F. Albacete 0-2 FC Barcelona
As the title race enters its final furlong, the Azulgranas simply couldn't afford any slip-ups at the Ciudad Deportiva Andres Iniesta and Xavi Llorens's ladies duly delivered the goods to overcome lowly Albacete. However, it was far from plain sailing for the visitors, who were certainly made to work hard for the three points. Milagros Martinez's side produced a plucky display, in which they fought right until the last but ultimately came up just short. Jenni Hermoso was the undisputed star of the show for the Catalans as she claimed a brace, the first of which saw her bring the ball under her spell, before deftly nodding past Elena de Toro right on the stroke of half-time. The Spanish international was again on target when she rounded the hosts' custodian and tucked the ball home to put the result beyond all doubt with virtually the last act of the game.
With Barça having secured maximum points earlier on in the day, the pressure was on Las Rojiblancas to follow suit and Angel Villacampa's league leaders didn't disappoint as they saw off Betis to maintain their four-point advantage over Las Cules. The visitors soon got their noses in front at the Ciudad Deportiva Luis del Sol, with Andrea Falcon slotting home from close range to break the deadlock 14 minutes in. Atleti doubled their advantage when Marta Corredera drove into the box and beat Miriam Lopez at her near post on 37'. Despite the Sevillians' best efforts to engineer a way back into the game, no further goals were forthcoming in the second period as the leaders go marching on.
The Aragonese outfit claimed three precious points to edge themselves away from the dreaded drop zone, whilst injecting further momentum into their late push for a Copa de la Reina spot. The hosts largely bossed proceedings, but Rayo still posed a threat on the counter-attack. Zaragoza forged ahead courtesy of Sara Monforte's sweetly struck free-kick which crept just inside the left upright on 37'. Sheila Garcia restored parity for the Madrilenians in the 70th minute, only for Naima Garcia to hit a last-gasp winner for Alberto Berna's troops.
The Badajoz-based side returned to winning ways with a narrow victory over Oiartzun to extend their stay in the Copa de la Reina berths for a further matchday. Aina Torres it was who hit what proved to be the winner for Juan Carlos Antunez's team. With 19 minutes on the clock, Finnish midfielder Ria Oling set off on a driving run from the middle of the pitch and she evaded the attentions of several Oiartzun defenders, before threading the ball through to Aina, who fired home to open her account for the season. The Basques had several chances to have salvaged a point, but the hosts were ultimately left to rue their luck when the woodwork denied Eztizen Merino an equaliser.
This encounter perfectly summed up these sides' contrasting fortunes. Struggling Espanyol once again slipped to defeat and Luismi Marin will have to oversee an upturn in results if Las Pericas are to stand any chance of retaining their Liga Iberdrola status. In stark contrast, La Real extended their fine run of form by racking up another three points here. An early Elba Verges own goal saw the visitors take the lead, before Pilar Garrote restored parity. However, the San Sebastian outfit put themselves back in the driving seat courtesy of a belting Manuela Lareo strike, before Nahikari Garcia fired home to put the result beyond the hosts' reach.
These two Copa de la Reina contenders served up an intriguing battle which ultimately ended honours even. The hosts got off to a bright start and their dominance was rewarded on 15' when Jennifer Benitez played a fine pass to Cristina Martin-Prieto, who laid it on a plate for Gabriela Gutierrez to open the scoring. However, the Andalusians' joy proved to be short-lived as the islanders clawed themselves level just four minutes later. American defender Jackie Simpson leapt highest to meet a corner with a towering header which flew into the net. There were no further goals and both sides are left to reflect on a stalemate which does very little for either's bids to secure a top-eight finish.
There can be no question that the surprise result of the matchday came in the Canary Islands. Fanfi Herrera's side are in desperate need of picking up some wins if they're to hoist themselves off the bottom of the standings and that was more than evident here as the hosts came out all guns blazing. With just 30 minutes played, the islanders had raced into a two-goal lead, thanks to strikes from Celia Ruano and Nisa Perez. After the restart, Maria Jose Perez halved the deficit, but Celia struck again to hand Tacuense just their second win of the campaign.
Valencia continue to turn in impressive displays week in, week out, with Mari Paz Vilas invariably the shining light for Cristian Toro's side. The sharpshooter was once again instrumental as the Valencians tightened their grip on third spot and kept their Champions League aspirations alive with victory at Lezama.The visitors found themselves having to stage a comeback after the reigning champions drew first blood on 67' courtesy of Garazi Murua's point-blank header following a free-kick. Las Che, however, showed just why they're currently heading up the chasing pack at the top of the table, with Mari Paz bagging a brace within the space of three minutes to a secure a victory which is no nothing more than this impressive Valencia display deserved.© LaLiga - Year 2017