Today, host FC Barcelona prevailed 3-0 over Las Palmas, in an empty Camp Nou, with a brace from Lionel Messi. In the day’s other games Real Madrid, with a brace from Isco and assists from Cristiano Ronaldo, defeated visiting Espanyol 2-0 while hosts Real Sociedad and Real Betis drew 4-4 in a real shootout. Valencia defeated visiting Athletic Bilbao 3-2 and Villarreal beat visiting Eibar 3-0.
In Saturday’s games, Hosts Deportivo defeated visiting Getafe 2-1 while hosts Sevilla won over visiting Malaga 2-0. Levante lost 0-2 at home to Alaves and Leganes managed a home draw with Atletico Madrid. On Friday, Celta Vigo learned visiting Girona were for real when the latter fought to a 3-3 draw.
At week’s end Barcelona were alone at the top of the table with 21 points, Sevilla second with 16, Valencia and Atleti following, both at 15, and Real Madrid (14) and Real Betis (13) rounded out the teams with teen points. Messi with 11 goals leads the scorers’ table followed by Valencia’s Simone Zaza (6), and Villarreal’s Cedric Bakambu and Celta’s Maxi Gomez with five each.
Few games this week seemed to indicate they were key to either the futures of their respective participants or the overall trend in this year’s La Liga competition. But it is interesting to note that seven games in the three promoted teams are in the middle of the table with Levante in the top half. Sevilla and Valencia continue inspired starts to their campaigns while Barcelona seems to have found both accommodating officials, a fairy god mother to bless several favorable results with own goals in both La Liga and in Champions League play, and Messi, as predicted, is on a scoring tear from the get go.
Given the number of top Spanish teams who employ players on national teams, it will be interesting to see what the FIFA international break brings in terms of 2018 World Cup qualification play.