La Liga 2019/20 Season: Matchday two review

The second round of matches for the 2019/20 Spanish Primera Liga season saw Sevilla and Atletico Madrid maintain their perfect starts, while Barcelona and Celta Vigo recorded their first wins after suffering losses on the opening day.

Barcelona were the big winners on Sunday, coming from behind to post a 5-2 victory over Real Betis. They fell to a goal by visiting new signing Nabil Fekir after 15 minutes, and it looked like the script would be similar to last season’s 4-3 loss. However, Antoine Griezmann wowed the Camp Nou crowd by scoring the equalizer just before the end of the first half, and another spectacular left-foot curler five minutes into the second half.

From there, there was no stopping the home team, even with star forwards Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi watching from the stands as they continue their recovery from injury.

At the Estadio Butarque, Atletico Madrid defeated Leganes by a solitary goal scored by Vitolo Machin and assisted by prodigious big signing, Joao Felix. The match saw the centre referee Ricardo de Burgos issue nine yellow cards in what was a feisty encounter. Atletico remain second on the table behind Sevilla, who won at Granada by a Joan Jordan goal earlier on Friday and have a superior goal difference. It was a bad result for Granada, who recorded their eighth straight home loss in the top flight.

Real Madrid were at home on Saturday but failed to win their second consecutive match as they drew 1-1 with Real Valladolid. Karim Benzema seemed to have scored a lone winner with eight minutes left on the clock, but Sergi Guardiola (not related to Pep Guardiola) levelled the scores with a minute of regulation time to go to break the hearts of Madrid fans. The high point of the match was James Rodriguez’s starting appearance for Madrid; he had not played at the Bernabeu since 2017 after spending two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Another Madrid-based side in Getafe were held 1-1 at home by Barcelona conquerors last week, Athletic Bilbao, while Celta Vigo also recorded their first win of the season, beating Valencia 1-0 courtesy of a Gabriel Fernandez goal.

Elsewhere, Levante ended their hoodoo against visiting Villarreal on Friday when they recorded a 2-1 home victory. They have lost seven of their last 10 league matches against the Yellow Submarines, but went one better in front of the 20,240 spectators at the Ciudad de Valencia, all thanks to two penalty goals by Roger Marti.

Real Madrid loanee, Martin Odegaard, was the victor for Real Sociedad away to Real Mallorca on Sunday. The youngster scored with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box to grab all the three points.

Alaves and Espanyol played a goalless draw at the Mendizorroza on Sunday, while it was another gutsy game which produced eight yellow cards in the Basque derby between Osasuna and Eibar, which also ended goalless.

In all, 18 goals were scored across the 10 matches played, with the referees showing a total of 40 yellows, no red cards.

The La Liga table thus reveals the top three spots occupied by Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid respectively. Barcelona rose to ninth, but Valencia drop down to 17th. Leganes and Real Betis, the only two teams without points, occupy the last two positions on the log.

For the Pichichi, Gerard Moreno (Villarreal) and Roger Marti (Levante) are the early pacesetters with two goals each, with 24 other players having scored a goal after two rounds.

Matchday three action will see league leaders Sevilla face Celta Vigo at home. Barcelona will play Osasuna at the Pamplona, while Valencia will welcome Mallorca and Atletico Madrid host Eibar at the Wanda Metropolitano. The biggest test, perhaps, is for Real Madrid, who visit Villarreal Sunday’s late kick-off.

Follow Akin on Twitter: @mac_akin_ajayi

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mac Akin Ajayi

Writer & Blogger

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