Hola a todos!!
So welcome back to another update in the race to be crowned champions of Spain, lots of good games to bring you and of course lots of last minute deals! I don’t think I can bring you them all as there were loads! But I will try to name some of the bigger signings in and out from the world of La Liga.
Real Madrid finally concluded the deal to bring in Luka Modric but Mourinho went back to his old club signing Michael Essien on a seasons long loan. That was the end of Lassana Diarra’s Real Madrid days and he left for Russia for around €6 million euro’s and only on loan as well! Miku left Getafe on a free to join Celtic, whilst Pablo Hernandez left Valencia to join the Spanish revolution in Swansea for €9 million. Celta signed Arsenal forward Park-Chu Young on loan and Mallorca signed former Barcelona star Giovani dos Santos from Tottenham for €1 million.
Affelay left Barca on loan to Schalke, Granero left Real Madrid for QPR for €9 million and Malaga swooped for Roque Santa Cruz, Javier Saviola and Onyewu all on free transfers.
In the Super Cup second leg is was advantage Real Madrid after a 2-1 victory over ten man Barcelona saw them win on away goals, Higuain and Ronaldo put the home side into a strong lead then Barcelona full back Adriano was red carded and forced to play over an hour with ten men.
Cue Lionel Messi to score just before half time and set up a tense finish but Barca just couldn’t get the second despite a frantic finish.
In the UEFA Super Cup defending Champions league winners Chelsea were put to the sword by a rampant Atletico Madrid, I did say that this would not be a routine victory for the former Premiership champions as Chelsea struggled to cope with the pace of a very good looking Atletico side and should have behind when Felipe crossed for Falcao who’s shot hit the bar, Koke was fouled after but no penalty was given.
Then stepped up Falcao who I said was the best striker in Spain, he had far to much pace and power for the Chelsea back line as his finish showed a man full of confidence as he clipped the ball over the keeper. His second was sublime finish as he showed poise and quality as he guided his left footed effort into the top corner to a clearly stunned Chelsea defence.
Chelsea couldn’t cope with the high pressing and lighting counter attacks and were punished further, Turan the creator and Falcao with a stunning first half hat-trick. Atletico looked inspired as chances came and went as at times Chelsea had no answers for the Spanish side, Miranda made it four and even his finish was quality from a defender! Chelsea responded late on but were on the day totally outclassed if any team can compete for the champions of La Liga Atletico definitely made there statement.
So onto the round-up of La Liga :-
Celta Vigo 2 – 0 Osasuna
Celta Vigo (4-4-2) – Varas, Cabral, Tunez, Castro, Lago, Fernandez, Oubina, Alex Lopez, Krohn-Dehli, Bermejo, Aspas
Osasuna (4-4-2) – Andres, Echaide, Bertran, Flano, Arribas, Tamia, Loe, Annan, Cejudo, Sisi, Lamah
Celta claimed their first victory back in La Liga after a comfortable two zero victory at home to Osasuna who looked a shadow of the side that almost upset Barcelona in round two. They opened the scoring in the second half when a cross from Augusto Fernandez was glanced in by the lively Iago Aspas for a deserved opener, in the last moment of the game Barmejo took advantage of a hesitant Osasuna defence to seal a fantastic home win for Celta. It confirms a terrible start for Osasuna who have now lost all thee games in La Liga and are struggling a little bit.
Goals : Aspas 69′, Barmejo 94′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Iago Aspas, great header from the Celta front man and looked bright all game.
Real Zaragoza 0 – 1 Malaga
Real Zaragoza (4-5-1) – Roberto, Pinter, Paredes, Abraham, Goni, Alvaro, Montanes, Romaric, Mari, Wilchez, Postiga
Malaga (4-3-3) – Caballero, Gamez, Monreal, Demichelis, Weligton, Camacho, Toulalan, Isco, Eliseu, Joaquin, Olinga
Malaga continue to make a strong start with their second win of the season, having qualified for the group stage of the Champions league they managed to build on their four points to make seven with a narrow victory over Real Zaragoza. Zaragoza blew two great opportunities and were made to pay when Eliseu’s corner was met by the head of Spanish midfielder Ignacio Camacho in a game with very little action, but Malaga continue to go well despite losing a handful of first team players at the beginning of the season.
Goals : Camacho 57′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Isco, a very lively performance in a game lacking any quality as he showed he is a star in the making.
