by Anton Johan
As La Liga, Spain's premier football league, draws ever closer to yielding the 2010/11 La Liga champions, the top three teams - F.C. Barcelona (84 points), Real Madrid (76 points) and Valencia C.F. (60 points) - are continuing to dominate their opponents.
On Saturday, the deserving La Liga leaders Barcelona racked up yet another three points when they hosted and defeated U.D. Almería 3-1 at Camp Nou, showing not only their fans, but all La Liga supporters why they will likely win the championship.
That said, in Saturday's game the home team failed to dominate the visitors early on as expected, and surprisingly, Almería managed to hold Barcelona to a goalless first half. This was no mean feat considering that Almeria is literally lying last in La Liga, and had just 27 supporters in the stadium.
If the first half gave Almeria and their 27 fans hope that they might take down the country's best team, their goal in the 49th minute courtesy of midfielder Corona, doubled their confidence. However, that goal only served to shake Barcelona awake, as just three minutes later Barca equalised when forward Lionel Messi converted a penalty, which was awarded when Diego Alves brought down David Villa.
Then, in the 64th minute, Barca midfielder Thiago Alcântara made it 2-1, and Camp Nou erupted as the home team finally took control of match. Almería did what they could to fight back, but Barcelona kept them at bay, before sealing the deal with their third and final goal in the 88th minute, again courtesy of Messi.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, also defeated their opponents Athletic Club 3-0 at San Mames on Saturday to snatch another three points, thanks to penalty conversions from Brazilian powerhouse Kaka in the 13th and 54th minute respectively, and a 70th minute goal from fellow Brazilian Ronaldo.
But it was Valencia that notched up the biggest result of the weekend when they thumped number four team in the La Liga standings Villarreal C.F. 5-0 at Mestalia. Goals were scored by Soldado, Mata, Banega, Mata and Soldado respectively. However, even though Valencia are in the top three, the likelihood of them catching Barcelona or Real Madrid is slim at best.
Here are the complete La Liga results from the weekend:
||Real Madrid C.F.
|Real S. de Gijón
||C. At. Osasuna
|At. de Madrid
|Real Racing Club
|Real Zaragoza CD