LaLiga 2021/22 Matchday 8 Review, Stats & Team of the Week

LaLiga MD8

We head into the second international break of the season on the back of a weekend of surprises. 3 of last season’s top 4 were beaten with Atletico Madrid too good for Barcelona on Saturday night before Real Madrid and Sevilla both sank to defeats on the road on Sunday. The weekend served up a first win for Granada, a first point for Getafe and the first sacking of the season as Paco Lopez left Levante. Read on for our LaLiga matchday 8 review featuring all the results, xG data, stats and team of the week.


LaLiga Matchday 8 Results & Expected Goals

Friday 1st October 2021

Athletic Club 1-0 Alaves (xG: 2.49-0.81)

Saturday 2nd October 2021

Osasuna 1-0 Rayo Vallecano (xG: 0.66-0.15)

Mallorca 1-0 Levante (xG: 0.44-1.43)

Cadiz 0-0 Valencia (xG: 0.16-1.44)

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (xG: 1.37-0.75)

Sunday 3rd October 2021

Elche 1-0 Celta Vigo (xG: 1.40-0.71)

Espanyol 2-1 Real Madrid (xG: 1.29-1.62)

Villarreal 2-0 Real Betis (xG: 2.59-0.53)

Getafe 1-1 Real Sociedad (xG: 0.52-0.80)

Granada 1-0 Sevilla (xG: 0.08-1.40)

xG data in this post comes via Understat. Other stats are via Whoscored.


Matchday 8 – Stats & Star Performers

Team Stats

Most PossessionBARCELONA – 70.6% 
Highest Pass Success RateREAL MADRID – 91% 
Lowest Pass Success RateCADIZ & GETAFE – 60% 
Most ShotsREAL MADRID – 18
Fewest ShotsCADIZ – 2
Worst DisciplineMALLORCA, LEVANTE, VALENCIA, ELCHE, REAL BETIS, GETAFE & SEVILLA* – 4 Yellows
Highest xGVILLARREAL – 2.59
Lowest xGGRANADA – 0.08
xG Over-PerformerGRANADA – 1 Goal from 0.08 xG
xG Under-PerformerATHLETIC CLUB – 1 Goal from 2.49 xG
Highest AttendanceATLETICO MADRID vs BARCELONA– 60,594
Lowest AttendanceGETAFE vs REAL SOCIEDAD – 8,463
*Sevilla had 2 yellows and 1 red (Diego Carlos booked twice).

It was the first weekend of the season where full capacities were possible in Spain and while the late easing of restrictions meant few stadiums were completely full, we still got some much bigger crowds. That included more than 60,000 at the Wanda Metropolitano for the meeting of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona – the largest at a Spanish football match since before the pandemic.

On the pitch, Barcelona recorded the highest possession figures of the weekend but were frequently caught on the break by Atleti and didn’t really look threatening in the game. It’s now doubtful whether Ronald Koeman will survive the international break.

LaLiga has already seen its first sacking of the season with Paco Lopez leaving Levante after a 16 game match winless streak. He may wonder what might have been after his side had the better of the chances at the weekend, creating 1.43 xG in a 1-0 defeat against Mallorca which would prove his last game in charge of the Valencia club.

Individual Stats

Most ShotsKARIM BENZEMA (Real Madrid) – 8
Most Completed PassesSERGIO BUSQUETS (Barcelona) – 87
Most Key PassesIKER MUNIAIN (Athletic Club) & GONCALO GUEDES (Valencia) – 6
Most Completed DribblesDANI RODRIGUEZ (Mallorca) – 5
Most Aerials WonMIKEL MERINO (Real Sociedad), OSCAR DUARTE (Levante) & DAVID GARCIA (Osasuna) – 7
Most Successful TacklesALFONSO ESPINO (Cadiz) & LUCAS TORRO (Osasuna) – 6
Most InterceptionsMATHIAS OLIVERA (Getafe) – 5
Most FoulsPEPELU (Levante) – 5

It was a weekend where many of the big guns largely failed to shine but we still had quite a few familiar names cropping up in the individual stats. Karim Benzema was impressive even in defeat for Real Madrid, while Sergio Busquets completed the most passes in LaLiga for the third consecutive matchday having done likewise on MD7 and MD6.

Iker Muniain was on song again for Athletic, completing the joint most key passes along with Goncalo Guedes who was one of Valencia’s main threats in their goalless draw at Cadiz.

Defensively, Alfonso Espino impressed in that game while Lucas Torro and David Garcia posted some impressive defensive numbers for Osasuna in their narrow win over a Rayo Vallecano side that had their usual attacking threat nullified by a disciplined display from the Pamplona team.


Sorare LaLiga Fantasy Team of the Week

LaLiga MD8 team

With so many of the big teams struggling, we saw a few players creep into the best XI that we aren’t too used to seeing, particularly in defence with the likes of Osasuna’s David Garcia and Cadiz right-back Iza (Isaac Carcelén) featuring.

In midfield, Thomas Lemar’s rise continues with a fantastic performance and goal in the 2-0 win over Barcelona. Up top, even in defeat, Karim Benzema still made the team of the week, underlining his status as the star act in LaLiga right now although there were concerning performances from one or two of his teammates.

Overall, it wasn’t a particularly high-scoring weekend with only three players recording SO5 scores of 85+.

Sorare Player of the Week: Johan Mojica (100)

Colombian left-back Johan Mojica stood out for Elche with a dynamic display against Celta Vigo. He didn’t score or assist but put up solid numbers across the board with 4 tackles won and 10 successful duels out of 12, to post a perfect 100.

Sorare is a Fantasy Football platform with one of the most advanced scoring matrices. All players are scored from 0-100 based on performance. You can read our latest Sorare content here to find out more about it.


Read More: What does Barcelona’s true rock bottom look like?

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1538 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.

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