Deportivo 1 – 1 Getafe
Deportivo (4-5-1) – Aranzubia, Pablo, Marchena, Aythami, Evaldo, Dominguez, Aguilar, Gama, Valeron, Pizzi, Riki
Getafe (4-5-1) – Moya, Valera, Lopo, Alexis, Miguel Torres, Michel, Xavi Torres, Leon, Lafita, Barrada, Colunga
Getafe followed on from their unexpected victory over Real Madrid by coming from behind to take a point from a very decent looking Deportivo team. Riki opened the scoring for Depor following a clever free kick routine and a fine finish from the veteran Spaniard. However Getafe look a very decent side Pedro Leon, Lafita and Barrada all looked very dangerous but is was the hard working Colunga who again set up the French player Abdel Barrada to score for the second week in a row. Getafe had the better of the chances but Deportivo held firm to earn another great point as they make a very good start back in La Liga.
Goals : Riki 6′ – Barrada 26′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Carlos Marchena, a terrific signing for Depor as once again he kept his head as others lost focus to help steady the ship for Deportivo.
Real Mallorca 1 – 0 Real Sociedad
Real Mallorca (4-4-2) – Aouate, Lopez, Conceicao, Nunes, Navarro, Pina, Pereira, Marquez, Nsue, Hemed, Victor
Real Sociedad (4-4-2) – Bravo, Gonzalez, Bergara, Ansotegi, De la Bella, Illarramendi, Preito, Pardo, Estrada, Agirretxe, Vela
Real Mallorca continued their good start by condemning Real Sociedad to their second defeat of the season, it wasn’t a great game to be fair as a determined Sociedad held firm for long spells until a late winner sealed the three points for Mallorca. A delightful Javi Marquez cross was met by the head of Victor, however Sociedad should have leveled moments later as Prieto’s shot was blocked on the goal line by the excellent Anderson Conceicao as Mallorca continue their unbeaten start.
Goals : Victor 75′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Anderson Conceicao, an excellent display in defence from the Brazilian who’s block saved the three points for the home team.
Rayo Vallecano 0 – 0 Sevilla
Rayo Vallecano (4-4-2) – Ruben, Tito, Amat, Casado, Adrian, Jose Carlos, Javi Fuego, Trashorras, Nielsen, Lass. Leo
Sevilla (4-3-3) – Palop, Cicinho, Spahic, Botia, Navarro, Medel, Rakitic, Trochowski, Navas, del Moral, Negredo
Rayo remain unbeaten but Sevilla will be asking how. The away side managed to miss two penalties and a load of chances in a very one sided game. Negredo was the first to miss after he was hauled down on the stroke of seven minutes but as he stepped up he saw his spot kick strike the post and bounce to safety. Ruben made a string of fine saves to deny del Moral and Rakitic until his game was ended when the Croatian raced through to be fouled by the Rayo keeper and was shown a red card. It was Rakitic this time but his penalty went wide as Sevilla dropped two points and Rayo got something out of a game that they should have lost.
Goals : Ruben S/O 70
Ana’s Man of the Match : Jesus Navas, busy as ever for the Spanish wide man who showed lots of quality in a dominate performance from Sevilla.
Athletic Bilbao 2 – 0 Real Valladolid (Highlights)
Athletic Bilbao (4-4-2) – Iraizoz, Ekiza, Iraola, Gurpegui, Perez, Iturraspe, Susaeta, De Marcos, Isma Lopez, Muniain, Aduriz
Real Valladolid (4-4-2) – Jaime, Carlos Pena, Valiente, Rukavina, Ebert, Rueda, Rubio, Victor Perez, Omar, Guerra, Oscar
Bilbao ended their horror start with a comfortable victory over Valladolid, they had looked so shaky in the first two games but looked their usual resilient selves again as they brushed the away side with a certain ease. New signing Aduriz stroked in the opening goal on the 7oth minute to mark his first goal since moving back to the club he left, the game was sealed through the excellent Susaeta and a wonderful finish five minutes later. With Javi Martinez gone Susaeta stepped into that role and performed incredibly well along side Oscar de Marcos as they showed life goes on without him.
Goals : Aduriz 70′, Susaeta 75′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Markel Susaeta, tremendous display from the Spaniard as he controlled the game throughout.
Levante 3 – 2 Espanyol (Highlights)
Levante (4-5-1) – Munua, Lell, Ballesteros, Rodas, Juan Fran, Diop, Barkero, Juanlu, El Zhar, Iborra, Gekas
Espanyol, (4-5-1) – Alvarez, Forlin, Rodriguez, Capdevilla, Javi Lopez, Sanchez, Verdu, Mubarak, Tejera, Fonte, Longo
An incredible game at the Ciutat de Valencia as Levante fought back from two zero down and ended up winning the game despite having a player sent off. Espanyol who have yet to a register a point so far in La Liga began very brightly against a Levante side who looked a little tired after their European exploits as both sides try to win goal of the season awards! The first was a brilliant strike from Samuele Longo who hit a smashing strike past Munua who barely saw it, if that was good then Tejera long range curler on 25 minutes was even better as Espanyol raced in to a two zero lead and well on the way to three points.
