Four things we learned in Spain's Matchday 13

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 8, 2021
Adjust font size:

MADRID. Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- La Liga goes into the final international break of the year after another interesting round of games which had their share of surprises. Here are some things we learned in Spain this weekend.

1. Xavi Hernandez has a lot of work to do

Barcelona played some excellent football in the first half of their 3-3 draw away to Celta Vigo on Saturday and then played some terrible football in the second half as Celta fought back to claim a 3-3 draw. The game shows that Xavi Hernandez, who is presented as new Barca coach on Monday, has a starting 11 that is able to play good football, but which is also currently far too fragile to challenge for silverware.

Xavi's task will be to boost the confidence of his players and install the mentality of hard work and sacrifice that made him such as great player.

However, he will also need a bit of luck with injuries after watching Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Nico Gonzalez all forced out on Saturday to take the total of players on Barca's injury list to 11.

No club can cope with that many absences and maybe one of Xavi's first tasks should be to have a look at the club's medical services.

2. Atletico slip back to bad habits

For around 80 minutes of their 3-3 draw away to Valencia, Atletico Madrid were excellent, controlling the game, attacking effectively and giving very little away in defense except for an unfortunate own goal from Stefan Savic and then they threw everything away in injury time.

Valencia substitute Hugo Duro scored in the 91st and 95th minutes of the game to give Valencia a vital point, while seeing two points slip through Atletico's fingers.

Last season Atletico built their title on a solid defense and it's hard to believe this would have happened a year ago and its something that has cost them too many points this season.

If they want to retain their title, Atletico have work to do at the back.

3. Sevilla claim bragging rights

The Seville derby is usually one of the feistiest games of the season; a no-holds barred contest against two neighbors who really do not like each other and its not unusual to see theatrics, controversy and some challenges bordering on the criminal.

Sunday's derby between Betis and Sevilla, which Sevilla won 2-0, had very little of any of that, mainly because Sevilla were so superior to Betis that there seemed no point in it.

Julen Lopetegui's side passed the ball around their rivals and had already stamped their authority over their neighbors long before Guido Rodriguez's sending off (in part product of Betis' frustration). From that moment it was just a question of how many Sevilla would score as Betis chased shadows

4. Real Sociedad are solid leaders

Real Sociedad's 2-0 win away to Osasuna in their second derby in a week sees them retain their lead at the top of the table and strengthens their claim to be taken seriously as contenders. Facing a rival that is also looking to qualify for Europe, they were able to keep things level with a solid defensive display, until taking the lead with 20 minutes left to play and then score twice to take three deserved points.

The side from San Sebastian have struggled with injuries in recent weeks and the return of players such as Mikel Oyarzabal after the break will only strengthen their position in an open title race. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from