La Liga Match Day 8 Review – Alaves stun Los Blancos as Sevilla go Top

Alaves vs Real Betis match preview
Alaves stadium

The most open and unpredictable start to a La Liga season in years continued this weekend as Real Madrid’s goal drought continued as they slipped to a miserable 1-0 defeat at Alaves. There was a big derby win for Sociedad, a draw in the big game of the weekend at the Mestalla while it’s Sevilla who head into the international break on top spot. Here is the best of match day 8 in La Liga:


La Liga Match Day 8 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 5th October 2018

Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Real Sociedad (xG 1.08-2.11)

Saturday 6th October 2018

Girona 2-3 Eibar (xG 1.55-2.13)

Getafe 0-1 Levante (xG 1.05-0.88)

Alaves 1-0 Real Madrid (xG 0.95-0.84)

Leganes 1-0 Rayo Vallecano (xG 1.4-0.21)

Sunday 7th October 2018

Real Valladolid 1-0 Huesca (xG 0.94-0.82)

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Real Betis (xG 0.56-0.27)

Espanyol 3-1 Villarreal (xG 2.73-1.64)

Sevilla 2-1 Celta Vigo (xG 1.91-0.89)

Valencia 1-1 Barcelona (xG 1.42-0.37)

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Last Minute Winner sees Alaves stun Real Madrid

Things went from bad to worse for Julen Lopetegui and Real Madrid on Saturday. Heading to a stadium where they boasted a fearsome record and with some key men back, they looked well capable of getting back on track against Alaves. However it was another miserable day in the final third as Alaves kept Los Blancos under wraps as a slightly experimental Real Madrid formation which featured Dani Ceballos in an unfamiliar left-sided role failed to create much. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both left the pitch carrying knocks as a hard-fought game wore on with few chances and no goals.

In truth if anyone was going to win it, it looked more likely to be Alaves and in the 5th minute of stoppage time they did just that. Substitute Manu Garcia prodded home to lift the roof off the Estadio de Mendizorroza. The celebrations in Vitoria went on long into the night although they didn’t quite go top of the league despite the big screens at Alaves’ old home suggesting otherwise on Full-Time. Either way it has been a fantastic start for Abelardo’s side and it was a night they will cherish for many years to come.

Read more – The Wanda Metropolitano Match Experience

Oyarzabal penalties help Sociedad win the Basque Derby

The weekend commenced with a feisty Basque derby at a packed San Mames. As usual on such occasions, there was a cracking atmosphere with a large away contingent contributing to that. What is often billed as the ‘friendliest’ derby in Spanish football was anything but on the pitch, with 5 Athletic players booked in the first 40 minutes alone. Their ill-discipline extended to the penalty area where some very sloppy defensive play directly led to Sociedad winning two penalties, both converted by Mikel Oyarzabal, who was a major summer transfer target for Athletic.

There wasn’t much else to choose between the teams in truth but Athletic faded badly after a bright start and there is plenty for Eduardo Berizzo to ponder on over the international break. Sociedad meanwhile will be hoping to use the result as a building block as they look to finally claim their first win at the new-look Anoeta in a fortnight’s time.

Read more – La Liga Match Day 7 Review

Draw at the Mestalla leaves Sevilla on Top

Sunday commenced with Barcelona on top of La Liga on goal difference from Real Madrid and Alaves. Atletico Madrid would assume top spot for a couple of hours after their narrow home win against Betis before Sevilla went a point clear after they saw off 10-man Celta Vigo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to record a 4th straight league win.

However the Catalan giants had the chance to return to the summit at the Mestalla but they quickly fell behind against a Valencia side that came racing out the traps. Another moment of excellence from Leo Messi levelled the scores and Ernesto Valverde’s side were largely in control from that point without really threatening to score again. An uneventful 2nd Half produced a Final-Score of 1-1 to leave Sevilla sitting proudly on top of La Liga heading into the international break in what is shaping up to be a thrilling season in the Spanish top flight.


Match Day 8 in Numbers

  • Alaves beat Real Madrid at Mendizorroza for the first time in 87 years.
  • Real Madrid have gone over 400 minutes without scoring in all competitions, their worst run in 33 years.
  • It was a weekend for the 1-0 scoreline. 5 of the 10 fixtures ended up with just one goal.
  • After 8 games, just 2 points separates a top six, which includes surprise packages Espanyol and Alaves.
  • Valencia have now drawn 6 of their 8 league games this season, 2 more than any other side in the division.
  • Barcelona have gone 4 league games without a win for the first time since Spring 2016.

Up Next…

Just when things were getting interesting, we head into another international break. Spain face a British double-header with a friendly against Wales in Cardiff before they host England in the UEFA Nations League in Seville. Following an impressive start under Luis Enrique, it’ll be interesting to see if they can build on that over the next week.

The league action returns on Friday 19th October with Celta Vigo taking on high-flying Alaves. Real Madrid will attempt to finally score a goal at home to Levante the next day while Villarreal host Atleti and Barcelona take on leaders Sevilla on another mouth-watering day.

Keep tabs on our La Liga predictions for more analysis ahead of the next round of fixtures.

 


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Alaves Stadium, CC BY-SA 4.0

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk