La Liga Talking Points – Vietto Saves Simeone While Barca Falter Again


Welcome to La Liga Talking Points, a weekly column running throughout the season in which we take a look at the key stories and talking points from Spanish football’s top flight. With an inevitable focus on the biggest teams, such as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, there will also be a worthwhile nod toward the rest, we take a look at how the league is shaping up each week and what to look out for going forward.

Vietto Saves Simeone

It was late, but boy was it great from Luciano Vietto. Well, the goal wasn’t actually great from just his perspective, but the goal itself keeps Atletico near the top of the table, and denied Real Madrid a win at the Calderon, which was looking very likely.

The game began with a fine header from Karim Benzema, and for the most part Real Madrid looked good and rather comfortable throughout without looking great. That was until the final 15 minutes when Diego Simeone’s men got going and put Los Blancos into overdrive.


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The pressure paid off with the late goal, which now leaves Atleti in 5th place, three points off the top. Real Madrid in contrast now sit in 4th, one point off the top of the table. Given the inconsistency of Barcelona, a win for either side here would have been huge. Yet, for now, keeping just in contention will have to do. 

Barca Handily Places despite Inconsistent Start

Barcelona’s poor start to the season really isn’t surprising. Yet, despite their poor start, they’re handily placed going into the second international break of the season. La Blaugrana now sit in 3rd place, one point behind Villareal and Celta Vigo who, for all their early season merits, surely won’t be there for much longer.

The aforementioned inconsistency shouldn’t surprise anyone though. Having not being able to sign anyone in the last two windows, Barca’s squad has become increasingly depleted with the likes of Xavi and Pedro leaving.

Luis Enrique has had to put more responsibility into the likes of Sergi Roberto and Munir. Both players, for example, are good, but not great. Barca have had a spate injuries at the beginning of the season and latterly the injury to Lionel Messi is of course a huge loss.

La Liga Overachievers Show Signs of Nerves

It was rather inevitable but the weeks showed the first signs for nerves for La Liga’s recent overachievers Celta Vigo and Villareal. Both clubs have had spells at the top of the table in the past two weeks but both dropped poor points over the weekend: Celta Vigo were held to a 0-0 at home to Getafe, while Villareal lost 1-0 away to Levante. Lucky for both that Barcelona, Atleti and Barcelona all dropped points too, which kept them at the top of the table for now.


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La Liga has had stories of underachievement in recent years – notably the aforementioned Levante – and indeed although on a different plane, Atletico’s title win provided hope to the smaller sides in Spain that the gap between the rest and the top two can be closed, if only intermittently,