Plenty of goals in two of the three matches to forecast on #RevistaPredictor, but it was the goalless game that gave the highest yield. David Garrido recaps La Liga Matchday 21…
Eleven goals is some tally for a #RevistaPredictor trio of games… especially when they come in just a couple of the games, but I guess that’s no surprise when one of the fixtures was the one at Mestalla.
MATCH 1 – VALENCIA 1-4 REAL MADRID
And there was the backlash. Okay, in truth, perhaps this scoreline flatters Madrid – the game could have finished 2-2, as the champions wobbled in the second half. But some brilliant combinations sealed a big win for Zinedine Zidane’s side. It was the first game in 279 days that the Frenchman had fielded Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo from the start – maybe there is life in the BBC yet. But the fact that none of our experts went for Cristiano Ronaldo as first goalscorer tells its own story about the striker’s lack of form and where his head is at right now. For Valencia, they need to focus on the positives of the second-half performance and attention turns to the first leg of a Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona on Thursday. Rob Palmer and David Phillips pick up a point apiece for the away win at Mestalla.
Highlights of Real Madrid's 4-1 win over Valencia in La Liga.
MATCH 2 – MALAGA 0-0 GIRONA
Not a classic, as the scoreline would suggest, but tactically interesting. Girona were on the back foot in the first half, but Malaga couldn’t make the most of their chances and that remains their big problem. The Catalans didn’t offer much in reply, but upped their game in the second half and would surely be happier with a point from the long trip to the Costa del Sol than the home side who remain six points from safety. Girona continue in that cluster of teams in mid-table, and 11 points is a healthy advantage over the bottom three. As for our predictions, my risky 0-0 forecast came off for the maximum 10 points, while Kevin Keatings adds another point to his tally for going for the draw.
MATCH 3 – VILLARREAL 4-2 REAL SOCIEDAD
A clash of two teams with attractive styles and extremely talented players… but only one played as a team. Real Sociedad lost this game before they gave themselves the chance to fight for it with infuriating defensive errors – including from a corner as Victor Ruiz broke the deadlock and then a comedy defensive mix-up… but no one went for Victor Ruiz, so again, those first goalscorer points went begging. Villarreal found themselves 4-1 up at half-time and duly saw out a fourth win in a row in all competitions, but Real Sociedad make it four La Liga defeats on the bounce, and it continues to be a very disappointing campaign for Eusebio’s side. It’s a single point to Messrs Driscoll, Keatings and Phillips for backing the victory for the Yellow Submarine, who are in fine form in fifth place and still in with a shout of qualifying for Champions League football.
And so, the chasing pack shuffles again as Kevin Keatings eeks out his lead in the overall standings…
No huge scorers on Twitter this week, but two contributors got Ronaldo as first goalscorer at Mestalla and seven points in total – well done @SamLeveridge and @alex_farrar. Enjoy the Copa semi first legs, and we’ll release the next trio of #RevistaPredictor games on Friday on Twitter via @SkyRevista.