2019/20 La Liga Matchday 8 Review – Barça climb to 2nd

La Liga predictions - Madrid derby

It was a weekend where the big three became the top three once more with Real Madrid and Barcelona both firing in four goals in home wins. There was plenty of controversy though with a host of marginal offside calls, dubious penalty decisions and questionable red cards. Meanwhile at Butarque, technical problems with VAR have led to bottom club Leganes hoping to have their clash with Levante replayed. Here was the best of the action from La Liga matchday 8:


La Liga Matchday 8 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 4th October 2019

Real Betis 1-1 Eibar (xG 1.74-1.18)

Saturday 5th October 2019

Leganes 1-2 Levante (xG 3.28-1.09)

Real Madrid 4-2 Granada (xG 2.78-1.61)

Valencia 2-1 Alaves (xG 1.71-1.47)

Osasuna 2-1 Villarreal (xG 1.14-2.52)

Sunday 6th October 2019

Mallorca 2-0 Espanyol (xG 1.03-0.73)

Celta Vigo 1-0 Athletic Club (xG 1.92-0.13)

Real Valladolid 0-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 0.97-0.77)

Real Sociedad 1-2 Getafe (xG 0.77-0.87)

Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla (xG 2.4-3.04)

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

xG data via Understat


Los Blancos lead the way

It was 1st vs 2nd at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid played host to surprise package Granada. The new boys found themselves behind after just two minutes though with Gareth Bale setting up Karim Benzema for Real’s opener. Eden Hazard had fired in his first goal for Los Blancos before the break to ease some of the pressure that was starting to build on the Belgian.

That should have been that, particularly when Luka Modric fired in a brilliant third goal. However as was the case when they led Levante 3-0 a fortnight ago, Zinedine Zidane’s men let their opponents back into the game with Darwin Machis and Domingos Duarte on target for Granada. Real finally sealed maximum points late on with James Rodriguez scoring for the first time since his return to the Spanish capital.

 

Barça cruise past wasteful Sevilla

Barcelona had the opposite problem to Real Madrid with a very lacklustre start to their game against Sevilla. The visitors had several early chances to take the lead with Luuk de Jong enduring a difficult evening in which he spurned some guilt edge chances. Barça, so sloppy in the early stages, were suddenly sparked into life by a brilliant overhead kick from Luis Suarez.

Seven minutes later, the game was as good as over with Arturo Vidal and Ousmane Dembele on target. Leo Messi netted his first of the season with an overhead kick in the Second Half to cap another miserable trip to Camp Nou for both Julen Lopetegui and Sevilla.

Surprise High-Flyers Falter

The one underlying theme this weekend was a sense that normal service was resumed at the top with Barcelona jumping several places to join the Madrid clubs in a familiar looking top three. Like Sevilla and Granada, Basque rivals Athletic Club and Real Sociedad also suffered defeats to lose a bit of ground.

Athletic were beaten 1-0 in Vigo, a result which may just have kept Fran Escriba in his job. La Real meanwhile were leading Getafe 1-0 when Diego Llorente saw red which proved the opening that the visitors needed to turn the game on its head with Jaime Mata and Nemanja Maksimovic scoring for Geta. Both Sociedad and Athletic have now lost their last two games to fall to 5th and 7th respectively.


Matchday 8 in Numbers

  • Barcelona won their 15th straight home game in all competitions – only the 3rd time in their history they’ve managed such a streak.
  • Sevilla lost on their last 15 trips to Real Madrid/Barcelona in La Liga.
  • Only 2 teams have failed to keep a clean sheet yet in La Liga this season – Leganes & Getafe.
  • The teams to create the most Expected Goals this weekend both lost. Leganes created 3.28 in their 2-1 defeat to Levante while Sevilla created 3.04 in their 4-0 loss at Barcelona.
  • Iago Aspas scored his 1st goal of the season for Celta Vigo. The Galician has netted 19+ league goals in each of the last 3 seasons.

Up Next…

It’s now the international break with Spain in Scandinavia to take on Sweden and Norway in Euro 2020 qualifying. They will reach the finals with two fixtures to spare if they win both games. La Liga returns on Friday 18th October with Granada taking on Osasuna. The pick of the weekend fixtures is Atleti’s game against Valencia while Barcelona travel to Eibar and Real Madrid head to Mallorca. There’s also the first South Madrid derby of the new season.


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Daniel Garcia
About Daniel Garcia 290 Articles
Daniel is a multilingual football writer based in Madrid with an extensive knowledge of La Liga and its biggest clubs. Contact: daniel@laligaexpert.com