2019/20 in Pictures: Games 35-38

2020 is off to a great start with four games back in Madrid over the last two weekends.

Game 3️⃣5️⃣

The first game of 2020 saw me break new ground by heading to a new stadium and, in a first for the blog, attending a women’s match in Spain.

Atlético Madrid Femenino are two-time defending champions of the Liga Iberdrola, although they currently trail Barcelona in this season’s title race. They were expected to coast past visitors Sporting Huelva, who to my eternal shame, I never managed to go and watch while I was living in the city, even though one of my former students plays for them.

Atleti started brightly and took the lead from the penalty spot after 21 minutes, Spanish international Angela Sosa converting. They were mostly on the front foot, getting particular joy from the runs of their overlapping full backs Aleixandri and Strom, but there were no further goals in the first half, Atletico’s Dutch goalkeeper Van Veenendal needing to pull off an Oblak-esque save to preserve their lead.

The second half continued in a similar fashion with Atlético dominating but unable to score and Sporting looking to hold out and break quickly. It was entertaining stuff and I’m amazed that there weren’t further goals.

The Ciudad Deportiva Wanda is a great place to watch football too, I’ll definitely be back!

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Match Cost: €10 💶

Game 3️⃣6️⃣

Uncertain of where to go on a chilly Sunday morning and not wanting to travel too far, I settled on heading back to an old favourite from last year and was rewarded with a low-key game of the season contender.

Both Canillas and San Agustín de Guadalix suffered relegation from last season’s Tercera and are currently mid-table in the Preferente. But the entertainment values they served up were La Liga quality.

Well, in the second half at least. The first half saw the visitors enjoy the better of the play and go in with a 1-0 lead. But a goal blitz from Canillas inside the first 15 minutes of the half turned the game on its head.

From 1-0 down, they fired in three unanswered goals to take total control of the game. The pick of these was definitely the second, a fine free kick from Chengue which went in via the post – which always adds to the aesthetic value of a goal.

There were a few nerves amongst the home fans when San Agustín pulled a goal back in stoppage time but these were swiftly reassured as Luis Mayor swept the ball home up at the other end to complete the scoring.

Match Rating: 8.5/10

Match Cost: Free! 💶

Game 3️⃣7️⃣

The sixth Derbí Histórico in La Liga was over as a contest before it really got going.

Leganés entered their first home game of the new year buoyed by an upturn in form under Javier Aguirre and knew that a win would see them out of the bottom three (at least temporarily) for the first time all season. But Getafe were in no mood to play ball.

José Bordalas’ side are underrated by a lot of people, there’s much more to them than being solid at the back and good at scoring from set pieces. Admittedly being both of those things helps and it was a classically simple goal that set them on their way, Leandro Cabrera rising above the Leganés defence to power home a header from Damian Suarez’s cross.

The previous Derbi Histórico at Butarque had seen Allan Nyom be Leganés hero with a vital equaliser, but on this occasion, he returned in the colours of Getafe and was singled out for the kind of treatment you would expect (all that was missing was the shouts of “Judas” you’d get back at home) and looked a little over-keen to make an impression, earning a booking for a clumsy challenge on 15 minutes. And then he scored…

It was a great header, climbing at the back post to meet Marc Cucurella’s inswinging cross and watching it clip in off the bar. He then set off to celebrate with a knee slide in front of the Leganés fans in the corner before embarking on a mini lap of honour to celebrate with the Getafe fans. It was entirely unsurprising when Bordalas subbed him off with half an hour gone, there’s no way he would have avoided a second booking in the hour that remained.

After the Nyom show was brought to a premature end, Getafe ended the match as a contest, but Leganés were extremely complicent in their own downfall. Two defenders went for the same ball on the halfway line and took each other out, gifting the ball to Jorge Molina who had a clear run on goal and then unselfishly squared the ball to his strike partner Jaime Mata for a simple tap-in.

The second half was a non-event, Leganés offered nothing to turn the game around while Getafe knew there work was done and toyed with their rivals at will. Molina and Mata had the Lega defence on a string, pulling them all over the place and it was probably a relief for the home fans to hear the final whistle.

Non-footballing highlight of the night must go to the new chorizo frito bocata, a worthy successor to the lomo y queso!

Match Rating: 7/10

Match Cost: €40 💶

Game 3️⃣8️⃣

Since I last visited the Vicente Del Bosque in November, Adarve have been wobbling. In seven games since that victory over Trival Valderas, they have won only once and lost six times.

Victory over Flat Earth then, was absolutely essential if they weren’t to slip out of the promotion play-off picture. The first half was a scrappy affair, with more entertainment coming from the band playing in the stand than anything happening on the pitch.

The second half definitely improved but we had to wait until the 79th minute for the only goal of the game. Miguel Ángel Herranz scored it and I think I’ll just let the video do the talking.

A contender for one of the best goals I’ve seen this season and one worthy of winning any game.

Match Rating: 6.5/10

Match Cost:  (€25 Season Ticket) 💶

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