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Spanish La Liga Saturday Recap

La Liga

Atletico Madrid – Girona 3:1

Griezmann scores twice as Atletico Madrid beats Girona

Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Girona 3-1 on Saturday to boost its chances of finishing in the top four places.

Griezmann got his first league goal since December by converting a penalty after a handball by Girona to level the score in the 34th minute when he cancelled out Artem Dovbyk’s early opener.

Álvaro Morata’s hustle proved key to putting the hosts ahead in first-half stoppage time when he chased down a ball before it could cross the end-line and whipped it into the area for Ángel Correo to head into the top corner.

Griezmann, Atletico’s all-time top scorer, then blasted in a loose ball in the 50th for his 13th league goal of the campaign.

Dovbyk moved ahead of Jude Bellingham as the leading scorer for the Spanish league with his 17th goal of the season to give Girona the fourth-minute lead. The Ukraine striker tapped in a low cross from Yan Couto after a quick team passing move disrupted Atletico’s coverage.

Girona remained in third place at four points clear of Atletico in fourth. Atletico moved five points ahead of Athletic Bilbao in fifth. The top four finishers in Spain earn Champions League berths for next season.

Mallorca – Real Madrid 0:1

Real Madrid close in on LaLiga title after edging to victory over Mallorca

With this match sandwiched between two UEFA Champions League quarter-final ties with Manchester City, and El Clasico on the horizon, Carlo Ancelotti made six changes to his line-up.

It clearly showed as Real looked disjointed going forward despite dominating territory. It took half an hour for the game’s first shot on target to arrive – a Dani Rodríguez corner for the hosts was headed goalwards by Antonio Raillo, but Andriy Lunin kept it out.

That seemed to be the wake-up call Los Blancos needed, as two minutes later Aurelien Tchouameni fed Jude Bellingham, who curled a 20-yard effort onto the Mallorca crossbar. But any hopes the visitors had of clicking into gear before the break didn’t materialise as they failed to work Los Piratas goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

However, that first-half display had been forgotten two minutes into the second period when a clearance fell to Tchouameni, who took it upon himself to strike for goal from 30 yards out. His effort deflected off Antonio Sanchez, which took it away from Rajkovic, who could only watch the ball sail into his top corner. 

Cadiz – Barcelona 0:1

Felix scores overhead kick as Barcelona cement second place in LaLiga

A raft of changes from their gripping 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in midweek threatened to test Barcelona’s squad depth, and they consequently looked unlike their usual selves in the early stages. Cadiz were spurred on by a passionate home crowd, and what started as success on the counter progressed into full-on attack.

The first big opportunities of the match fell in a single passage of play to Javi Hernandez and Juanmi, both of whom forced saves out of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Normal service resumed as the visitors established a foothold, and Conan Ledesma did well to stop Hector Fort’s cross from dipping straight into the top corner. That chance served as a warning to Cadiz, one which they failed to heed as Barcelona drew first blood in spectacular fashion.

Marcos Alonso’s corner was flicked on by a defender, and Felix produced a magnificent overhead kick to bury it into the bottom corner from close range.

Source – Flashscore News