La Liga, week six

In Saturday’s earliest games Atletico Madrid defeated visitors Sevilla 2-0 with a first goal courtesy of a blunder by the visitor’s defense, and Real Madrid beat Alaves away 2-1. The Atleti victory was well earned in a tough home game that featured the rejuvenated Sevilla of this season playing their rivals even away. The visitors played great football and were unlucky to lose by two despite gifting that silly goal. Real Madrid, still playing poorly and with a line-up that fit their opponent’s current pedigree (Alaves had all losses and no goals scored coming in) conceded a goal and were lucky to leave with a win.

In an entertaining and goal filled match Malaga drew at home 3-3 with Athletic while Girona were unlucky this round, again, losing to visiting Barcelona 0-3 by conceding two own goals to go along with Barca’s sole score, Luis Suarez’s 69th minute tally.

In Sunday’s matches, hosts Espanyol defeated Deportivo la Coruna 4-1, an improving Getafe beat visiting Villarreal 4-0, Eibar lost to visiting Celta Vigo 0-4, Las Palmas lost 0-2 to visiting Leganes, and in the best match of the round, and perhaps the season, so far, hosts Real Sociedad lost 2-3 to the continuously surprising Valencia.

The match had several great goals, two double-yellow reds, and some inspired football from both sides. A testimony to the tense and back-and-forth nature of the match (which saw Valencia open the scoring at the 26th, only to have  Sociedad tie at the 33rd, Valencia pulling ahead at the 55th, and Sociedad pulling even at the 59th, and Valencia finally winning it on Simone Zaza’s fifth goal of the campaign, at the 85th) Valencia coach, Marcelino Garcia Toral, pulled a hamstring while gesticulating on the sidelines.

Monday, giant beaters Real Betis are at home to visiting Levante in a match where the winners could bump Real Madrid off their fifth-place perch. As it now stands, the top four will remain Barcelona (18 points), Atletico Madrid (14), Sevilla (13) and Valencia (12) until the next round. The top scorers are Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (9), Valencia’s Zaza (5), and Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez (4).

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