Gerard Piqué against Rayo / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Levante hang on to fourth place

Levante chalked up their second win on the run to maintain fourth spot, beating Betis 3-1 on
Monday night, though boss Juan Ignacio Martinez insisted after the game: “the Champions
League isn’t our objective. With 38 points, if we don’t win any more games we could still go
down – sometimes we forget that we are Levante”. Bilbao and Málaga are just a point behind,
after wins against Real Sociedad and Getafe. Bielsa’s team beat their Basque neighbours with
two excellent goals from Suseata in a typically intense derby game, whilst Cazorla also scored
a beauty in Málaga’s 1-3 win - the third after the hosts had gone in one up at the break. Next
weekend sees Levante at La Rosaleda whilst Bilbao are away to Osasuna for what could be a
big week in deciding the fourth Champions League place.

Rayo climb into the mix

The Pamplona team also came back from a goal down at half time, to take a point at Mallorca
and stay in touch with the leaders on 35 points, whilst Rayo are also in the mix, a further
point behind, following their extraordinary 4-2 win over Racing. Racing managed to have their
keeper sent off after just two minutes and still go two goals up within the first half hour, but
Rayo hit back with two strikes from Michu, before Tamudo and Piti finished the visitors off.
Below Rayo, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the Sanchez Pijuan –
a result that probably does neither team many favours, leaving them both on 33 points.

Disappointing Espanyol

Espanyol are also on 33 points, but their weekend was perhaps the most disappointing.
Following a week of insisting that they would go to the Bernabéu full of fight, Pochettino’s
team simply rolled over as Real Madrid swept them aside, with two goals from Higuain and
one each from Ronaldo, Khedira and Kaka. Of the nine teams below Espanyol, only one won
this weekend – and that was bottom club Zaragoza, who beat Villarreal 2-1 with an extra time
goal from ex-Barça B player Abraham to close the gap on Sporting to just three points, with
fourth from bottom Villarreal still nine points away in the distance.

Busy day for the ref in Granada

Valencia kept the pursuing pack at bay with a 0-1 win over Granada in a game that saw nine
Valencia players booked, whilst Granada will be without four players who were also shown a
yellow for next week’s game against Atlético Madrid.

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