In Friday’s early game Eibar defeated visiting Leganes 1-0 dropping the fifth team on the table down a notch. On Saturday Levante and Valencia drew 1-1, Barcelona pulled a last minute 2-1 victory over Getafe, curtesy of new signing Paulinho. Real Betis defeated visiting Deportivo la Coruna 2-1 while Atletico Madrid christened its new stadium with a 1-0 win over Malaga.
Villarreal were 3-0 winners at host Alaves, who in turn fired their coach, Luis Zubeldia, because of the “results obtained in the beginning of the season.” Sevilla defeated a tough Girona side who gave up a single goal in their home loss. Las Palmas downed Athletic Bilbao 1-0 with a late goal, and visiting Real Madrid defeated Real Sociedad 3-1.
The latter game’s man of the match at Sociedad’s Anoeta Stadium was the host’s left wing back, Rodrigues, who featured in three of the game’s four scores. The competition began with an early goal from Mayoral (19th) only to have Rodrigues tie the match at the 28th with a great volley off a long right-to-left cross from his right wing back.
Unfortunately, the Sociedad defender then slid in to block a cross and ended up putting the go-ahead goal into his own net at the 36th. Finally, on Bale’s score (at the 61st) it was again Rodrigues who played a key role. He had a five-yard lead on Bale when the duo began chasing down a long-ball from Isco. The 75-yard sprint saw Bale steadily gain on the defender until, as the ball arrived the Welshman had pulled two strides ahead of his marker. When the goalkeeper rushed out Bale simply chipped him for the score.
On Monday, Espanyol took an early lead courtesy of an off side reception by Gerard who spun at the half-moon to place the ball into the lower left of the goal. At the 23rd minute the home side went up 2-0 after a short counter off an interception in the visitor’s territory. It was not until the 68th that Celta were able to reply with another nice shot from just outside the box.
At week’s end Barcelona stood at the top of the table (with 12 points) two points ahead of Sevilla (10) who led Real Sociedad (9), Real Madrid (8), Atletico Madrid (8) and Athletic Bilbao (7) as the top half-dozen teams. The top scorers at this early date were: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (5), Real Sociedad’s Juanmi (3), and Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez (3)
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