Quick Overview

After the sixth round (Matchday 7) of La Liga, the table finally started taking shape as many had predicted it would, though with some minor aberrations. Barcelona went on top with Real Madrid just one point behind them. However, the biggest surprise was a Valencian side that was sandwiched between the ai???big twoai???. And no, it was not Valencia; it was the humble Levante. A team whose annual budget is 20 mil euros, was separating the teams who earn 25 times as much as them.

Also, Malaga continued their relentless march towards the top three spot and the usually reticent Pellegrini joined the long list of the ai???disgruntled former Real Madrid employeesai??? union. He took a swipe at everyone from top to bottom, though of course most of the claims he made may very well might have been true.

There seem to be no end to the travails of Villarreal. After being one of the very few teams to be pointless in UCL group stages, they managed just a draw against Zaragoza further highlighting the crisis they find themselves in.

Despite signing a host of superstars, Atletico failed to find the net against Sevilla and ended up with just one point.

The Basque derby eased some pressure on Bielsa as Bilbao emerged victors over Sociedad. A victory is always welcome and more so over oneai??i??s arch enemies. With this, Bielsa will hope that he has turned around a corner and laid foundations for something more solid.

Granada, Racing and Sporting already are looking like cannon fodder as neither their performances nor their team looks capable of picking up any points. Getafe, on the other hand, despite collecting very few points initially will seek to console themselves by their encouraging displays. Although the points are not forthcoming, one suspects it is just a matter of time before Getafe get some points on boards and move into the safety zone.

As for the middle table, all the usual suspects are there and it is too early to conclude anything meaningful from the current positions.

The Basque derby

Real Sociedad are enjoying their time in the top flight and they were marginal favourites against their illustrious rivals Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao were struggling with their attempts to adapt to their new coach Marcelo Bielsaai??i??s methods. On the other hand Sociedad, were playing well in general and at their home ground were expected to secure at least a draw.

However, that was not meant to be. Derbies tend to bring out the best in the players and ai???Los Leonesai??? took this opportunity to put one more over ai???La Realai???. Llorente found his scoring boots again as he scored a brace. Bilbao were firmly in control of the match throughout and even this wonder goal from Inigo Martinez failed to stop them from winning.

Goal of the weekend

In any other week, Julio Baptista would have easily won the goal of the weekend award. However, when Xabi Alonso says it was the best goal ever scored at the Anoeta and Sid Lowe calls it a major contender for the goal of the season, it just has to be something special.

Inigo Martinez‘sAi??54-metre bullet that no goalkeeper in the world could have stopped.


Match of the weekend

Malaga and Getafe played out this weekend’s best match. It was one of the most ill-tempered games in the recent memory with 9 yellow cards and a red card being shown to the players. To be fair to Malaga, only two of these were shown to them and the rest to their rivals Getafe.

Getafe looked to have secured at least a point when they were leading 2-1 with ten minutes to go. However, a red card changed the entire complexion of the match and Malaga immediately stepped up the pressure. Finally, two goals in as many minutes meant Malaga went home with all three points.

Two major talking points of this match were that Ruud van Nistelrooy finally scored a goal for Malaga and Julio Baptistaai??i??s stunning overhead kick that took all points way from ai???El Getaai???

Player of the weekend

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) takes the plaudits for this one with his finely taken hattrick. Instead of a striker coming from injury and low on match practice and confidence, ai???El Pipaai??? looked in great shape. A first time shot in the top corner, a delicate chip over the goal keeper and a well-controlled ball which he blasted in the goal after two touches displayed his class in ample measure.

Hat-trick star!

Higuain’s performance gave Jose Mourinho a happy headache as far as team selection goes. Higuain, Kaka, CR7, Ozil, Benzema all are scoring and it seems impossible to drop anyone from the team.

Surprises of the weekend: Ronaldo, Messi and Levante

Both Messi (Barcelona)Ai??and Ronaldo (Real Madrid)Ai??didnai??i??t score this weekend. Even more surprising was the way Ronaldo passed to a teammate in a better position when could have taken a shot himself. Ronaldo would not have been unjustified in doing so but he chose to play for the team.

Levante are a team that keep on confounding the punters. With unpaid wages, players picked up on free transfers and loans and a manager who went to seek greener pastures, they are a team that shouldnai??i??t be in La Liga in normal circumstances.

This just highlights the fighting spirit of the players and keeps alive the dying romanticism of football. Hopefully, they will stay in La Liga for one more year.

Team of the weekend

Formation (4-3-3)

Forwards: Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Malaga)

Midfielders: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Sergio Canales (Valencia), Pablo Berrera (Real Zaragoza)

Defenders: Nano (Levante), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Adriano (Barcelona), Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)

Goalkeeper: Juan Colinas (Sporting Gijon)

Ai??

 

Results

Osasuna 2-2 Mallorca

Racing 1-1 Rayo

Villarreal 2-2 R Zaragoza

Valencia 1-0 Granada

MA?laga 3-2 Getafe

R Sociedad 1-2 Athletic

Betis 0-1 Levante

AtlAi??tico 0-0 Sevilla

Sporting 0-1 Barcelona

Espanyol 0-4 Real Madrid

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2 Responses to “La Liga Review – Round 7: Barcelona Top, Levante Continue To Surprise”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Jayant says:

    Just a quick question – Did the author base his views about Sporting by looking at the Liga points table or actually watching their games?

  2. prakhar says:

    @Jayant. Bit of both. I watched the Valencia and Atletico games. They Looked distinctly short on confidence. They rarely created any chances, mostly long range wayward shooting and looked distinctly short on confidence when taking shots.