The second round of group games took place in the Copa Del Burro last night. Four sides playing their second game, and four sides making their debut in the competition.
As with the opening week, the four fixtures last night through up their share of action and surprises. The story of the night played out like this.
Group A – Villarreal v Atletico Madrid Att: 6,167
Villareal played host to Atletico last night, hoping to get off to a winning start in front of their own fans. Atletico on the other hand, were looking to kick start their competition after a 5-0 mauling at the hands of city rivals Real last week.
It was the home team who had the first opportunity, with Sandro forcing Oblak into a save. The keeper getting the ball out for a corner after just 5 minutes.
The visitors then had a half chance on 17, but 10 minutes later the visitors made the breakthrough. Nani threaded the ball through to Correa, and the young striker made no mistake to put Atletico a goal ahead.
The rest of the half was quite entertaining, with end to end action, and both keepers being forced into saves.
The second half was very tame by comparison. A couple of opportunities in the last 10 minutes, but the visitors managed to close the game out and seal their first points of the competition.
Group B – Levante v Athletic Club Att: 6,867
Levante were the second side playing their first ‘Del Burro’ game last night. The fourth division side played host to Athletic Club. The side from Bilbao have recently been taken over by Gareth Crisp, and he has started to improve the clubs results.
The run of form looked set to continue for the north coast club, with Mbokani firing home with the first opportunity of the night on 13 minutes, after being put in by the incredible Hulk.
The away side continued to press, but on 26, the home side broke clear and Chilean Jean Beausejour scored his 4th of the season.
The second half started quickly, with Draxler almost beating Ruddy with a dipping effort. As the half wore on, Levante were put under more and more pressure. Draxler, Hulk, and Korkorin all causing the home side no end of problems.
It came to a head in the 82nd minued, with Isreal Jimenez recieving his marching orders after a poor challenge on Draxler. If anything though, this seemed to spur the home side on. Simao & N’Jie both had half chances in the last few minutes.
At the final whistle though, Parfitt was proudof the way his side stood up to the battering, and was pleased with the point. Crisp however, will be astonished that his side didnt take all 3, and will be searching for the answer in the bottom of a packet of cheese and onion.
Group C – Sporting v Sevilla Att: 9,018
The third game saw Sporting of Portugal host Spanish side Sevilla. Being Portugal v Spain, it promised fireworks, and a booking in the first minute for Aquilani set it up.
From the resultant free kick, Fischer hit the woodwork for the visitors. Sporting then had chances of their own, Slimani calling on Pimparel first, and less than 60 seconds later, Jefferson pulled another fine save from the Sevilla custodian.
The yellow cards were flying, Machin Viloto booked on 17 and Parejo on 24. There were chances at both ends in between times too, as the game continued at a great pace.
The goal that had been promised from the outset finally arrived on 40. Banega finishing off Fischer’s through ball.
Just after the hour mark, Aquilani picked up his second yellow, and saw the inevitable red. The game continued at a ferocious pace, with cards and chances flying past.
We also saw the unusual move of a goalkeeper being replaced. Houdini optingto give reserve goalie Neto 15 minutes at the end.
The game finished 1 – 0 Sevilla, but really couldhave gone either way, and really cold have been 3 each. A tremendous game of football, and one that will have supporters looking forward to the return fixture.
Group D – Malaga v Espanyol Att: 7,031
The group D game between Malaga & Espanyol was another fabulous game of football. The home side were ahead as early as the 6th minute, Rosales putting his side ahead.
It didnt take long for Espanyol to equalise however. Weimann and Huddlestine linked up, with Weimann finishing off the move.
That was it for the goals in the first half, but things warmed up in the second half. Just two minutes in, and there was a free kick for the homeside. Kaka swung the ball in, and Hemed went close.
Both sides made changes on the hour, and on 63 Pitroipa restored Malaga’s lead with a fine effort.
10 minutes from time, and experienced Czech Rosicky looked to have stolen a point for Espanyol. But had he….? Nope. Hemed won it for the home side three minutes from time. Another great game in what is fast becoming a teriffic competition.
There are four more tasty looking fixtures again next week. The big boys are in action as Real Madrid host Villarreal of division 5 in group A. Group B sees Barcelona host Levante, the club founded by Barcelona fans over a century ago. In group C it’s Sevilla hosting Porto, and in group D Malaga have a rest week as Espanyol host Celta Vigo.
Team of the week
|J Oblak A. Madrid|
|I Jimenez Levante|
|Jucilei A. Club|
|Hulk A. Club|
|D. Mbokani A. Club|