La Liga: Round 16 Results
|Saturday DECEMBER 17
||KO||Sunday DECEMBER 18
|Mallorca - Getafe
||1-2||Atletico Madrid - Betis
|Sporting Gijon - Espanyol
||Granada - Levante
|Athletic Bilbao - Zaragoza
||2-1||Osasuna - Villarreal
|Sevilla - Real Madrid
||2-6||Racing - Real Sociedad
|Valencia - Malaga
|all kick-offs in CET|
|Getafe ended Mallorca's five game unbeaten streak but were forced to come from behind at the Iberostar Stadium as an Abdel brace enough to seal all three points.
After a lively start to the game Mallorca took the lead in the 10th minute when Ivan Ramis headed home following a corner.
Getafe attempted to find a way back into the match and were rewarded inside the half-hour mark when Abdel netted his first goal of the game with a perfectly directed header.
And the Madrid-based side took the lead a minute before the break when Miku's low cross was bundled home two metres out by Abdel.
Luis Garcia's side came close to celebrating a third goal early in the second half but Pedro Rios' shot cannoned back off the upright to the relief of the home fans but their side were unable to find an equaliser as they suffered their third home defeat of the season.
The victory for Getafe helps lift them above Joaquin Caparros' side who will be hoping to return to winning ways when they travel to Levante. Next up for the Madrid-based side meanwhile is Athletic Bilbao.
|Espanyol managed to see off a spirited Sporting Gijon performance at El Molinon with a late Sergio Garcia goal earning them a 2-1 victory.
Espanyol opened the scoring in emphatic fashion just two minutes into the match. Sergio Garcia tapped the ball to Thievy Bifouma and the Sporting defence stood off the striker allowing him to set himself up. The 19-year old then let fly with a fine effort from the edge of the area which struck the back of the net.
The start of the second 45 was nearly a replica of the first with the Barcelona-based club close to doubling their lead but their failure to do so gave a lifeline to Sporting ... one that they didn't hesitate to take.
Miguel de las Cuevas' corner caused problems inside Espanyol's penalty area and David Barral was on hand to turn the ball past Cristian Alvarez to level the tie.
Sergio Garcia ruined Sporting's evening when he swept home a beautiful strike in the 84th minute to leave the home side flailing in the bottom three.
The win for Espanyol helps them move up to seventh in La Liga ahead of their derby match against current champions Barcelona in the first week of 2012. Sporting visit Real Betis.
|Gaizka Toquero struck in the 87th minute to hand 10-man Athletic Bilbao an invaluable 2-1 victory over a struggling Zaragoza side at San Mames.
Leonardo Ponzio's penalty cancelled out Markel Susaeta's early strike following Javi Martinez's sending off. Midway through the second half Zaragoza were also reduced to 10 before Toquero's dramatic late winner.
Athletic started the brighter of the two and when Susaeta was afforded space inside the penalty area, he didn't hesitate to coolly slot the ball home.
The Basque's bright start soon unravelled when Javi Martinez was sent off after felling Angel Lafita in the penalty area and Ponzio gleefully converted the spot-kick to level the match with over a hour still to play.
Zaragoza failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage, before they were reduced to 10 themselves midway through the second half when Maurizio Lanzaro recevied his second bookable offence.
Toquero then popped up in the 87th minute to turn home Oscar de Marcos' cross and secure a dramatic win for Athletic.
Zaragoza's winless streak extends to 10 as they finish 2011 rooted to the bottom of the table. Toquero's late strike will ensure that the Basque outfit end the year inside the top 10 and will kick of 2012 against Getafe.
|Match Report | Player Ratings|
Jose Mourinho's side bounced back from their Clasico defeat to hammer the Andalucian side at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a hat-trick in the rout.
Gregorio Manzano's position in charge of Atletico Madrid is likely to come under further scrutiny after his side were defeated 2-0 at home to Betis on Sunday morning.
Los Colchoneros' win over Rennes in the Europa League in midweek had given the former Mallorca boss some time from the fans, but they are likely to let their voices be heard after losing to a Verdiblancos side that have struggled to pick up points in recent weeks.
Alex Pozuelo opened the scoring on 54 minutes, lashing the ball into the net from inside the six-yard box, and Atleti had simply no response to the setback.
Roque Santa Cruz sealed the win in injury time; moments after smashing the crossbar with a superb strike, he slotted home from close range, and a chorus of boss rang around the Vicente Calderon, with Manzano due to face serious questions regarding his future at the club.
Granada defeated Levante 2-1 to give themselves distance from the relegation zone.
Guillherme Siqueira opened the scoring for the hosts from the penalty spot, converting after Jose Barkero had been penalised for handball.
Granada then doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time, after Odion Ighalo's shot had struck the post, Abel made sure of a two-goal lead at the break.
Levante have faded after their incredible start to the campaign, but to their credit fought their way back into the contest, and were rewarded on the hour mark when Arouna Kone nodded home from close range.
However, they could not find an equaliser and Granada edge three points clear of the drop zone.
Relegation appears to be a real and present danger for Villarreal this season after they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat at Osasuna in Pamplona.
The Yellow Submarine ironically looked to be on course to end their recent dreadful run when Marco Ruben netted from close range in the 64th minute, after an excellent run from Cani.
But the frailties of Juan Carlos Garrido's side continue to rear their head, and they were pegged back when Ibrahima Balde slammed home from inside the area to tie up the scores.
Osasuna then pushed forward in search of the winner, and the noticably rattled visitors folded on 83 minutes when Sergio headed home to give the home side the win. Villarreal, meanwhile are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Racing missed the chance to jump out of the relegation positions, but remain unbeaten in their last three matches courtesy of their scoreless draw at home to Real Sociedad.
The home side had the better of what was in the main a drab contest and were boosted by the sending off of Inigo Martinez nine minutes after the break for a second bookable offence.
But they could not ultimately make the breakthrough and remain two points clear of safety at the foot of La Liga.
With both sides aiming for Champions League qualification this season, victory on Sunday for either side could determine whether targets are reached by the end of the season.