La Liga Talking Points: Atletico Madrid Left Frustrated After Draw


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.

Atletico Held to Disappointing Draw

Atletico Madrid dropped crucial points on Friday as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Deportivo La Coruna. Al Atleti were hot on the heels of both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but lost ground in what already at such an early juncture in the season could be a damning blow for their title aspirations.

Now Diego Simeone’s men sit 5th in La Laiga after 10 games, four points behind the typical top two. With a trip to Kazakhstan to negotiate during the week, the weekend’s fixture at home to Sporting Gijon suddenly doesn’t’ seem as straight forward a task.

However, with the likes of Real Betis, Espanyol and Granada to face Atleti in the coming weeks, the opportunity to regain ground on the top two who face each other later this meant is clear.

Top Two Cruise to Victory

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid had little difficulty in winning over the weekend. Real Madrid were at home to Las Palmas, and beat their visitors 3-1 courtesy of goals from Jese, Ronaldo and Isco.

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Madrid still don’t look at their best under Benitez and perhaps that will never really come to fruition in the league, but for now their attacking talents are too much for most of the league, despite any worries about Benitez’s ‘defensive’ football employed.

Barcelona meanwhile also won, this time beating Getafe away 2-0, with goals from Luis Suarez and Neymar. The moment of the match came through the opening goal, with Sergi Roberto providing an astonishing assist for Luis Suarez, wherein the Spanish international had to pivot around to back-heel the ball into the path of the Uruguayan, who slotted the ball cheekily into the near post.

Elsewhere Neymar scoring a near-post volley, keeping up his superlative form in light of Lionel Messi’s absence. Speaking of Messi, it seems he won’t be fit for the Clasico later this month, with reporting coming out this week that he has yet to begin running, suggesting his rehabilitation is going slower than initially predicted.

More Moyes Misery

It looked like David Moyes has began to show tentative signs of recovery under Real Sociedad following the 4-0 drubbing away to Levante. However, Moyes’ men retuned to form last weekend with a disappointing 3-2 loss at home to Celta Vigo.

Celta of course are flying this season, now sitting 3rd in the table, three points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, La Real really are in danger of being in the exact same perilous position in which Moyes was brought in to get them out of a little over a year ago. Sitting in 17th, and only two points clear of the relegation zone, perhaps it really is time for Moyes to be relieved of his duties at the Basque club.

Villarreal Bounce Back With Big Win

Villarreal enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, who along with Celta Vigo, held station at the top of the table at one point. Nevertheless their form did drop off and after losing two and drawing one of their last four matches, had dropped out of the top four.

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That’s why their 2-1 victory over Sevilla at El Madrigal this weekend was so important. While Sevilla are certainly struggling this season, they remain the Europa League champions for the past two season, plus came 5th last season.

Therefore the weekend’s victory for the Yellow Submarine only reaffirms for Marcelino Toral’s ambitions for the season really are of European qualification, with that 4th spot and entry to the Champions League pre-qualifying rounds an eminent possibility for next season.