La Liga Round-Up: Barça flies, Real sinks

Barcelona’s triumphant win over Espanyol, Messi’s spectacular performance in the Catalonia derby, Real’s fumble in Santiago Bernabéu; review this Liga matchweek.

Reuters

Real Madrid slowed down by Levante

Madrid fielded a much less competitive starting eleven than anyone would expect; players such as Vázquez, Casillo, Llorente and Nacho were starters in a game that would be a relative nightmare for Zidane’s players. Levante would be the first team to score, following a long throw-in from Iván López that would reach Ivi López, marked by Ramos in the box; the winger performed an interesting first touch with his back facing the net, before taking a turn and tucking the ball into the back of the net.

Real Madrid’s efforts would finally come to an end when they would obtain a corner, around the thirty-five minute mark. Lucas Vázquez would receive the ball after a deflection from a Levante defender, and his quick finish would prove to be the long-awaited equalizer. This was the last goal of the game, a fixture that ended in a disappointing draw for the hosts, but nothing short of a stellar performance for the visiting team.

Barcelona onto a perfect start

Barcelona, on the other end, had quite an amazing day. Hosting Espanyol in the Barcelona derby, the Blaugranas were quite confident in their ability to win the game, as this would end up showing in the final scoreline. The first half would be very one-sided, with Messi landing a brace including a goal that appeared offside after looking at the video replay, and a nice finish in the box following a delivery from Jordi Alba.

The second half would be even worse for Espanyol. Already leading by two goals, Barça would strike yet again with Messi landing a hat-trick, before pushing in the final five minutes and scoring another two goals. Firstly through a finish from Gérard Piqué; then secondly with Luis Suarez putting in a nice finish after a perfect ball coming from the man of the day, Ousmane Dembélé. Final result, five goals to nothing for the current La Liga leaders, FC Barcelona.

Sociedad, Bilbao stay undefeated

Real Sociedad’s fairytale beginning of a season did not end this week-end, as they performed an interesting comeback against Deportivo, away from home. Despite leading by two goals only four minutes into the game, they would allow their lead to disappear just shortly after the beginning of the second half. However, their efforts at trying to win the game would not be in vain, as Llorente and Illaramendi would bag one goal each, therefore securing the win for the current La Liga second-placed team.

Their Basque counterpart would, on the other hand, stay undefeated, after a two-goal victory over recently promoted side Girona. Before striking with Iker Muniain in the first half, Athletic Bilbao would double their advantage after a perfect finish from Aduriz in the 18-yard box. This 2-0 victory would send Athletic Bilbao all the way up to fourth-place, putting them in Champions League contention.

Results:

Leganés 1-2 Getafe
Real Madrid 1-1 Levante
Valencia 0-0 Atlético Madrid
Sevilla 3-0 Eibar
Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
Deportivo 2-4 Real Sociedad
Athletic Club 2-0 Girona
Celta de Vigo 1-0 Deportivo Alavés
Villarreal 3-1 Real Betis
Málaga 1-3 Las Palmas

Najib Guiti is the man behind the curtains, as well as the founder of the eponymous news website; he has written for various different news outlets in the British, American press and has had a successful career in football news reporting, mostly through his influence and presence on social media. He aims to integrate statistics in the sport whilst keeping his analysis focused on the non-quantifiable parts of the Game such as tactics and playing style.

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