The new season in La Liga really exploded into life on the third weekend with derby drama, goal-fests and shock results. Read on for highlights, headlines, expected goals and more from the third match-day.
La Liga Match Day 3 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Getafe 0-0 Real Valladolid (xG 1.1-1.1)
Eibar 2-1 Real Sociedad (xG 0.8-1.3)
Villarreal 0-1 Girona (xG 1.1-0.8)
Celta Vigo 2-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 0.7-0.4)
Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao – Postponed due to stadium damage
Real Madrid 4-1 Leganes (xG 2.3-1.0)
Levante 2-2 Valencia (xG 1.5-3.4)
Alaves 2-1 Espanyol (xG 1.2-1.1)
Barcelona 8-2 Huesca (xG 6.0-1.6)
Real Betis 1-0 Sevilla (xG 1.2-0.8)
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Joaquín the Hero on Derby Weekend
After all these years, there still aren’t many better sights in football than Joaquin’s smile.
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) September 2, 2018
Match-day three in La Liga featured no fewer than four derby clashes. The highlight of which and indeed the biggest derby of the season in Spain came from Seville and a rocking Benito Villamarin. A tense battle saw Betis have the better of things but as had been the case in their opening two games, they struggled to turn possession and territorial domination into goals. A controversial red card awarded to Sevilla’s Roque Mesa midway through the Second Half tilted things further in their favour and they finally clinched a famous 1-0 win thanks to none other than 37 year old club legend Joaquín who came off the bench to head in the winner.
There was plenty of drama and controversy in the other derby clashes too. An open Valencia derby ended in a 2-2 draw in the first midday kick-off of the new league season earlier on Sunday. Levante twice led but ultimately found themselves hanging on for a point after Coke’s red card with fifteen minutes to play. Over in the capital Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win over Leganes with Karim Benzema looking back to his best with an excellent brace. Meanwhile the Basque Derby between Eibar and Real Sociedad was settled by a 91st minute goal from Charles as Eibar again upset their more illustrious neighbours at the Ipurúa.
Read more: Spanish Football 2018/19 key dates
Barca hit eight past Huesca
Barcelona 8-2 SD Huesca FT:
⚽️ Pulido (O.G.)
Lionel Messi lets Luis Suarez take a last-minute penalty despite being on a hat-trick and being offered it. pic.twitter.com/KVeZvkhrs5
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 2, 2018
There were just the ten goals at Camp Nou as Barcelona ultimately brushed top flight debutants Huesca aside to record an 8-2 win. The visitors actually took a shock lead through Cucho Hernandez but a masterclass in finishing from the Catalan giants followed as Leo Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged braces as the new boys were blown away. Leo Franco’s side were more adventurous than most visitors to Camp Nou are prepared to be but it was a steep learning curve for the Aragonese club and you sense they may not be so bold the next time they come up against one of the giants of Spanish football.
From a Barcelona perspective, it was another good work-out for the 4-3-3 with Ousmane Dembele also again on the scoresheet. The Frenchman will be delighted with his start to the season and has surely done enough to earn an extended run in the side as Barca move away from the 4-4-2 which served them so well domestically last season.
Read more: Match-Day Two Review
Atleti defeated – Mohamed outwits childhood friend Simeone
Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo was “the best thing that could happen for us”
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 2, 2018
Atletico Madrid started this season with many tipping them strongly to challenge and perhaps even win La Liga this term. However for the second weekend running, they put in a distinctly below-par display and this time they weren’t able to grind out a win as was the case against Rayo Vallecano. Up against an energetic Celta Vigo side, now led by Diego Simeone’s childhood friend from Argentina Antonio Mohamed, Atleti were very much second best.
Goals from Maxi Gomez and Iago Aspas sealed the win but it was a real team performance from Celta who have impressed despite some notable summer departures. Simeone has brushed off the defeat but having spent big this summer, there is genuine pressure and expectation on Atletico Madrid this time around and so far they have looked anything but possible title contenders.
Read more: Can Atleti win La Liga?
The Weekend in Numbers
- Real Betis won their first home Seville derby in 12 years since a 2-1 win in April 2006.
- The only surviving member of that Betis team was Joaquin, who netted the winner 18 years after his first Seville derby appearance.
- Huesca have conceded 8 goals on each of their two previous visits to Camp Nou, also losing 8-1 in the Copa del Rey in December 2014.
- Valencia have now failed to win on any of their last 6 trips across town to play Levante in La Liga.
- Atletico Madrid had 0 shots on target against Celta Vigo with all of their ten attempts failing to trouble the keeper.
The international break follows this weekend’s action and we might just need a week to digest everything that has happened over the past 72 hours. It will see Spain embark on a new era under Luis Enrique but La Liga is back in a fortnight with a mouthwatering Saturday double-header from the Basque Country as Sociedad host Barcelona while Athletic Bilbao take on Real Madrid. Keep tabs on our La Liga match previews for more analysis ahead of match-day four.
Use the comments for your thoughts and questions on the weekend’s action!