It was an eventful weekend in La Liga with some surprisingly one-sided matches, for once not involving either Barcelona or Real Madrid, who were both made to work very hard at home. There was no shortage of controversy with 7 red cards across the 10 fixtures and the weekend ended with the top two level on points again and Alaves surprisingly riding high in 3rd having strung together three straight victories.
La Liga Match Day 5 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Huesca 0-1 Real Sociedad (xG 0.57-0.2)
Rayo Vallecano 1-5 Alaves (xG 1.08-1.25)
Eibar 1-0 Leganes (xG 1.78-0.78)
Celta Vigo 3-3 Real Valladolid (xG 2.13-2.16)
Getafe 0-2 Atletico Madrid (xG 0.58-1.48)
Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol (xG 1.09-0.42)
Levante 2-6 Sevilla (xG 2.25-3.4)
Villarreal 0-0 Valencia (xG 0.48-0.38)
Real Betis 2-2 Athletic Bilbao (xG 1.55-0.95)
Barcelona 2-2 Girona (xG 1.68-1.55)
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Barca held at home by Girona
Beardless 2-2 Girona pic.twitter.com/xXpL8NOpFV
— Barcelona Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) September 23, 2018
For a while, there was a huge upset on the cards at Camp Nou in the Catalan derby between Barcelona and Girona and it’s difficult to know quite how Eusebio’s side will reflect on the match. On one hand they took league points off Barca for the first time to further cement their status as a genuine rising force in Spanish football. However there will also be more than a hint of regret that they didn’t turn a 2-1 lead with a man advantage into a famous victory. Clement Lenglet’s 1st Half red card was certainly the key moment in the game but even before then Girona were asking questions of their more glamorous regional rivals and they look to have found their feet again following a slightly unconvincing start to the season.
Morale Boost for Atleti at the Coliseum
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 22, 2018
It was a better weekend for Atletico Madrid who backed up their Champions League win at Monaco with a much more Atleti-like display in the form of a 2-0 win at Getafe. They do have a fantastic record against their near neighbours but Getafe have proved they are a really tough nut to crack over the past twelve months or so and therefore Diego Simeone’s men deserve plenty of credit for the way they handled the fixture. They will be expecting to beat Huesca in midweek which would send them into the big Madrid derby next weekend in much better spirits.
Alaves & Sevilla go Goal Crazy on the Road
4. ANALYSIS: Seven stats that prove Levante 2-6 Sevilla was a real-life game of FIFA Ultimate Team – https://t.co/4rGpwYkMNy
Players were bashing the shoot button. ??️ pic.twitter.com/1ASrLyQGsy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 23, 2018
There were some really eye-catching results on match-day five in La Liga. The first came from Vallecas where Alaves hammered Rayo 5-1. They also benefited from their opponents being reduced to 10 men relatively early but it was still a display that suggests their form in the middle and latter parts of last season under Abelardo was no flash in the pan. The organisation has always been there but a few of their attacking players have really caught the eye this term with Ibai Gomez having already netted 3 times while Jony now has 4 assists to his name.
Sevilla went one better the following day by hitting six on the road at Levante. All their goals came inside an hour and it could have been worse had Pablo Machin not opted to withdraw some key men on the hour mark. In-form Wissam Ben Yedder had already completed his hat-trick by that point and it’s now 11 goals in 2 matches for Sevilla after they brushed Standard Liege aside in the Europa League. For Levante, it has been some fall from grace following their impressive 3-0 win at Betis on the opening day and Paco Lopez now has a big job on his hands as he looks to restore morale ahead of an important midweek game at Valladolid.
Real Valladolid break their goal drought to draw in Vigo
Watching Celta Vigo v Valladolid (missed it last night) and I’m about as excited to see what Antonio Mohamed is wearing as I am watching their blistering attacking play. What a guy pic.twitter.com/vBRjPaqWeE
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) September 23, 2018
Real Valladolid will head into that match with Levante on a real high after they fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at Balaidos. That was some achievement given they were yet to even register a goal on their return to La Liga prior to the game. They looked dead and buried when they conceded twice in the opening ten minutes in Galicia but with his hand forced slightly, Sergio would have been very happy with how his team responded and it should embolden them slightly moving forwards as they look to adopt a slightly more attack-minded approach.
Read more: Match-Day Four Review
The Weekend in Numbers
- Match-Day 5 saw 21 away goals but only 12 for the home team.
- That was despite both Real Madrid and Barcelona playing at home with the top two netting just 3 times between them.
- Real Valladolid scored 3 goals in 51 minutes having previously failed to net all season.
- Both Celta Vigo and Athletic were 2 goals up inside 20 minutes but went on to fail to win their matches.
- The weekend produced 7 red cards but only 2 of the teams to have men sent off were beaten (Sociedad won with 9 men, while Valencia, Athletic and Barcelona all drew with 10.
- Jony has created more goals than any other player in La Liga this term. The Alaves man has 4 assists.
There is a full midweek fixture list in La Liga and there will actually be Spanish top flight action for seven days running starting this Tuesday as match-day 6 rolls into match-day 7. The standout midweek game sees Real Madrid go to Sevilla as they look to end a poor run at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan which has seen them lose on 5 of their previous 6 league visits.
Keep tabs on our La Liga match predictions and previews for more analysis ahead of the coming games.
Use the comments for your thoughts and questions on the weekend’s action!