Spanish Football’s La Liga, week eleven, ended with Barcelona atop the table with 31 points, Valencia following with 27 and Real and Atletico Madrid tied at 23, with the former ahead on goal differential. The Madrid derby on Saturday the 18th will thus be a barn burner.
In Friday’s action Real Betis and Getafe tied 2-2. On Saturday, Valencia defeated visiting Leganes 3-0, Atleti beat hosts Depor 1-0, Alaves won at home over Espanyol 1-0, and in the robbery of the day, Barcelona defeated visiting Sevilla with ample officiating largess the determining factor.
On Sunday, still surprising Girona, in tenth place on the table, defeated hosts Levante 2-1, besting both of this years other promoted sides–as Getafe is 12th and Levante 14th on the table. Celta Vigo played poor hosts to Athletic Bilbao defeating them 3-1, while Real Sociedad did the same beating visiting Eibar 3-1. Villarreal won over visiting Malaga 2-0 and Real Madrid walked over a Las Palmas team that showed fight the first fifteen minutes of the first half and then wilted.
Aside from the ominous return of officiating favoritism for Barcelona, the round of games was unremarkable save the niggling feeling that Real Madrid relied on individual opportunities instead of team-wide created chances to win their match. If this continues, and Zinadine Zidane cannot figure out how to play his many powerful pieces better, it will be a long hard season for the team favored to repeat in the early part of the season.