La Liga Week 13: Málaga Decimates Valencia; Rayo, Valladolid Win

It may be true that the Liga has been decided. Real Madrid's shocking loss to Real Betis this evening will allow Barcelona to go 11 points up on los blancos with around half the season left to play. But just because that part of the Liga is decided doesn't mean that there aren't other intriguing matches and story lines on the docket.

Today's games were a perfect example: while Madrid's fall from grace may be the story of the week, Malaga's 4-0 demolishing of Valencia might be the more telling game. Málaga was just head and shoulders above their northern rivals, dominating every aspect of the game--no small feet from a team that lost its' coach and best player over the summer. But the malagueños have continued to shock the pundits all year, with tonight's convincing victory just one more in a series of impressing moments.

Some writers chalked this one up to Valencia's ineptitude, but I really don't think that is how to spin this. Valencia is a solid, albeit streaky team; Málaga is showing us that they're more than that. This result went a long way in proving that Málaga are legitimate challengers for top-3 honors.

Additionally, Valladolid continue to show why pundits thought they'd do well in Primera, showcasing a solid, grind-it-out win over probably-going-down Granada. Valladolid are the kind of team people like me love to watch--they're spunky, move the ball around well, use the pitch well, and have a tough time defending on occasion. A perfect combination for excitement.

Rayo Vallecano showed why they're still in Primera; Mallorca showed us why everyone thinks the island side will take their first trip down to Segunda in a while. Mallorca are trapped right now, and it's pretty sad: they are light-years away from the battling, pesky side that gave teams like Madrid and Barça a run for their money.

Finally, Osasuna and Real Sociedad battled through a rather listless draw. Not that much to say there, outside of noting that neither side seemed to really care all that much. But that seems to be a rather normal occurrence when Osasuna aren't on their game.

Saturday Recap:

Málaga 4-0 Valencia
Real Sociedad 0-0 Osasuna
Rayo 2-0 Mallorca
Valladolid 1-0 Granada
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