Another La Liga match-day has gone by and again it saw Real Madrid and Barcelona both drop points. Suddenly there are some genuine reasons for concern at both Camp Nou and the Bernabeu. It’s perhaps too early to start talking about a wide open title race but Atletico Madrid and perhaps even Sevilla the way they have been playing will fancy they can get into the mix. It was also another weekend where the mere safety of stadiums in La Liga was brought into question with a serious incident at Eibar leading to several visiting supporters sustaining injuries.
La Liga Match Day 7 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Espanyol (xG 1.23-1.79)
Real Sociedad 0-1 Valencia (xG 1.12-0.92)
Barcelona 1-1 Athletic Bilbao (xG 3.06-0.89)
Eibar 1-3 Sevilla (xG 0.56-1.99)
Real Madrid 0-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.14-0.66)
Huesca 1-1 Girona (xG 1.61-1.81)
Villarreal 0-1 Real Valladolid (xG 2.91-0.85)
Levante 2-1 Alaves (xG 1.37-0.7)
Real Betis 1-0 Leganes (xG 2.09-0.41)
Celta Vigo 1-1 Getafe (xG 0.44-1.24)
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Madrid Derby Stalemate
?? @AntoGriezmann wore these boots in the Madrid derby last night.
? The boots feature, @Atleti’s crest, his favorite celebration, flashes and an Emoji.
? A thing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/bNxPqOB6Sg
— SPORF (@Sporf) September 30, 2018
The Madrid derby has taken place so often on so many different stages over the past few years, Atletico and Real must be almost sick of the sight of each other. That has tended to lead to some fairly cagey contests between the two with plenty of draws whenever the sides have met in La Liga. This was another one and in truth it was about the right result with some outstanding goalkeeping required from both Thiabut Courtois and Jan Oblak to keep the score goalless.
Atleti shaded the First Half and managed to get in behind the Real back-line with a bit too much ease at times. However Real rectified the issue after the break as they increasingly gained control without really doing enough to warrant all the points. A draw was no disaster for either coach in the circumstances but Julen Lopetegui certainly has more to worry about with injuries mounting up and just 1 goal scored in their last 3 league outings.
Barcelona drop points against Athletic
? Some choice stills from Saturday’s hard-fought game:
Barça 1, Athletic 1.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 1, 2018
It was another bad day at the office for Ernesto Valverde. He was criticised for not rotating enough last term but this time around, he has been more willing to rest key men with no real success so far. Resting players led to problems at Real Sociedad and while they managed to come back to win that game, they had no such luck against Girona, Leganes or this weekend against Athletic.
1-0 down to a goal from De Marcos, Barcelona left the pitch at Half-Time to boos and the rested Messi and Busquets were quick to enter the field after the break. Their introduction had the desired effect to some extent as Barca created enough chances to win the game but could only put one away with Munir’s close-range finish late on ensuring the Catalans got a draw but dropped points for the third match running in La Liga.
La Liga’s Stadium Problems Continue as Railing collapses at Eibar
Sevilla fans hospitalized after stand collapses at the game against Eibar last night pic.twitter.com/irPejJJYhn
— Ultra Style (@ultrastyle01) September 30, 2018
The most serious incident of the weekend came at Eibar were more than a dozen Sevilla fans received injuries in the process of celebrating their side’s second goal at Eibar. The collapse of a railing at the front of the visiting section saw numerous visiting supporters fall to the ground just yards from the Sevilla players, none of whom were caught up in the incident. The game was suspended for six minutes as those affected received treatment but thankfully none of the injuries were ultimately serious.
Nonetheless it further highlighted a growing problem that La Liga has with several stadiums barely fit for the purpose of hosting football at such a high level. Rayo’s ground has already been temporarily closed this term after a 4 year old boy fell down a hole and there could be similar repercussions for Eibar. Throw in the debacle of the Valladolid pitch in their first home game back at this level, and it has been an embarrassing few weeks for a league which is hungry to present itself as the best in the world.
Read more – Match-Day Six Review
Match Day 7 in Numbers
- Real Betis had an extraordinary 82.5% possession in their home game against Leganes.
- Their three centre-backs all completed more passes (114, 105 and 99) than the entire Leganes team combined (96)
- Barcelona dropped points for the 3rd straight league game for the first time since late 2016 (Draws vs Malaga, Sociedad and Real Madrid).
- Atletico Madrid extended their unbeaten league record at the Bernabeu to 6 matches, their longest such streak in the history of the Madrid derby.
- Getafe were involved in a league match featuring two or fewer goals for the 12th consecutive time.
European action returns in midweek with three Spanish sides heading to Russia while Barcelona’s trip to Wembley to face Tottenham is perhaps the most appealing match in all of Europe this week. La Liga is back for one final match-day before another international break next weekend. The biggest of the Basque derbies takes place on Friday night with Athletic Bilbao taking on Real Sociedad while the weekend concludes with a mouth-watering clash between Valencia and Barcelona at the Mestalla. Los Che will be aiming to extend Barca’s winless league run to 4 matches and pile more pressure on Valverde and his troops.
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 latest Spanish football action!