La Liga: Barca win thriller but former Liverpool man draws another blank
Barcelona beat Villarreal in thriller but former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez isn't happy
Barca win a thriller but Suarez draws another blank
Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona twice came from behind to beat Villarreal 3-2 at the Nou Camp. The Yellow Submarines edged ahead through Real Madrid loanee Denis Cheryshev, and then Luciano Vietto, but goals from Rafinha, Neymar and Messi allowed Barca to record an eighth-straight win. There was no goal for Luis Suarez, and the Uruguayan was visibly frustrated when Luis Enrique chose to take his striker off late in the game. Suarez was guilty of missing two glorious chances early on in the match, and appears to be lacking plenty of confidence. In stark contrast, Neymar is having a fantastic time in front of goal this season, having scored 15 times in 18 La Liga games so far, and he and Messi are overshadowing the former Liverpool forward.
Moyes’ Sociedad peak too early and suffer Real thumping
Aritz Elustondo gave David Moyes the perfect start by scoring after just 38 seconds at the Bernabeu on Saturday, but they could not prevent a Real Madrid comeback, eventually losing 4-1. Their lead lasted only two minutes as Madrid equalised through James Rodriguez, and eased to victory in the second half. Sergio Ramos and a Karim Benzema double gave Madrid the win in the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, and maintained their lead at the top of La Liga. Things were to worsen for Moyes as star striker Carlos Vela suffered a knee injury which could rule him out for the rest of the season. Although they drop to 13th, they are just four points clear of the relegation zone.
Mandzukic double helps Atletico to victory on tricky pitch
Mario Mandzukic scored twice as Atletico Madrid won 3-1 at Eibar in treacherous conditions. The newly promoted side’s pitch had become a mud bath following heavy rain in the Basque Country, and there was doubt over whether the game would go ahead. Despite farcical conditions, the match began as scheduled, and Atletico dealt with them in a sensible manner, putting the game beyond the reach of the hosts in the first 25 minutes. Antoine Griezmann grabbed the first, set Mandzukic up for the second before the Croat made it 3-0 moments later. Madrid were then able to see the remainder of the game out without the need to get stuck in and risk injuries. Eibar made all of their substitutions at half-time in a bid to make a fight of it, but could only managed an 89th minute consolation through Federico Piovaccari.
Granada end 133-day wait for a league win
La Liga’s bottom club Granada had not won a league game since 20th September when they beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at the San Mames. Jhon Cordoba scored the only goal of that game, and he was on target again in their win over Elche on Saturday. Four months and eleven days had passed since Granada tasted that winning feeling, and the three points will have felt much sweeter as they lifted the club off the bottom of the division. Although still in the relegation zone, Granada did leap above their opponents, plunging Elche into further trouble. The club has a series of worrying off-field problems, and defeats to relegation rivals will only increase their difficulties.