The Champions League

La Liga Review | Barcelona win big, Atlético lose at Mestalla and Greenwood debut

It was a hectic week in La Liga following the September international break. There was a huge win for Barcelona as they beat Real Betis 5-0. Elsewhere Athletic Club were winners against Cádiz and Real Madrid narrowly saw off Real Sociedad.

Barcelona dominance

There’s really only one place to start and that’s with Barcelona. Xavi’s men put in a thoroughly dominant display in what many have called Barça’s best performance since Xavi became manager. There were goals from new players João Félix and João Cancelo, as well as another from the in-form Ferran Torres.

The Catalan club had 66% of the possession in the game and certainly made it count. Cancelo scored a fine solo goal on his first start for the club, whilst Robert Lewandowski registered a goal and two assists to win himself the Man of the Match award.

Barça’s credentials were being questioned after their last game before the break, in which they narrowly beat Osasuna. All it needed however was some time for the new signings to settle. With quality like Cancelo and Félix, they were always likely to deliver.

Atlético embarrassed

On Saturday afternoon Valencia ran out 3-0 victors over Atlético Madrid, in what was an embarrassing display that Diego Simeone called, “Possibly the weakest performance in my time at the club”. Valencia opened the scoring after five minutes and after that, Atlético never really managed to find a foot in the game. They only produced three shots on target from 11 taken.

Valencia’s young Spanish striker Hugo Dura was the star player with two goals, and he caused Atléti’s defence problems all game. Simeone was scathing in his review of the game, and after labelling it as one of the worst performances in his tenure, it will be interesting to see what he changes going into the Champions League match against Lazio on Tuesday.

Greenwood makes debut

Controversially, Mason Greenwood made his debut for Getafe against Osasuna. He was met with a terrible reception from the Osasuna fans, who are being investigated for the language that they used. Having not played in 20 months, it’s no surprise that Greenwood lacked match fitness. He did however provide a meaningful contribution during the 15 minutes in which he played, winning the corner which led to Getafe scoring their winner.

Real Madrid fail to shine

Real Madrid were unconvincing as they overturned a deficit to come back and beat La Real. Perhaps the biggest surprise in this game was that Jude Bellingham did not manage to find the back of the net. Real Sociedad scored after five minutes and it was looking like it was going to be a long evening for Madrid in the first half. Chances were created but there was no killer instinct. Carlo Ancelotti must have given a rousing team talk however, as when Real came out for the second half, they looked in the zone and scored in the 46th and 60th minute to seal the victory.

Fran García created two assists from left back and continued his strong start to the season. The 24-year-old has impressed in his new role with increased responsibility.

Teams falter at the bottom

Almería were winless going into their game with Villarreal, and they succumbed to another defeat, this time after initially holding the lead. The game finished 2-1 in Villarreal’s favour, meaning that Almería remain rooted to the foot of the table. Their record so far reads five games played, one draw and four losses.

Las Palmas are another team who have made a poor start to the season, and lost 1-0 against Sevilla. This game was of course highlighted by the return of the legendary centre-back Sergio Ramos to Sevilla. Ramos will have been pleased with keeping a clean sheet on his debut, and delivering a strong performance to go along with it.

Japtej Ghura | GSFN

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