Messi is not the only shadow

Wreaking Havoc Together

FC Barcelona thumped Real Sociedad at home to continue their perfect start to the title defence. The much anticipated draw between the Champions League competitors turned out to be a one-sided affair after Barcelona put three past the Sociedad keeper within the first 45 minutes of the game. Neymar took only five minutes to get his name on the score sheet while Messi took three more than his Brazillian counterpart. A scorcher from Busquets eventually put the tie out of Sociedad’s reach with 45 minutes still left on the clock. Though Sociedad managed to score past Valdes, they were really not in a position to stage a comeback in the second half. The only time Barcelona looked concerned was when Mascherano was taken off in the first half due to an injury which saw Bartra get an opportunity to get some playing time. He did make the most of it after scoring the fourth and final goal for Barcelona which saw them retain the La Liga crown at the end of Round six. Barcelona has scored a staggering 22 goals in 6 matches, averaging close to 4 goals per match while having conceded only 5 in return. This is why they are ahead of Atletico Madrid which has also been able to notch 6 wins in 6 matches. Diego Costa continued his fine form after scoring two goals to fire his team to a victory against Osasuna. He has now scored seven goals in total as Atletico Madrid make their intentions clear to their rivals. If things are continue this way then Atletico Madrid will emerge as serious title contenders this season apart from the Big Two in Spain. They have been scoring consistently and have had a dream start to the league this year. Having pried the Copa del Rey from Real Madrid last season, Atletico may go on to win another piece of silverware this season if it continues to fire on all cylinders.

Ancelotti will have to get the team to start performing consistently.

Ancelotti will have to get the team to start performing consistently.

Meanwhile Real Madrid just managed to scrape through newly promoted Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero. In spite of fielding a full-strength squad, Ancelotti’s men could only score a single goal in normal time and that came from a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick. Things took an interesting turn in the extra time as Elche scored a brilliant goal in the 91st minute to level the score line but a late penalty awarded to Real Madrid after Pepe was fouled during a corner saw Ronaldo regain the lead for the team. Though many have doubted the credibility of the penalty, Real Madrid managed to avoid the blushes as they went back having won their 3 points. Already 2 points behind Barcelona and Atletico, Real would be looking to avoid a repetition of their last year’s performance which saw them lose the La Liga before Christmas after a string of disappointing performances in the domestic league. Bale was unavailable due to a last minute muscle strain but reports say that he will be available for the Madrid derby on Sunday. Real Madrid have failed to step up their game in the league scoring only 2 goals per match on an average and giving away one per game.

Joining Elche at the bottom of the table, Almeria too have failed to win a single match after losing by two goals to Malaga. Fernando Tissone and Francisco Portillo each scored in the second half to earn their second win in 6 games. Levante and Valladolid on the other hand played out a draw even after Valladolid’s Bergdich was sent off in the first half of the game. 5 yellow and one red card were shown in the match as Levante failed to pressurize 10-man Valladolid into defeat. Though Levante took the lead in the first half, Javi Guerra equalized just six minutes after giving Valladolid some breathing room in the match. Bergdich was soon sent off but Levante failed to capitalize, including a penalty and the game eventually ended as a draw.

Villarreal on the other hand continued their brilliant form after beating Espanyol two goals to one at home. Jeremy Perbet put Villarreal forward in the very first minute of the game and Pereira added another one in the second half. Though Villarreal kept the visitors busy, Sergio Garcia managed to keep Espanyol in the game as he put one past the keeper. But that was not enough as the match ended in Villarreal’s favour as Espanyol succumbed to their first defeat in the league.

Sevilla put four past Rayo Vallecano who lost two men in the space of 16 minutes in the second half. On the look out for their first win in 6 games, Ivan Rakitic scored a brace for the team giving them a comfortable lead early on in the second half. Rayo managed to claw their way back into the game as Adrian Gonzalez scored in the 55th minute but the team lost its way after Galvez earned his second yellow card and was given the marching orders. Playing against ten men, substitute Carlos Bacca scored to ease the pressure for Sevilla as things turned worse for Rayo after Viera was sent off in the 82nd minute of the game. Now with nine men on the field, Rayo could only be mute spectators as Bacca went on to score another gola for Sevilla wrapping up a much needed victory. Having won only one match and lost all 5, Rayo Vallecano find themselves at the bottom of the table after Round 6 and will be hoping for a drastic turnabout to life themselves from the last spot.

Meanwhile Getafe managed to score two past Celta Vigo to earn 3 points at home. Even though Celta Vigo dominated the first half after losing Bellvis to an injury, it was  Lopez who drew first blood to put Getafe ahead. Alvaro Arroyo scored Getafe’s goal six minutes into the second half to ensure that they went home with three points in the bag. They are now placed 9th in the table, two spots above Celta Vigo.

Last Minute Saviour

Last Minute Saviour

Valencia scraped through against Granada as Jonas scored a late goal for the visitors earning them their third victory in six matches. Neither side seemed to be at their best as they squandered away their chances in front of the goal. It was finally in the last minute of the stoppage time that Jonas put one past the keeper much to the relief of their manager Miroslav Djukic who has been criticized for the team’s poor start this season. Granada on the other hand have only won one match so far and are placed 15th in the table, eight spots behind Valencia.

Athletic Bilbao managed to secure their fourth victory this season as they came back from a goal behind to win against Real Betis at home. Currently in the 5th spot in the league table, Athletic Bilbao went down after missing a penalty as Jorge Molina scored from a corner in the 62nd minute for Real Betis. Having been the better side for entire tie, Bilbao managed to equalize with 17 minutes left on the clock as  Oscar de Marcos headed inside the net. Mikel San then went on to score from a corner kick as Athletic Bilbao managed to take the lead with 8 minutes to go. The tie eventually finished in Bilbao’s favour which means Real Betis has only won a single game in the league so far.

With the next round matches starting shortly, it will be interesting to see how the league pans out this year.