Gruesome injuries mar victories by Madrid & Barcelona
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 12, 2017 10:29 AM
FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez, center, gestures after scoring a goal, in front Alaves's goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco, during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves, at Mendizorroza stadium, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Saturday, Feb.11, 2017. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Gruesome injuries marred victories by Real Madrid and Barcelona on Saturday, as both powerhouses won on the road to stay atop the Spanish league.
Madrid needed goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon to beat bottom-side Osasuna by a hard-fought 3-1. Two players were carried off on stretchers.
Osasuna's Cayetano Bonnin was the more serious. He broke both the tibia and the fibula of his right leg when he knocked legs with Isco.
Madrid defender Danilo was also taken to a hospital in Pamplona after he couldn't continue in the second half when an Osasuna player stomped on his left ankle.
Barcelona's big three of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Neymar led a 6-0 rout at Alaves that included another nasty injury to teammate Aleix Vidal, and a violent clash between rival fans.
Vidal was carried off near the end of the game and taken to a hospital after a sliding challenge from Theo Hernandez. Barcelona said Vidal would be sidelined for five months with a displaced right ankle.
"We feel horrible for him and for the team," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.
After barely playing in the first half of the season, Vidal earned a spot in Luis Enrique's rotation in recent weeks.
Before the game, fans from both teams fought near Mendizorroza Stadium in the Basque city of Vitoria. Both clubs condemned the violence. Alaves said it would take action against any of its club members if they were involved.
OSASUNA 1, REAL MADRID 3
Ronaldo scored his 14th league goal past goalie Salvatore Sirigu, but Osasuna forward Sergio Leon coolly chipped goalie Keylor Navas on the break to level in the 33rd minute.
Isco restored Madrid's lead in the 62nd after a mistake by Osasuna's defense allowed Karim Benzema into the box.
Leon was twice denied by Navas in the second half in a dignified performance by an Osasuna side that saw its winless streak reach 14 rounds.
Substitute Lucas Vazquez added a third goal for Madrid just before the whistle.
"I said we would have difficulties here, and that was so," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "There isn't such a big difference between the leader and the last-place team. We know we can't relax and have to keep this going until the end."
Madrid, which has two games in hand, remained one point ahead of Barcelona.
ALAVES 0, BARCELONA 6
Suarez struck twice to continue his excellent scoring form with 10 goals in his last nine appearances across all competitions. He is on pace to repeat as La Liga's leading scorer with 18, followed closely by Messi with 17.
Suarez also played a part in two more goals, while defender Alexis Ruano added an own goal on a dismal day for the hosts.
Alaves will have more than three months to prepare for its next meeting with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on May 27.
At least Alaves can count on Suarez not playing in that final due to a one-game suspension.
The Basque club had no answer for Suarez on Saturday.
Suarez opened the scoring in the 37th minute when he completed a beautiful team buildup that quickly moved the ball from left to right of the attack before Suarez was left to fire in Vidal's low cross.
Suarez's hustle helped double the advantage in the 40th when goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco swatted a ball off Suarez's head. The ball bounced right to Neymar to tap in.
Messi drilled a left-footed shot between Pacheco's legs after he stole the ball from Carlos Vigaray near Alaves' goal in the second half.
Alaves wilted when Ruano knocked in an own goal trying to stop Messi after Suarez set him up. Suarez started a counterattack that produced a goal by Ivan Rakitic, and Suarez took his second goal two minutes later when he blasted in a rebound.
ATHLETIC BILBAO 2, DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1
Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz scored with a minute remaining to complete Athletic Bilbao's comeback.
REAL BETIS 0, VALENCIA 0
The scoreless stalemate that increased the winless streaks of both teams.