La Liga Review | Real Madrid win, game called off, and an eight-goal thriller in the Basque Country

It was a busy weekend in La Liga, with 26 goals being scored across nine games. The game that was supposed to take place between Atlético Madrid and Sevilla was called off on Sunday due to a horrific weather forecast in the Spanish capital.

The weekend’s entertainment kicked off on Friday evening when Cádiz beat Villarreal. Darwin Machís was the standout performer, scoring twice, as Cádiz put on a thoroughly dominant display against the Yellow Submarine. In the evening’s other offering, Celta Vigo recorded a 3-2 win over Almería. Williot Swedberg was the hero, stealing the victory with a goal in the 87th minute, in what was a tense affair at the Power Horse Stadium.

Saturday’s football started with an absolute thriller between Real Sociedad and Granada in San Sebastián. La Real were the victors in a game that had eight goals, ending 5-3. Take Kubo impressed for the home side, scoring his third league goal in what has been a fantastic start to the season for the Japanese International.

Bellingham scores again

Real Madrid continued their perfect start to the season against Getafe with a 94th minute winner from Jude Bellingham. The Englishman has five La Liga goals, and an assist for Los Blancos in just four league games. Madrid may be beginning to feel less worried about the striker situation at the club thanks to the 20-year-old being in such a rich vein of form. Real have four wins from four to start the season, and are the only top-flight team who haven’t yet drawn or lost. As such, they sit top of the table going into the international break, with 12 points.

Even the most positive of Real Madrid fans would not have predicted this start to the season. It was all doom and gloom as Karim Benzema left for Saudi Arabia, and Thibaut Courtois sustained an ACL injury. To make matters worse, Vinícius Jr. also picked up an injury right at the start of last week’s game against Celta. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have however fought back from all of their misfortune, and put together a perfect start to the season.

Barcelona win away to Osasuna

In the final game of the weekend, Barcelona narrowly beat Osasuna 2-1 on Sunday evening. Barça were lacklustre for the majority of the game, and needed an 85th minute penalty from striker Robert Lewandowski to clinch the victory. The two Joãos – Cancelo and Félix – were a breath of fresh air after being introduced in the second half. Cancelo almost set up Lewandowski with an outrageous outside-of-the-boot cross, but the chance wasn’t converted.

The Catalan club may have picked up 10 points from 12 so far and are sitting in third place, but fans are far from satisfied. The style of play has concerned many, and criticism has come on Xavi for not putting enough attack-minded players in the starting XI. They began the game against Osasuna with Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Oriol Romeu and İlkay Gündoğan all playing, with Gündoğan being the most forward-thinking of the bunch.

The good news for the Blaugrana is that the problems are, in theory, quite rectifiable. With how much possession Barça hold, João Cancelo is a key player on the right. His strengths lie mainly offensively, being able to create chances from nothing, progressing the ball forward and he possesses great ball-striking ability. A change to the way that Barcelona play is likely with the loanee in the side from the start of games. Pair that with João Félix’s dribbling ability and directness, and the whole team could look revitalised.

There is now a two-week International break across Europe before gameweek five of La Liga resumes on September 15, when Rayo Vallecano play Deportivo Alavés.

Japtej Ghura | GSFN

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