off the back of one defeat in five – a run that has seen them pull away from relegation danger –  and anything other than defeat would see them edge further towards safety.

It was Valencia who dominated but they needed a set piece to take the lead; Daniel Parejo took aim from 20 yards on 34 and found the top corner of the home goal for 0-1.

The hosts struggled to create anything of note and Alessandro Florenzi really ought to have doubled Valencia’s lead but his volley went the wrong side of the post and it would prove a costly miss. Alaves had kept the score down to one, and when you do that you always have a chance.

That chance came on 73 and Edgar Mendez beat Jasper Cillessen with the aid of a deflection.

Osasuna 1 x 0 Espanyol

Espanyol might be rooted to the foot of the table but a form of WLDD over their past four league games has given them hope of staying in the division. A trip to Osasuna, who have lost their last two home games, presented an opportunity to add more points to their tally.

It was Espanyol who threatened first too with a long-range strike from Raul de Tomas stinging the palms of Ruben.

At the other end, Osasuna had offered little in the first 45 but a quick start in the second half saw Diego Lopez at full stretch to stop a header from Darko Brasanac but on 51 Roberto Torres did make it 1-0 with a cheeky panenka penalty after Victor Sanchez inexplicably handled in the box.

Espanyol never looked like getting back on terms and to make their upcoming fixtures more difficult Lopez saw red for handling outside of his area on 83 and that was that.

Getafe 0 x 0 Celta Vigo

Last week Getafe dealt a blow to Mallorca’s survival hopes with a 1-0 win but this time they could do them a favor by beating Celta Vigo, who are hovering just above the drop zone.

The match itself didn’t represent the gap between the sides in the league table with Getafe struggling to find a way through Celta’s well-organized defense – although Jaime Mata did waste a golden opportunity when he headed Allan Nyom’s cross over from just six yards.

The hosts did eventually have the ball in the net as Angel converted after Mata had flicked on Nyom’s long ball but the would-be scorer had strayed offside. In the latter stages, Getafe’s day became even more frustrating as Mauro Arambarri received a second yellow card.

Levante 1 x 1 Granada

Levante and Granada both look set for an early summer holiday with their seasons drawing to what looks like an uneventful end but that doesn’t mean their fans won’t have anything to cheer between now and then.

On this occasion, it was Levante who gave their fans a reason to celebrate first when Jose Morales squeezed a ball to the back stick where Roger turned in for his 11th goal of the season.

Both sides had chances to add to the score but it remained 1-0 until the hour when Darwin Machis rounded Aitor Fernandez and rolled in the equalizer.

From there on in, it was all Granada as they pushed for a winner but Fernandez was having a good day at the office and ensured his team won a point.

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