La Liga, Spanish Supercup and Copa del Rey

by Lorraine Williamson
La Liga - screen grab from Real Betis Twitter

FOOTBALL – It has been a busy spell for Spanish football since the start of the year with La Liga games, the Spanish Supercup, and the Copa del Rey, not to mention transfer news.

Real Madrid still sits at the top of La Liga on 49 points with Sevilla second with 44 points. However, to date, Real Madrid has played one extra game.

Upcoming La Liga matches are as follows.

Real Betis v Alavés – Tuesday, January 18

Cádiz v Espanyol – Tuesday, January 18

Celta Vigo v Osasuna – Wednesday, January 19

Valencia v Sevilla – Wednesday, January 19

Getafe v Granada – Thursday, January 20

Transfer news

There has been much speculation surrounding Dembele and whether he intended to renew his contract at Barcelona in the summer. However, his request for €7,000 a week left Xavi quite literally speechless. It is no secret that Barcelona must cut wages to attract new players to the squad. Also, recent performances from Dembele haven´t been up to the millionaire wages he was demanding. So, it looks like there is no going back, and Dembele will leave at the end of June on a free transfer.

Barcelona press conference with Xavi

In their last La Liga match, Barca was held to a 1-1 draw at Granada. Goals came from Luuk de Jong and Antonio Puertas of Granada. Barcelona´s Gavi was sent off in the 79th minute.

Spanish Supercup

An exciting semi-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid saw the game tie 2-2 after 90 minutes sending it into extra time. Real Madrid opened the scoreline after 25 minutes with a goal from Vini Jnr. Luuk de Jong equalised just before half-time. Benzema scored in the second half for Real Madrid, and just under 10 minutes later, Ansu Fati made it level again. This put the game into extra time, with the possibility of penalties. However, just 8 minutes into extra time, Real Madrid scored again making it 2-3. No further goals came from either side meaning Real Madrid qualified for the final.

The second semi-final was Atletico Madrid v Athletic Club. This game was won in 90 minutes by Athletic Club. All the goals came in the second half of the match. The first of which came from Felix for Atletico, with Athletic Club scoring twice. Once from Alvarez and the other from Williams. Atletico´s Jose Maria Gimenez was sent off in injury time. The game finished Atletico v Athletic Club 1-2.

JammFM Radio

The final took place last night with Athletic Club facing Real Madrid.  The first goal came for Real Madrid from Modric after 38 minutes. And the second by a controversial penalty from Benzema in the 52nd minute. Then, in the final 5 minutes of the game, Raul Garcia of Athletic Club was awarded a penalty. But Real Madrid´s goalkeeper made a sensational save. Thibaut Courtois made some fantastic saves for Real Madrid throughout the game helping to ensure their win. A red card came for Militao just before the 90 minutes.

Copa del Rey

The derby game Real Betis v Sevilla in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey was played before a packed Estadio Benito Villamarin. Papu Gomez scored the opener for Sevilla after 35 minutes. And just 4 minutes later, as seen in the official Real Betis Tweet, Nabil Fekir scored an amazing goal making all things square.

However, the magnificent goal was put in the shadow when play was then stopped on Saturday night. Immediately after the goal, a metal object was thrown onto the pitch hitting Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan on the head. He fell to the ground, and due to protocol for such a head injury was taken to hospital. According to diariodesevilla.es he suffered from a “cranioencephalic trauma” (traumatic brain injury) and was advised to remain under home observation for a minimum of 24 hours.

This caused much tension between both sides with players from Real Betis even claiming the midfielder faked his dizziness. Some fans also took to social media alleging the injury was exaggerated.

Violence condemned

However, Real Betis have officially condemned the act of violence from one of their fans. In an official Tweet from @RealBetis, they said Real Betis Balompié strongly condemns the throwing of an object onto the pitch during the Copa del Rey match. The Club has immediately collaborated with the National Police to identify the alleged perpetrator of the launch

Police investigated the area where the missile was said to come from, and with the cooperation of the home side, are said to have identified the attacker.

After a period of some 20 minutes, it was decided it would be abandoned and not restarted. The decision made was to play the remainder of the game last night behind closed doors.

Behind closed doors

It was a tense game with many chances for both sides. However, only one goal mattered. That was the winner from Sergio Canales in the 73rd minute putting Real Betis into the last 8. All 8 teams will have been determined by Thursday.

The remaining last 16 games are as follows.

Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid – Wednesday, January 19

Elche v Real Madrid – Thursday, January 20

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