Cue a fantastic come back from Levante and yet another contender for goal of the season! Juanlu’s devastating half volley flew past Alvarez and before Espanyol knew it Lell’s tenacity earned them an equaliser in incredible style. Iborra looked to have possibly cost Levante after he was red carded but cue Michel and the aid of a deflection to steal an amazing victory for Levante with the last kick of the game.
Goals : Juanlu 53′, Lell 56′, Michel 93′, Iborra S/O 82 – Longo 21′, Tejera 25′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Juanlu, Scored an incredible goal that sparked the most unlikely of comebacks.
Real Madrid 3 – 0 Granada
Real Madrid (4-3-3) – Casillas, Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Marcelo, Alonso, Modric, Khedira, Ronaldo, Callejon, Benzema
Granada (4-5-1) – Tono, Nyom, Lopez, Gomez, Siqueira, Iriney, Mikel Rico, Ortiz, El Arabi, Orellana, Floro Flores
Real Madrid are up and running but the main story was that of a clearly unhappy looking Cristiano Ronaldo. A goal keeping nightmare cost Granada the first goal as Ronaldo’s tame cross shot found its way into the back of the net but Ronaldo refused to celebrate at first I thought it was out of respect as it was a huge error from Tono. However Ronaldo latched onto a di Maria pass and after forcing the keeper to make a save he tapped in the rebound and again refused to celebrate his goal.
The game had long gone by the time Gomez stopped Ronaldo running who was clearly hurt as he was substituted through injury and Gomez red carded, Higuain wrapped up a decent performance from Real Madrid who were far from their best. After the game Ronaldo claimed he didn’t celebrate because he felt sad and that Real Madrid know why, a bit cryptic as he said it was down to a professional and not a personnel issue but refused to elaborate, he was clearly annoyed with something but am not sure what.
Goals : Ronaldo 26′, 54′, Higuain 76′ – Gomez S/O 60
Ana’s Man of the Match : Xabi Alonso, ran the game as he often does with so much class and quality such a key player for Real Madrid.
Barcelona 1 – 0 Valencia
Barcelona (4-3-3) – Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano, Xavi, Song, Fabregas, Alexis, Messi, Pedro
Valencia (4-5-1) – Alves, Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho, Albelda, Costa, Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado, Soldado
A stunning Adriano goal was enough to take Barcelona back to the top of the league but were way under par from their usual high standards, Barca had welcomed Alex Song into the midfield and the former Arsenal player put in a very good performance on his debut. Valencia had welcomed some debutants also and looked very solid restricting the Catalan side to only a handful of chances, the best two fell to Cesc Fabregas but lacking a little confidence he finished poorly both times as the chances went.
Pedro had a great chance as did Lionel Messi with a header but Diego Alves made two good saves, until an incredible strike from the full back that deserved to win any game. It was redemption from the Brazilian who had been sent off in the Supercopa a few days earlier. Soldado had Valencia’s best chance when his curling effort went just wide and defender Ruiz did score but it was ruled out correctly for an offside.
Goals : Adriano 23′
Ana’s Man of the Match : Adriano, that goal was just incredible and he played very well all game.
So that concludes round 3 of La Liga with the table looking like this as Barcelona maintain their 100% record sitting on top with Mallorca and Malaga in second and third and Rayo sitting in fourth place. Osasuna and Espanyol are propping the table up both have failed to pick up a single point so far am already worrying for Espanyol who need to improve very quickly on their early performances.
So not as many shocks I guess with the big two winning, nice to see Bilbao climb of the bottom with a great victory and a stunning fight back from Levante!
As always your thoughts, opinions and questions are welcomed and I will be sure to answer each response I can, am really pleased a few of you have started to take an interest in La Liga and Spanish football. You may have noticed that I included a few highlights in the post next to the result this is just a trial and your thoughts of me posting for each game is something I want to hear about.
Just to clarify these clips are not provided by me! So anything that you hear is down to the person who created them and I want to know if they work and if its something I should continue with, so any feedback is welcomed with any ideas of things you would like to see, or improved or things you dislike for any reason just leave me a comment and I will read it. :)
Your thoughts on Ronaldo, what is happening and is his ego even bigger than that of his Portuguese manager? Or is it the end of his career in Spain and if so where do you think he could end up?
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