Real Title Charge Over? – Real Madrid lost further momentum on Saturday evening going down 1-0 in the Madrid derby. The final scoreline flatters los blancos as they were outfought and outthought in a game controlled by Atleti from first to last whistle. Indeed los rojiblancos had a number of clear chances to increase their advantage but could
not avail of them. Illaramendi and Di Maria were replaced at half time with Gareth Bale and Luka Modric introduced. Both were well marshalled and a sustained period of pressure never materialised. Diego Costa, who was a constant thorn in the side for Ramos and Pepe, hit the winner in the 11th minute. Di Maria lost possession in midfield and Koke split the Madrid rearguard with a pass to the onrushing Costa who sidefooted calmly to the bottom corner. Real looked unorganised, unbalanced and without a clear idea of what they were trying to do and if they don’t improve quickly they may struggle for second place this term. Credit must be given to Diego Simeone’s brilliantly organised team who on this form could be challenging for honours at the business end of the season.
Messi’s Bad Week Continues – If a court appearance for tax evasion and stories of excessive Messi influence in decision making in the corridors of Barcelona weren’t bad enough Messi hobbled off with what appeared to be a recurrence of his old injury this weekend. He will be out for up to 3 weeks. He did however make his mark while on the pitch with an exquisite strike to open the scoring against Almeria. Barcelona ended up winning 2-0 with the second coming from Adriano. Despite the lacklustre performance Barca are now 7 from 7 and would expect to see off Valladolid next week to go into the international break on maximun points. Bigger challenges lie ahead after that and Messi will be needed in full health for those games.
Stalemate at the Anoeta – Real Sociedad continue to struggle to find some early season form. They were held at home to Sevilla this weekend. Jairo opened the scoring after excellently finished a Racikic pass. Trochowski missed an open goal to make it 2-0 and Sevilla paying the price with Griezmann grabing a deserved equaliser in the second half. Both teams are involved in European action in midweek and the demands of both competions are evident in both teams. This draw will do neither side any favours.
Dukic Wins again – Valencia made it 3 wins from 3 with a 1-0 home win against the struggling Rayo Vallecano. They may not be playing great football but Dukic has at least both some time. Once again Jonas provided the goal that sees them continue their rise up the table.
Yellow Submarine sunk in Betis – In the pick of Sunday’s games Real Betis picked up a win at home to Villareal. Betis too are trying to cope with the twin demands of league and european football and this win was a welcome one given their struggles so far this season. Nosa grabbed the winner before half time and though Villareal had their chances they couldn’t find an equaliser. They have had a decent start to the seasona and will be hoping to get back to winning ways next weekend against Granada.