LaLiga 2018-19: Sevilla and Atletico Madrid's stunning recovery in LaLiga as Real Madrid slip further
The results of the previous few matchdays in the Spanish league have led to a complete restructuring of the top 4 which only a few would have predicted. The most notable participants of this restructuring were three teams namely Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Real Madrid were off to a flying start winning 4 of their first 5 games and drawing 1, scoring 12 goals and conceding only 3 in the process. Real Madrid were the league leaders after the second matchday.
Since Matchday 3, they firmly gripped the second position in the league but were level on points with the then league leaders Barcelona who were ahead only on goal difference. They also battered Roma in the Champions League during that period with a convincing 3-0 win.
The season since then has been nothing short of a nightmare for Los Blancos who have suffered a stunning total of 3 humiliating defeats and a draw in their past 4 games all the while being unable to score even a single goal. This patch of poor form has seen them drop to 4th in LaLiga and 2nd behind CSKA Moscow in Champions League Group G.
The fate of Sevilla and Real Madrid's cross-city rivals Atletico in LaLiga has been the complete opposite of that of the defending UCL champions. Atletico Madrid had a slow start to the season where they drew against Valencia and Eibar and surprisingly lost to Celta Vigo with a 2-0 scoreline while winning a solitary game against Rayo Vallecano in their first 4 matches of the league dropping down to as low as 10th in the process.
They managed to steady their performance since then with a draw against Real and 3 other victories. Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Valencia saw Atletico rise to third in the league with 15 points by the end of Matchday 8 behind Barcelona, who also sit with 15 points but at the second position.
The real revelation of this season so far although has been Sevilla who had finished 7th in the league last season. Sevilla had a terrible start to LaLiga this season which saw them lose to Real Betis and Getafe falling down to as low as 12th in the table by Matchday 4.
Since then, they have destroyed Levante with a huge 2-6 away scoreline, humiliated the 33-time league champions Real Madrid by scoring 3 goals past them even before halftime, and grazed past Celta with a 2-1 scoreline.
Their consistent and magical performances combined with a poor string of performances from arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid saw Sevilla rise to the top of the league with 16 points, one point ahead of Barcelona and Atletico.
Although Barcelona have managed to stay in the top two, their fans are seemingly unhappy with the way they play football under their manager Ernesto Valverde. Messi has time and time bailed them out of difficult situations and we can only wonder if Barcelona's fate would be as bad as or worse than a Cristiano-less Real Madrid had Messi not been their to uplift them.
The current season of LaLiga has seen some stunning results. The quality of weaker teams has improved by a huge margin and any team on their day can defeat the big fishes in the league. The current top 8 teams in LaLiga are separated only by 4 points. The season is long but we can expect that if the teams maintain or improve their quality, this one could be a much closer and much difficult season in terms of the number of teams who could realistically fight for the title.