2019/20 La Liga Matchday 3 Review – Atleti the early pace-setters after Comeback Win

Atletico Madrid vs Real Sociedad Match Preview & Prediction

The third round of fixtures was perhaps the best yet of the 2019/20 season. All of the ‘big three’ conceded twice and only Atleti could win with results further suggesting this could be one of the more open seasons in recent years. It was also a positive weekend for Granada, Betis, Levante and Athletic.

Here was the best of the action from La Liga matchday 3:

La Liga Matchday 3 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 30th August 2019

Sevilla 1-1 Celta Vigo (xG 1.5-0.43)

Athletic Club 2-0 Real Sociedad (xG 1.15-0.2)

Saturday 31st August 2019

Osasuna 2-2 Barcelona (xG 1.72-0.33)

Levante 2-0 Valladolid (xG 0.86-1.01)

Getafe 1-1 Alaves (xG 2.73-0.9)

Real Betis 2-1 Leganes (xG 2.79-1.45)

Sunday 1st September 2019

Valencia 2-0 Mallorca (xG 2.14-1.17)

Espanyol 0-3 Granada (xG 1.2-1.54)

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Eibar (xG 1.81-0.84)

Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid (xG 2.05-1.81)

Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.

xG data via Understat

Athletic Win the Basque Derby

The matchday 3 action in La Liga kicked off on Friday night with Sevilla being held at home by Celta before Athletic sealed the Basque derby spoils. Sociedad had done the double over Athletic in 2018/19 so it was sweet revenge for Gaizka Garitano’s men who took control of the game early on with goals from Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia. La Real enjoyed 61% of the ball but could only muster up 2 attempts on goal in the entire game compared to Athletic’s 15. The sides will lock horns again in San Sebastian in February and may find themselves battling it out in the race for European football too.

Barcelona & Real Madrid held on the Road

It wasn’t a good weekend for the two giants of Spanish football. Barcelona again dropped points in the Basque Country as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Osasuna. There was at least a goal for 16 year old Ansu Fati to celebrate. He became Barcelona’s 2nd youngest ever player last week and is now their youngest ever scorer. However it wasn’t a remotely convincing display from the Catalans who will hope to have talisman Leo Messi back following the international break.

Real Madrid meanwhile played out their customary 2-2 draw at the Ceramica. Villarreal twice took the lead with Gerard Moreno and Moi Gomez on target. However the Yellow Submarine remain somewhat specialists in the art of throwing away an advantage as two Gareth Bale equalisers levelled the game for Los Blancos who had to settle for a point for the second weekend running. An eventful evening for Bale ended as he saw red in the dying moments after two quick-fire bookings, exactly six years on from the day he signed for the club.

Atleti top after Comeback Win

It’s Atletico Madrid who lead the way with La Liga’s only remaining 100% record after their 3-2 win against Eibar. They had to do it the hard way though. In the first real signs that their defence has undergone a significant shake-up, Atleti struggled in the early stages as the visitors took a two goal advantage thanks to a strike from Charles and a deflected effort from Anaitz Arbilla. However Renan Lodi impressed going forward on his return to the side and Joao Felix netted his first Atleti goal soon after that to spark a comeback that was sealed by a last gasp Thomas Partey strike to the delight of the Wanda Metropolitano.

Read all the key dates for the 2019/20 Spanish football season here.

Matchday 3 in Numbers

  • Athletic have lost none of their 14 home league games under Gaizka Garitano – winning 10 & drawing 4.
  • Newly promoted Granada have scored 7 goals in 2 away matches this season after their 3-0 win at Espanyol.
  • Eibar have scored first on all 3 of their visits to the Wanda Metropolitano but are yet to win.
  • Ansu Fati became Barcelona’s youngest ever scorer – aged 16 years 304 days.
  • Villarreal and Real Madrid drew 2-2 at the Ceramica for the 3rd season in a row.
  • Villarreal have taken the lead on 6 separate occasions already this season but are yet to win.

Up Next…

It’s now the international break meaning the new season has an early and some would say unwelcome interlude. Spain travel to Romania and host the Faroe Islands as they look to take a big step towards Euro 2020 qualification. La Liga returns on Friday 13th September with Mallorca hosting Athletic Club. The highlight of the weekend action sees Barcelona host Valencia at Camp Nou.

Check out our Spanish football blog for more analysis and opinion on events on and off the pitch around La Liga.

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About Mark Sochon 2072 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk

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