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La Liga Weekend Recap: Is This Even Worth Watching Anymore?

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Some talking points and analysis from the first week of la Liga action: should we even bother watching these matches any more? Am I too cynical for my own good? Do I use too many rhetorical questions in my summaries? Read on to find out.

I can't tell if Kaká is happy or exasperated--which is kind of how I feel when I watch la Liga!
I can't tell if Kaká is happy or exasperated--which is kind of how I feel when I watch la Liga!

I know, I know, the 2011-2012 Liga BBVA isn't even a week old yet. That still doesn't change the fact that it's already boring. Sure, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona scored a combined 11 goals in their two matches, and yes, Valencia roared back with two minutes left to turn a 2-3 loss into a 4-3 win. But still, we all know how this is going to play out: Real Madrid and Barcelona will play two intense matches that will decide the winner of the competition, and will inevitably end in a fight. Yet we soldier on, like fans who already know the score of a match we're watching on replay--we know the outcome, and even the exact minute our teams will make moves, we just don't know how exactly everything will come about. So here are a few things to think about from week one:

  • FC Barcelona look great. They throttled third place contender Villarreal 5-0 despite having a makeshift defense and playing an outdated 3-4-3. Lionel Messi scored twice, which surprises no one, while super-duper-sub Alexis Sánchez scored his debut goal. Booooooring.
  • Real Madrid looked equally impressive, demolishing relegation-level Zaragoza 6-0. Last year's pichichi-award-winner Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick, which, again, surprised no one. Some how I think this team will be in contention to win some titles this year. Equally boring.
  • To no one's surprise, Atlético Madrid still suck. They drew Osasuna 0-0 in the Vicente Calderón, despite dominating possession in midfield. They looked sorely in need of a striker, which, thankfully, they have in their new super-replacement Falcao. I still think this team will make a run this year...but honestly, I think the description that Maddi of VillarrealUSA used for Atleti, "a possibly-improved-but-come-on,-probably-not Atlético," might hold true. Too bad...but still very predictable.
  • The least predictable game so far? Valencia's shocking come-from-behind win over Racing, 4-3 at the Mestalla in Valencia. This game had almost everything you could want: drama, intrigue, seven goals, a late shocker...and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it as a neutral. That's the first and only time I've said this so far this season.
  • Much less impressive was Sevilla's 2-1 win over Málaga, despite boasting some of the better goals of the tournament. Shockingly, the newly-created SuperMálaga seemed out of sync, like they didn't know each other that well. Which actually shocks no one. Negredo's second-minute header was sublimely taken, as was Cazorla's brilliant free kick to bring the score to 2-1, but those were really the only highlights in a dull match that had tons of potential.

So where does that leave us? Am I being too cryptic, already writing off this season as a Scotland-like two horse race to see which team can score more goals against inferior opposition? No. That's what this season is going to be like. If you enjoy watching Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate the competition on their way to 100-point seasons, then you're in for the thrill of your life; if you like balanced, competitive soccer, then watch the Bundesliga. I hear Dortmund is still good this year.