La Liga: prodigal Reyes finds form for derby demolition
Sevilla winger scores twice against Betis in 5-1 thrashing, while Atlético Madrid enjoy their finest ever start to a season.
By Guy Hedgecoe
He has exasperated fans and coaches wherever he has played. Sevilla, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Benfica and then Sevilla again. He started out as the 16-year-old boy wonder with the world at his feet and while he has reached plenty of heights during his career, in recent years the feeling is that his is a talent unfulfilled.
José Antonio Reyes, now 29, has been one of Spanish football’s greatest enigmas of the last decade and some would say one of its biggest disappointments. But on Sunday night, the Sevilla winger reminded la liga why he was once talked about with such awe.
It didn’t take him long to make his mark on the Andalusian derby – 14 seconds, in fact. Betis goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel scooped the ball clumsily out of his area and Reyes scampered onto it, burst towards the goal and fired home a lethal left footer. One of the Spain’s oldest rivalries was effectively put to bed five minutes later, as Federico Fazio headed home from an Ivan Rakitic freekick to make it 2-0. A rampant Reyes then deftly swept in a rebound for his second before firing an inch-perfect cross which Fazio headed home.
Rakitic scored in injury time after Betis had clawed back a fig-leaf of dignity with a goal from Rubén Castro to make it 5-1.
“I’ve never scored so quickly. I’m delighted to score – and even more so against Betis,” said man-of-the-match Reyes. His coach, Míchel, hailed a first half of “absolute perfection” and the performance of his mercurial winger.
Going into the match, Betis had been enjoying an unusually good season, sitting fifth in the table, with Sevilla 10th. But the win puts Sevilla just one point and one place behind their rivals and within spitting distance of the European places, making this game about more than just cross-city bragging rights.
Elsewhere, a goal from Arda Turan against Granada gave Atlético Madrid their 10th win in 12 games – their best ever start to a season. Atlético approach the December 1 Madrid derby in second place, five points ahead of Real Madrid. The only bad news for the side were the ongoing rumours that star striker Radamel Falcao could be heading for the English league in the New Year or at the end of the season.
Barcelona beat Zaragoza 3-1, with two goals and an assist from Leo Messi, while Real Madrid hit some of their best form of the season during a 5-1 win against Athletic Bilbao.
Real Sociedad 4 – 0 Rayo Vallecano
Sevilla 5 – 1 Betis
Granada 0 – 1 Atlético Madrid
Getafe 2- 1 Valladolid
Celta Vigo 1 – 1 Mallorca
Deportivo A Coruña 0 – 2 Levante
Real Madrid 5 – 1 Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona 3 – 1 Zaragoza
Valencia 2 – 1 Espanyol
Osasuna 0 – 0 Málaga
Next: Catalan election offers Mas hope of independence mandate
Previous: Pound falls as UK faces triple-dip recession
Published: Nov 20 2012
Category: Spain News, Sports
Republication: Creative Commons, non-commercial
Short URL: http://iberosphere.com/?p=7301
You can follow any responses to this entry via RSS 2.0
Tags: barcelona, la liga, Liga, Messi, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Spain football, spain soccer, spanish football, Spanish soccer