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Sunday, 18 November 2012 21:36

Real thump Athletic; Deportivo drop into relegation zone

Portuguese in La Liga Round-Up

Nelson-Betis.jpgAfter a none-too-exciting match against Gabon in Libreville on Wednesday, Portugal's internationals returned to their parent clubs across Europe. Read on for the latest on Portuguese involvement in the 12th round of matches in Spain.

Real Madrid 5-1 Athletic Bilbao

Los Merengues solidified their third place position behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona by thrashing Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo, who suffered a gruesome looking injury last weekend at Levante, made a full recovery and played 90 minutes alongside fellow Portugal internationals Pepe and Fábio Coentrão.
Ronaldo has scored 19 goals in all competitions this year to lead the capital club, but one must be beginning to wonder what it will take to catch a rampant Barcelona side who have only dropped two points in 12 rounds played in La Liga.

Deportivo La Coruna 0-2 Levante

A series of unfortunate circumstances played a large role in consigning Deportivo to defeat against Levante this afternoon. The La Liga club with the largest contingent of Portuguese on its roster lost both of its centre backs within a half hour, and were then forced to play midfielder Alex Bergantinos in goal after Aranzubia was dismissed in the second half. The day's events were particularly bitter for Zé Castro, who has recently taken ownership of a regular starting position for Deportivo, but was forced off with an injury to his left calf in only the 14th minute. 
Bruno Gama also started for the visitors, but was far less effective going forward without his partner in crime Pizzi, who was suspended. The loss sees Deportivo drop into the relegation zone with only 10 points taken from 12 matches played.
Elsewhere, Helder Postiga was briefly in action against Barcelona, coming on in the 73rd minute of a 3-1 defeat to the current La Liga leaders. Postiga has already scored six goals for Zaragoza this season after having scored only nine all last season.
Eliseu played another full match for Malaga on Saturday.  Duda also made a brief cameo, but was unable to turn the tide in a 0-0 stalemate with Osasuna, a result which sees them drop out of 4th place in league play.  

Betis hammered in Seville derby

Nélson and Real Betis had the opportunity to leapfrog Malaga and Levante into 4th with a win against Sevilla, but it was sadly not to be as they were subjected to a first half barrage in Sevilla which saw them 4-0 down at halftime.  

Champions League action returns in midweek, with Malaga paying a visit to Bruno Alves' Zenit St. Petersburg and Jose Mourinho and Co. taking on big spending Manchester City, both on Wednesday.

by Nathan Motz

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