39 goals in 9 games: La Liga goalfest dazzles

The battle at the top of Spain's football league seems more contested than ever after Barcelona, Atlético and Real Madrid thrashed their opponents 4-0, 7-0 and 5-0 respectively.

39 goals in 9 games: La Liga goalfest dazzles
Atlético's Diego Costa scored one of the best goals of the season with an amazing overhead kick against Getafe on Saturday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Barça were first to showcase their class by netting four past middle-table Granada at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

The Catalan tiki-taka masters (the short passing and quick style of play they are characterized by) cruised past their opposition without the help of their star player Messi, who will be out for several weeks due a tear to his femoral biceps on his left leg.

First-half penalties from Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas put the Catalansin command at the break.

Granada were then left to play the final quarter of the game with 10 men asManuel Iturra was shown a second yellow card.

Alexis Sanchez added a third soon after from Neymar's pass before Pedro Rodriguez rounded off the scoring a minute from time.

Watch Barça-Granada goals here

Next to run riot against their opposition were Real Madrid.

It took Ronaldo less than three minutes to register his 14th goal in his last seven games for club and country as he flicked home Isco's cross to give Madrid the lead.

However, he then had to be replaced by Jesé Rodriguez just six minutes into the second-half as he hobbled off down the tunnel.

Despite losing their star man, Madrid were rampant in the final half houras Karim Benzema made the game safe before Bale, Isco and Alvaro Morata rounded off the scoring.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is confident that Ronaldo's injury will not keep him sidelined for a significant period of time.

Watch Almería-Real Madrid highlights here

On-form Atlético were by no means prepared to let Spain’s big two leave them lagging behind, as they hammered city rivals Getafe 7-0 at the Vicente Calderón Stadium.

Raul Garcia and a Lopo own goal put the hosts 2-0 up before the break.

And after Juan Valera's red card had seen the visitors reduced to 10 men, David Villa bundled home from close range before Garcia headed home his second of the evening.

Diego Simeone then introduced Diego Costa on his return from injury and he took just eight minutes to produce a stunning overhead kick into the top corner for Atletico's fifth.

Villa then tapped home his second before Adrian Lopez completed the scoring in stoppage time.

Watch Atlético-Getafe highlights here

Other goal flurries seen this weekend include Real Sociedad’s 4-3 home win over Celta de Vigo, with all four goals by the Basques scored by Mexican striker Carlos Vela.

Then on Sunday the Seville derby saw Betis lose 4-0 to their arch-rivals Sevilla and Barcelona side Espanyol won 4-1 against Rayo Vallecano.

All in all, it was a weekend to remember as a total of 39 goals were scored in 9 games.

Who said Spanish football was all about passing?

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Thousands of Atletico fans flock to Madrid’s Neptune fountain to cheer league victory

Thousands of Atletico Madrid fans defied the authorities by taking to the streets of the Spanish capital to celebrate on Saturday night after victory over Real Valladolid secured their team an 11th league title.

Thousands of Atletico fans flock to Madrid's Neptune fountain to cheer league victory
Spanish policemen stand guard around Atletico Madrid´s supporters outside the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

As soon as the full-time whistle blew in Valladolid to confirm a 2-1 win, Atleti supporters flocked to the Neptune fountain in the centre of Madrid, in
line with tradition but defying Covid-19 rules regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing.

“I was confident Atletico would win. It was like a final and being against Valladolid, I knew we were going to win,” Federico Gonzalez, 46, and among the crowds, told AFP.

A large police presence surrounded the fountain, with several vans also present to prevent people from approaching the fountain, which had been lit up in Atletico’s red and white colours.

Fans waved flags and scarves while others set off flares as darkness fell, the celebrations going on into the night after Atletico’s second La Liga title in seven years.

“It is a joy. From the beginning of the game I was overcome with nerves because Atleti plays each game in its own way and you just never know”, said Carlota Maestro, 20, who came to the city centre with three friends.

Amid shouts of “Atleti, Atleti” and “Campeones”, the rojiblancos fans danced, jumped and hugged each other. Cars and motorbikes drove by honking
their horns, some with red and white flags poking out of the windows.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant Atletico’s fans have not been allowed to attend matches this season and their celebrations defied the recommendations of the authorities.

Fans ignored rules on social distancing and many were not wearing masks. “Please, I ask the Atletico fans not to go to Neptune,” wrote the mayor of
Madrid, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, himself an Atletico supporter, on Twitter. “I am the first to understand the desire to celebrate but this is not the time.”

“It is a strange celebration, because we have not been able to do it like normal, on the field, surrounded by other fans,” said Pablo Diaz, a 22-year-old fan. “We celebrate it but with a little fear, being careful, and wearing a mask.”

Hundreds of other fans had accompanied the team to Valladolid, where they watched the game on their phones in the car park outside the stadium.

After the match, Atletico’s ran out of the stadium to celebrate with the supporters they had not seen all season.