FC Barcelona accumulated nine points from three matches to lead the La Liga 2018-19 table with a +2 better goal differential than Real Madrid, the only other team to also have won its first three matches. Celta Vigo is in third place with seven points followed by eleven teams at four points each.
The third round of La Liga matches saw the Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao match postponed, while on Sunday Levante and Valencia drew 2-2, Alaves defeated visiting Espanyol 2-1, Barcelona piled on recently promoted Huesca 8-2, and hosts Real Betis beat Sevilla 1-0. On Saturday, Celta Vigo upset visiting Atletico Madrid 2-0 and Real Madrid defeated Leganes 4-1 at the Bernabeu. On Friday, Getafe and Real Valladolid tied 0-0, Eibar, at home, defeated Real Sociedad 2-1 and Villarreal lost to visiting Girona 0-1.
The highlights of the round were Barca’s blatant attempt to accumulate goals against an outmatched opponent, Real Madrid’s surprisingly perfect start to the season, the stumbles of Valencia, Sevilla, Atleti, and Villarreal and the good start of Celta Vigo who ended last season in 13th place. Our top seven pre-season teams are playing at different levels in the early going.
Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi, at four goals each, lead the scorers’ table while several players are tied at two assists to lead in that category.
With the European Leagues on FIFA friendly and UEFA Nations League schedules, the upcoming La Liga matches of interest include Girona hosting hot Celta, and all the matches of those who have stumbled early and will be in search of redemption.
The season seems to be starting up with some obvious posturing by Barcelona, attempting to wrestle an early leadership of the tournament to take advantage of their weaker archrival; Real Madrid, attempting to make good on their “we don’t miss Ronaldo” stance; and a few traditionally middle-of-the-table teams making noise if only by attempting to pad good early starts in order to weather tougher competition ahead.