Yesterday, the eight teams that played combined to score thirteen goals in four games--an average of about three goals per game. Real Madrid slammed Zaragoza 4-0 (in a game widely-decried by the Spanish dailies (AKA the hack brigade) as "boring"); Barcelona easily dispatched Celta 3-1; Rayo shocked Málaga 1-2; and Valencia shut out Atlético 2-0. It was a fun day in the Liga--but one that went more or less according to expectations.
Today has been close to the polar opposite. Of the five games that have been played so far, the ten teams have combined for six goals--only slightly more than one goal per game. Here's a run-down of the results:
This was classic Levante and JIM. Sevilla looked like they were dominating, but time and again the Levante defense would send the ball back out. It literally looked like Sevilla was bouncing a ball against a wall as hard as they could--and were getting super frustrated doing it. In other games, JIM's Levante could have turned that frustration into a goal to snag a tough win--but I think they'll take the hard-fought goalless draw.
Granada 1-2 Athletic
Athletic are no longer in imminent danger of falling into the relegation zone! This will come as little consolation to Marcelo Bielsa and company, however, as they haven't been able to capture their best form all year. Aduriz's two goals saved them from embarrassment today...but it was a much closer call than they would have liked, especially because one of them came of a highly doubtful penalty.
Osasuna 0-1 Valladolid
Osasuna fell to a goal in the 83rd minute on a cold, blustery night. Neither side managed much offense in the Reyno, and it showed--the game seemed more like a slog of a hike through an unpleasant wilderness than a soccer match. But Valladolid, one of the more surprisingly exciting sides this season, found their way out, nabbing the winner with just seven minutes.
Deportivo 1-0 Mallorca
A Coruña can be particularly unpleasant around this time of year, especially for a team used to tropical conditions on their island home. This game more or less reflected the two sides' abilities to deal with the elements at Riazor--and, not surprisingly, the home team won.
La Real were not playing some island-dwelling team that really likes the nice weather. They were playing a battle-tested Espanyol side that, sure, isn't the best in the league, but is certainly not out of sorts when playing in the slog. Espanyol out-classed the home side and grabbed a much-appreciated three points.