By Joseph Layele
It was a goal rush weekend in Spain, with the latest round of match day 6 fixtures producing some high-scoring entertaining games. After this week, no team in the division has a perfect record.
We take a look at what happened on Matchday 6:
Atletico beat Real Madrid in a very convincing fashion. Real Madrid’s perfect start to the season ended abruptly on Sunday night when they were beaten 3-1 by neighbours rival Atletico Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti crowded his system with midfield maestro Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, also deploy energetic midfielders in Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga, and the classical and talented Jude Bellingham on the pitch, but his side were unable to gain control of the game. Atletico used their wing-backs as much as possible to exploit Madrid’s potential weaknesses in the full-back areas. This was especially effective on the left, where Fran Garcia was having a torrid time dealing with Nahuel Molina.
Samuel Lino, who had an outstanding game at left-back, put in an inch-perfect cross with his right foot for former Los blancos striker Alvaro Morata to head home. It was already 2-0 after 18 minutes, with Saul Niguez attacking the left half-space and standing up a cross to the back post, which was headed in by the french man Antoine Griezmann.
Madrid gradually grew into the game but was unable to create any clear-cut chances. Any thoughts of a famous comeback were killed just a minute into the second half. In almost a carbon copy of the second goal, Saul was once again found in space down the left, and his cross was headed in by Morata for his second and Atleti’s third. Madrid’s concerns at the back are there for all to see, especially at left-back. Fran Garcia’s defensive frailties were well on show, and the Spaniard was taken off just before the hour mark and replaced by Ferland Mendy. Ancelotti also brought in Joselu, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Nacho to revert to his preferred 4-4-2 diamond. There was no getting past the Atleti defence, who stood firm and saw the game through in front of their fans for a memorable victory.
Barcelona came back from two goals down to beat Celta Vigo 3-2 and go top of the log. Barcelona produced a comeback that will be remembered by their fans after, scoring three times in the last ten minutes to beat Celta Vigo 3-2 at home. Celta Vigo, who have always given a lot of problems to Barcelona in recent times, will be kicking themselves at coming away with nothing from this game, having taken control of a large part of the match. Barcelona started the game by dominating possession but didn’t pose much of a threat to their opponents’ goal. The visitors went ahead in the 18th minute. After Barcelona failed to clear a corner, Luca de la Torre found Jorgen Strand Larsen on the edge of the box, who finished brilliantly from a tricky angle. It could have been 2-0 five minutes before half-time, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen came to the rescue.
The second half began in a similar fashion, with Barcelona dominating possession but not creating much of clear-cut chances. Celta was looking dangerous on the break. Rafael Benitez’s side looked to have sealed the three points with 15 minutes to go, with an absolutely swift counter-attack. They played through the Barcelona high press and found talisman Iago Aspas with space in the opposition half. The striker played a perfect through-ball to substitute Anastasios Douvikas, whose scuffed effort found its way into the bottom corner. The game looked to be gone from their grasp, but Barcelona then did something that was incredible. Two quick-fire goals from Robert Lewandowski, assisted by Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, brought Barcelona level with five minutes to play. In the 89th minute, substitute Gavi spotted Cancelo ghosting into the box and found him with an inch-perfect pass over the top of the top of the Celta defence.
The finish from the full-back led to absolute joy that ensued at the Olympic Stadium. Girona won an eight-goal thriller against Mallorca Girona made it five consecutive wins in a row with a stellar attacking display in a 5-3 victory over Mallorca on Saturday. Manager Michel continues to steal the headlines with his side playing an open, attractive brand of football. Girona is second in the table after this result, behind Barcelona only on goal difference. The opening game of the weekend saw Athletic Bilbao run out 2-0 winners away at Deportivo Alaves, thanks to goals from Inaki Williams and Oihan Sancet.
Ten-man Las Palmas recorded their first victory of the season at home to Granada, with Kirian Rodriguez scoring the only goal of the game right at the end. Villarreal vs. Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis vs. Cadiz end in a 1-1 stalement, respectively. In a 7-goal thriller in San Sebastian, Real Sociedad came from behind to beat Getafe 4-3. After going ahead in the second minute through in-form Takefusa Kubo, La Real was pegged back before half-time by a strike from Carlos Alena and a penalty from Borja Mayoral. Mikel Oyarzabal came on in the second half and scored twice, while Brais Mendez added a fourth for Imanol Alguacil’s side. A stoppage-time goal for Getafe from Juanmi came as nothing more than a consolation.
Almeria drew 2-2 at home against Valencia. Sergio Arribas continued his fine start to the season with two goals for the hosts, while Diego Lopez and Javi Guerra scored for the visitors. Osasuna and Sevilla played out a goalless draw in the only other game of the weekend. The next round of fixtures comes in midweek, with teams only having a couple of days to recover and prepare. Barcelona and Girona, both looking to make it six wins in a row, travel to Mallorca and Villarreal. Madrid will look to bounce back from their defeat in the derby at home to Las Palmas, while Atletico travel to Osasuna.
Valencia host Sociedad at the Mestalla stadium.