With an hat-trick and two assists, Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco was massively impressive. He took home with him the season record for more points by a single player in the same game-week in La Liga de los Ases, so far: 24 points! The 8th game-week came filled with emotion, spectacle, excellent football and with the astonishing number of 44 goals. Atlético has been showing an offensive quality never seen during the “Cholismo” era, taking advantage of the inspired Carrasco. Barcelona thrashed Deportivo without needing to put up much effort. Last but not least, Real Madrid saw its 3 victoryless games streak finally end, with an outstanding first half. At the bottom of the table, Osasuna’s first victory deserves some applause.
LAS PALMAS 0-0 ESPANYOL
MVP: Diego López (ESP, 10 pts)
Early in the game, both teams showed why they were there. Las Palmas, faithful to its game style, with much ball possession, trying to sing a lullaby to their opponent, so that they could strike a final blow. Despite the multiple goal attempts, the Canarian attack showed a lack of skill and imagination. Espanyol, always with very close together and tightly knit lines, never giving to much space, frequently attempted the counterattack. One of the attempts was a huge goal occasion by Gerard Moreno, but, in-extremis, David García prevented the goal. In a few goal occasions, the result didn’t match any of the teams expectations. Still, Espanyol was the happier one in the end.
LEGANÉS 2-3 SEVILLA
MVP: Szymanowski (LEG, 11 pts)
Leganés started the game better, threatening, from the start, Sergio Rico’s goal. But, as the saying goes, those who don’t score suffer. Sevilla took the lead by Franco Vázquez on his first attempt at Serantes’ goal. In the 2nd half, the story repeated itself: Leganés looking for the tie and, in a counterattack, Nasri does the 0-2. However, when one could begin to think that the winner of the match was found, Leganés overrides the disadvantage of two goals in just 3 minutes by Timor and Szymanowski. The hardest part had been achieved and the draw was a fair result. When it seemed that both teams would split the points between them, Pablo Sarabia entered the game and, with a great goal, offered his team the three points, ending the 22-games streak without a win out of Sevilla.
BARCELONA 4-0 DEPORTIVO
MVP: Rafinha (BCA, 14 pts)
Without much effort, Barcelona got ahead in the game with a goal by Rafinha, taking advantage of Lux’s bad approach. Deportivo showed itself very weak, very meek, without making any shot on target during the 90 minutes. Barcelona reached the rout before the 2nd half, not needing to impose a lot of speed to the game. Rafinha scored twice and Luis Suarez made the third. In the 2nd half the game had only one direction and, as with the return of Messi to the pitch, the 4-0 came naturally, through Messi himself, showing to be recovered from his injury.
ATLÉTICO DE MADRID 7-1 GRANADA
MVP: Carrasco (ATL, 24 pts)
The match started in a surprising way with a great goal from Isaac Cuenca, giving advantage to Granada. Atletico realized early that they could not think of the Champions game before winning this one. The turnaround was also achieved in the first half thanks to two goals by Carrasco. In a super inspired afternoon, the Belgian completed the hat-trick already in the 2nd half. Granada, without much confidence, broke down. Atletico took the opportunity to show off, scoring 5 more goals in just 30 minutes. Gaitán and Correa were highlighted during this period with 3 goals and 2 assists between them. Such a fantastic current moment from Atletico, creating many chances and with the usual defensive security, making us believe it will be very difficult to steal the lead from them.
BÉTIS 1-6 REAL MADRID
MVP: Isco (RMD, 13 pts)
The return to the winning days of Real Madrid could not be more categorical. And with a great exhibition! The rout began being built at the beginning of the meeting, through Varane. It was always Kroos and Isco organizing the game and showing their class, they got to half-time winning by a difference of 4 goals. There could have been more, such was the superiority before an opponent that was completely lost on the field. In the second half, Betis came determined to react but the best they could do was an honor goal. Real continued to create chances, eventually scoring 2 more: Isco with a great goal and Cristiano Ronaldo breaking his 3-games fast.
ALAVÉS 1-1 MÁLAGA
MVP: Rosales (MAL, 9 pts)
Alavés started to win early in the game. Deyverson used a false outing by Kameni to shoot into an empty net. By half-time, Alavés could have extended the lead. In the second half, Malaga entered more dominant, and, just 5 minutes before the end, they got even through a missile sent by Rosales. A draw that punishes Alaves, because in the 2nd half they trusted that the 1-0 was enough to secure the three points.
ATHLETIC 3-2 REAL SOCIEDAD
MVP: Iñaki Williams (ATH, 11 pts)
The Basque derby had everything: emotion, intensity, goals and a great atmosphere. Real Sociedad started winning, taking advantage of the only goalscoring opportunity they had during the 1st half. Zurutuza had his way to a crossing by Xabi Prieto. By the interval, the Leones mounted a siege to Rulli’s goal, but he defended all the attempts, ensuring the advantage of his team by half-time. Athletic, despite the disadvantage, was bigger after the break, and scored at the beginning of the 2nd half with a great goal from Muniain. The goal advantage got bigger soon – after only ten minutes. Aduriz, with a world-class finishing, put some justice in the scoreboard. The third goal would come with help from Iñaki taking advantage from a defensive failure. Before the end, Real Sociedad was able to reduce by Martinez, making the game exciting until the very end.
SPORTING GIJÓN 1-2 VALENCIA
MVP: Mario Suárez (VAL, 14 pts)
The debut of Cesare Prandelli couldn’t have been better, with his team conquering the 3 points. Valencia took the lead after just six minutes, with a goal from Mario Suarez, completing a good play from his team. Sporting, who played at very fast speed, was looking for a tie that they would eventually get with a Carlos Castro’s header. In the 2nd half, Valencia restored the advantage in a set-piece, again by Mario Suarez. By the end, Valencia gave the game initiative to Sporting, but the home team wasn’t able to tie the game.
VILLARREAL 5-0 CELTA DE VIGO
MVP: Roberto Soriano (VIL, 14 pts)
Another huge display by Fran Escribá’s team. At the end of the 1st half they were already winning 3-0. Soriano with an encore and Bakambu, in the starting 11 for the first time this season, made the goals. After half-time, Villarreal made the 4-0 soon after the restart of the game and, from that moment on, just managed it. Celta de Vigo wanted to finish the game, but wasn’t able not to suffer the fifth goal. Villarreal is still unbeaten in the league and won’t give up the fight for a place in the Champions. But Celta, after three consecutive victories, came down to earth.
EIBAR 2-3 OSASUNA
MVP: Sergio León (OSA, 10 pts)
In the game that closed the game-week came the big surprise. Osasuna got his first win in the league, in a game that was played under heavy rain. It was not always very well played. Still, it had 5 goals and a lot of emotion. Eibar entered to win with a great goal from Escalante, after just 17 seconds. Osasuna bet on Sergio León’s speed to wreak havoc on Eibar’s defence and achieved the turnaround in just 3 minutes. They gave the tie away close to half-time. In the second period, the game was not very interesting, except for the excellent individual work by Roberto Torres, which would give the three points to his team.