LaLiga Matchweek 9: Team of the Week
After the international break, LaLiga clubs were eyeing better results during their return to action. Some succeeded, while others certainly did not. But the most interesting aspect is that many sides now in the top four are making the start to 2018-19 a genuine surprise for all involved.
The weekend’s matches began at the Balaídos, as Celta Vigo suffered a home loss to Alavés thanks to a Tomás Pina goal in the first half. The win moved Alavés into first place, although their position at the top would not last for very long.
Real Madrid’s struggles continued this past weekend, following a shocking 2-1 defeat at the hands of Levante on Saturday afternoon. Los Blancos manager Julen Lopetegui’s position is in serious jeopardy at the moment, and a good showing in the Champions League on Tuesday evening is vital.
Leganés played out a 1-1 draw at Valencia, securing an important away point. The same scoreline was seen later that day, with Villarreal and Atlético Madrid each walking away with a point. Those results kept Alavés in first, until Barcelona reclaimed their place at the league’s summit.
The Blaugrana secured a 4-2 win over Sevilla at the Camp Nou, once again gaining LaLiga’s top spot. Everything was not perfect for Barcelona though, as Lionel Messi suffered an arm injury that will keep him on the sidelines for about three weeks.
A Madrid derby started the Sunday fixtures, with Getafe fans enjoying a 2-1 victory at Rayo Vallecano. Athletic Club’s sluggish opening weeks of 2018-19 continued in a 1-1 draw at fellow Basque club Eibar. Los Leones are 17th in the table, avoiding the relegation places only by goal difference at the moment.
Espanyol’s charge into the top four received a boost with a 2-0 win at Huesca, moving the Catalan side into second place. Sunday evening featured a disappointing showing from Real Betis, as they lost at home to newly-promoted Real Valladolid. Monday’s fixture produced a 0-0 draw between Real Sociedad and Girona.
We highlight the top players and performances from around LaLiga in Matchweek Nine.
GK - Fernando Pacheco - Deportivo Alavés
Alavés and manager Abelardo have been sharp in the season’s early weeks, and goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco has been an important part of that success.
The 26-year-old recorded nine saves against Celta Vigo, and consistently puts himself in good positions to stop the opponent’s chances at goal.