La Liga Week 7 review: Top Spanish teams drop points By @zikson_b
Top Spanish La Liga teams will be hoping to get back to their best on resumption from the international break in a fortnight. Villareal remain on top going into the international break with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletico Madrid all failing to capitalise on the Yellow Submarines’ disappointing result over the weekend.
Starting the week 7 round of matches, Getafe did well to hold an in-form Celta Vigo side to a goalless draw at Estadio Municipal de Balaidos in an encounter dominated by the host, Celta. This leaves Celta Vigo 3rd on the log with 15 points and Getafe 14th with 7points. Granada remains at the bottom of the table with their 1-1 home draw with Deportivo La Coruna. Piti equalised for the host in the second half to cancel out Faycal Fajr first half opener for Deportivo leaving the visitors 6th on the table.
In one of the three away wins at the weekend, Eibar stayed 7th with a 2-0 win at 19th placed Las Palmas. Goals in either halves from Saul Perez and Borja Baston were enough to maintain Eibar’s good start to the season. Felipe Caicedo missed a first half penalty as Espanyol lost at home to Sporting Gijon. Alen Halinovic was on hand to give Gijon an early lead but Caicedo failed to put the host level when he missed from the spot. However, the Ecuadorian atoned for his earlier miss by getting Espanyol level in the second half before a late Alex Menedez strike gave Gijon a 2-1 win. A goal each from Westermann and Ruben Castro helped Real Betis secure a 2-1 away win at Rayo Vallecano. Malaga moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this season with their first win of the season against Real Sociedad. Despite losing Fernando Tissone to a second half red card, Malaga held on to win 3-1 with a hattrick from Charles. Imanol Agirretxe’s strike for Sociedad did little to get any point for David Moyes’ team.
Although Valencia started well at San Mames with Daniel Parejo opening the scoring but Athletico Bilbao did well to get a comeback win in front of their fans. Aymeric Laporte got the equaliser 13 minutes after Parejo’s opener. Markel Susaeta and Aritz Aduriz added two second half goals to help Athletic to a 3-1 home win. One of the surprising results of the weekend was Levante’s home win against league leaders, Villareal. The host got a late goal to get maximum points against a 10-man Villareal who slumped to their first defeat of the season. Villareal had Bojan Jokic sent off in the 36th minute but it took a Deyverson strike 7 minute from time to secure the big win for Levante.
Barcelona lost their first match since Lionel Messi’s injury when they visited Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. It was one of the anticipated matches of the weekend but Luis Enrique will be left fuming with his team hitting the woodwork three times and falling behind early in the second half. Two goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half from Krohn-Dehli and Vicente Iborra pushed Sevilla into a 2-0 lead before Neymar got Barcelona a consolation goal from the spot. Barcelona’s push for an equaliser in the last 15 minutes came to nothing as the defending champions lost their second match of the season.
Luciano Vietto got his first goal for Athletico Madrid to deny Real Madrid a chance to go top of the table going into the international break. In a much anticipated Madrid derby, Karim Benzema put the visitors ahead in the 9th minute but Real Madrid failed to add to their tally and had Keylor Navas saved a first half penalty from Antoine Griezmann. However, substitute Luciano Vietto did well to score from close range with 6 minutes of regulation time left. The 127th Madrid derby ended 1-1 with both teams separated by 2 points on the table.
Despite their loss, Villareal stayed top of the table with 16 points, one ahead of the next three teams; Real Madrid, Celta Vigo and Barcelona. Athletico Madrid sits fifth with 13 points. Win has become difficult to come by as just 4 points separate teams in the bottom half of the table. Granada remained bottom with 4 points. Las Palmas is placed 19th, Levante 18th with Malaga moving to 17th and Real Sociedad on 16th.
Malaga’s Charles scored the only hattrick of the weekend in Malaga’s 3-1 win over Real Sociedad. Karim Benzema moved to the top of the highest goal scorers’ chart with his goal at the weekend. The Frenchman now has 6 goals leaving Cristiano Ronaldo, Nolito and Agirretxe all on 5 goals. Gareth Bale returned to action as a substitute at the weekend but failed to add to his three assists. Nolito, Soldado, Lora and Mallo are all joint top with Bale with three assists to their names each. Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas leads the clean sheet slate with five followed by Athletico Madrid’s Oblak’s four.