La Liga wrap: Man United’s Javier Hernandez keeps Real Madrid limelight
On-loan Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez scored twice in Real Madrid's 4-2 victory over Celta Vigo
New hero Chicharito keeps limelight after match-winning double
Javier Hernandez is the toast of the Bernabeu having taken his chance to star in the midst of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. Chicharito scored the vital goal on Wednesday night to help Madrid through in the Champions League, and on Sunday, the Mexican helped himself to a brace as Los Galacticos beat Celta Vigo 4-2. Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez were the other Madrid scorers during a frenetic encounter in which Celta took an early lead. Nolito, formerly of Barcelona, put the hosts ahead to threaten a shock, but Madrid proved too strong on the counter attack. The victory keeps the pressure on Barcelona as their lead at the top remains at just two points having ticked another matchday off.
Barcelona derby win dedicated to Tito
Playing city rivals Espanyol on the first anniversary of Tito Vilanova’s death, Barcelona were able to commemorate their former coach’s passing with a win. Vilanova died last year after suffering with a cancer having nurtured players such as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets as youngsters. Messi was able to mark the anniversary with a goal, Barcelona’s second, as they coasted to a 2-0 victory. Neymar had previously opened the scoring, though Barca had to see out much of the second half with 10 men as Jordi Alba was dismissed for dissent. The match ended with ten men on each side as Hector Moreno saw red late on, but by then Barca were comfortable and could extend their lead at the top of La Liga, putting pressure on Madrid ahead of their game in Vigo.
Villarreal feeling the effects of a strenuous season after another blank
With the likes of Giovanni dos Santos, Ike Uche and the impressive Luciano Vietto banging goals in for fun early on in the season, Villarreal had failed to score just three times prior to 2015. Now, following an exhausting Europa League campaign (ended by La Liga rivals Sevilla), they have scored in only four league games since mid-February! Despite finding themselves still within touching distance of a European spot once again, Villarreal have scored just once in their last seven, although injuries have taken their toll on the squad. Bruno Soriano has been a big miss for the Yellow Submarines, whilst centre-back and Tottenham target Mateo Musacchio’s absence will be more apparent as the season wears on, having broken his ankle last week. Up front, dos Santos and Vietto were both missing for this weekend’s trip to Sociedad, and it was no surprise that Villarreal lacked that cutting edge to take all three points as the match finished goalless.