Barcelona gave their city rivals Espanyol a pounding, 5 – 0 it ended at the Nou Camp taking their total haul to 9 points ; 4 ahead of title contenders Real Madrid who shook fans and punters with a pusillanimous draw at home to lowly Levante. If that was shocking, Real Sociedad would be petrified to bits, continuing their fabulous 100 % start to the season with Deportivo the victim. Luis Zubeldia, looks to be the La Liga version of Frank De Boer with the young yauld Argentine gaffer failure to get Alaves at least a point on the log or a goal at that, joining Las Palmas and Malaga at the foot of the table.
Celta Vigo and Yellow Submarines, Villarreal finally get the maximum three points on their third time of asking, Atlético were held at the Mestalla; while, Athletic Bilbao recorded a fine 2 – 0 win against newbies Girona.
In Goal this week is none other than Spanish goalkeeper Sergio Rico, his saves were fundamental to his team settling after a nervous start, enabling them secure a comfortable win at the end, it’s hard to believe that he’s only 24 with the way he commanded his box and kept good communication between his centre backs.
Atlético Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez with a domineering performance against Valencia, reducing Italian Simone Zaza to a mere nothing deserves a worthy mention; Diego Someone’s decision to play the Frenchman was rewarded with an excellent display, so some say he’s a seamless replacement for Diego Godin – only time can tell; whatever Hernandez was for the Colchoneros, Gabriel Paulista was the same for Valencia, ex – Villarreal and Arsenal man kept Vietto in check and subsequently Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro when they came on, the composed side of his game saw him make an impressive 5 interceptions in the game and 6 clearances – that’s pretty good for a man known more for his brute. At left back is Jordi Alba who made a mark in the game against Espanyol, the nimble speedster seems to be enjoying his football back again after Valverde’s reversion to a back four. He looks a lot ‘happier’ to police attacks and do the damage when bombing forwards unlike under Lucho where he was off the team and at times skittish when he played. The Barcelona man assisted 2 goals in the course of the game. Ivan Lopez deservedly own the right back spot for his disciplined performance when Levante visited Bernabeu frustrating a makeshift Madrid side making it unpleasantly difficult for Theo Hernandez and Marcelo to get a go at him.
Asier Illarramendi’s performance when they visited Deportivo’s Raizor showed a different facet to the young Spaniard’s game – showing that he can score goals asides from preventing them – scoring a brace to that effect ; Another Soceidad player, this time, Skipper Xabi Prieto gave a red letter day performance, probably his best in recent times for the Txuri-urdinak since he broke into first team football in 2003, complementing Illarramendi’s youth with guile and panache, grabbing two assists to the good; Cuco Ziganda’s man Inaki Williams whose generally satisfactory performance and apt contribution to the team help to get a comfortable 2 – 0 win against Girona. Ivan Rakitic completes the four man midfield this week with a reassuring performance going into the Champions League showdown versus Juventus this midweek.
It was a Messi type clinic on display as the Rosario born forward gave another masterclass – scoring a hatrick – 42nd in his career, 38 of which has been scored for Barcelona, having pounded Espanyol; Carlos Bacca of Villarreal makes the team with a fine display on Sunday when he poached well and got his side en route to their first win of the season.
Eusebio Sacristan said glibly after their win against Deportivo ‘This is a good feeling (impressive start to the season) but we need to remain focused and take the game as they come. We’ll see what happens’. On that note Spaniard is the coach of the week. It still looks a far cry but Leicester’s glory is still very greenery to the memory. This is football, Anything can happen!