Europe's Elite: La Liga – Gameweek Round-up 2
Getafe 2-2 Almería
Getafe were looking to make amends for a weak display against La Real last week, but they started badly. Conceding twice before the break, despite Lafita scoring a good header left them 2-1 down at HT. Not much went right for either team after that, with the game having far too many bad challenges. Late in the game however, Getafe goalscorer Lafita was brought down by Almería’s right back Rafita. Diego Castro stepped up and converted, giving the home side their share of the points.
Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Osasuna
Athletic go into this clash in good form, having beaten Valladolid last time out. This game took place in La Real’s stadium as Bilbao’s own stadium is still being built. Osasuna fell behind on the half hour mark to an own goal by their centre back Arribas. Similar to the Getafe game, both sides battled it out producing little until the 82? when De Marcos settled the game after coming on as a sub. Osasuna had over 60% possession but Athletic did much more with the ball.
Elche 1-1 Real Sociedad
La Real fielded a slightly weakened team, Griezmann absent and some younger players such as Pardo getting their chance. Elche played at a high tempo and scored after just 2 minutes, Coro reacting first from a corner. La Real looked sloppy and were misplacing passes, but after the break seemed to switch on and dominated. Piling on the pressure, Elche sit back and allowed Vela to equalise with 15 mins to go from a scuffed shot. In a match they looked to be losing control of La Real ended disappointed to finish with just a point.
Espanyol 3-1 Valencia
What looked to be a fairly straightforward 3 points for Valencia at the Cornellá turned out to be much tougher than they’d imagined. Espanyol coming off a slightly disappointing result last week were seemingly going in that direction again when Postiga put Valencia ahead early on. However, Espanyol seemed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck from here on and went on to score twice (López, Stuani) by 47 mins. They were creating a good amount of chances with much less possession and Thievy sealed the win for the Catalans in the last minute.
Villarreal 2-1 Valladolid
Villarreal came into this match of the back of a fantastic win while Valladolid had narrowly lost to Bilbao on the opening weekend. These streaks continued, however Guerra gave Valladolid a nice lead after 4 mins. Villarreal had equalised by half time, Dos Santos converting a penalty to the delight of El Madrigal. Left midfielder Cani gave ‘The Yellow Submarine’ all three points with a stunning strike in the 83rd minute, Valladolid left empty handed.
Atlético Madrid 5-0 Rayo Vallecano
‘Los franjirrojos’ came into this Madrid derby after an impressive attacking display against Elche, but the Vicente Calderón seemed a step to far for them especially defensively. They were torn apart numerous times by a strong Atléti attack including the likes of Costa and Garcíá who finished with at least a goal each. Arda Turan was mercurial in midfield, playing expertly timed through balls to goal hungry strikers. It ended up being humiliation for Rayo, with Garcíá (x2), Costa, Turan and Tiago racking up five between them.
Levante 0-0 FC Sevilla
Not all goalless draws are incredibly boring and tedious to watch… but this was. A very weak Levante will be very happy with a point against Champions League hunting Sevilla. The only bonus for them is that fellow CL rivals Valencia dropped 3 points this week too, an away point not too bad in that respect. New Sevilla signing Kevin Gameiro started up front with on-loan Marin behind and an appearance for Iborra will be a plus for their fans at least. Levante looked badly in need of attacking threat and you worry for them this season.
Málaga 0-1 FC Barcelona
As we know, Málaga have lost an array of top players that helped them do so well this season. That said, this performance can be put down as a positive, restraining Barca’s attacking threat to a long range strike from Adriano. Messi was out for the Catalans and Neymar came on as a substitute but don’t let that take away from a valiant Málaga team. After being quite poor last week they almost nicked a point here, Valdés being called into action to save a header from Férnandez and a shot from the excellent Tissone late on.
Real Betis 1-2 Celta de Vigo
Betis played very well against Los Blancos in their last game, so would be expecting a win against much weaker opposition at home. Not so. After an eventful yet goalless first 45 minutes, Celta kicked on with two new signings combining for their first; Nolito crossing for Charles to score. The Brazilian seems to be in inspired form. Nolito then scored himself, and Ruben Castro came off the bench to score a consolation goal for the home side in the dying minutes. Fairly disappointing by Betis’ standards as they are looking to achieve at least another Europa League spot this year.
Granada CF 0-1 Real Madrid
Granada beat Madrid in this fixture last season, with them coming out 1-0 victors. The opposite scoreline emerged here, Karim Benzema giving Los Blancos the advantage in the 10th minute. There was a lot of speculation surrounding Benzema, Di Maria and even Mezut Ozil before this game, with the German being substituted just after the hour mark. He supposedly stormed down the tunnel, fuelling transfer rumours and the like. For now, Real have 6 points after 2 games.
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