While Real Madrid are the only team to maintain a perfect record in LaLiga after this weekend, any roundup would be incomplete without other storylines. For example, neighbors Atletico Madrid made waves with a goal-scoring masterclass. Also, Real’s top rivals, Barcelona, fought a feisty affair against Villarreal, it was their neighbors Atletico that grabbed the weekend headlines.
LaLiga weekend roundup from matchday three
Atletico puts on a show
Atletico Madrid produced its biggest-ever away win in LaLiga by demolishing city rivals Rayo Vallecano 7-0 on Monday. The visitors raced into a 3-0 first-half lead through goals from Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay and Nahuel Molina. They ruthlessly put the game beyond doubt after the break. A four-goal outburst in 13 minutes completed the rout. Alvaro Morata netted twice along with strikes from Angel Correa and Marcos Llorente.
The emphatic victory moves Atletico up to second in the table on 7 points, just two behind leaders Real Madrid. It was a harsh reality check for Rayo after two opening wins. Atletico’s sublime attacking display highlighted the gulf between the Madrid clubs.
Vini Jr. injury highlights another Real win
Real Madrid earned a third straight LaLiga win by beating Celta Vigo 1-0 away from home, but it was a difficult victory. New signing Jude Bellingham scored the winner in the second half to maintain his hot start after Rodrygo missed a penalty. Real suffered an early blow when Vinicius Jr. went off injured after just 15 minutes. Despite Celta starting brightly and having a goal disallowed by VAR, Real ground out the victory.
But question marks remain. For instance, Vinicius has a vague timetable for return. Carlo Ancelotti must figure out how to work Real without its Brazilian star. Rodrygo’s penalty miss raises questions as to who should take them. Bellingham’s goal-scoring form continues to be a positive. Regardless, injuries are a concern for Real as it aims to keep this perfect start going.
Barcelona win in the thriller of the weekend
Defending champions Barcelona emerged 4-3 winners in a dramatic, high-scoring encounter away at Villarreal on Sunday. Barcelona’s 16-year-old academy product Lamine Yamal starred. He provided assists for Gavi and Robert Lewandowski’s winning goal. He also slammed the woodwork twice on his attempts. Remarkably, Villarreal came back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 early in the second half. Then, late goals from Ferran Torres and Lewandowski swung the game back in Barca’s favor. Yamal impressed again after becoming Barca’s youngest-ever player and starter recently.
His performance highlighted La Masia’s talents, as Xavi’s side held on despite a scare to claim a vital victory that keeps them two points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid after three games.
Sevilla with three straight losses to open its season
Sevilla’s poor start to the LaLiga season continued with a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Girona on Saturday. Sevilla went behind in the first half after failing to clear a Girona corner. They equalized right before halftime, but Girona retook the lead early in the second period. Despite Sevilla dominating possession and having 22 shots to Girona’s 8, they couldn’t find an equalizer. A potential late penalty was also waved off by VAR.
Girona held on for a valuable away victory, condemning Europa League champions Sevilla to three straight defeats to start the season. The loss piles pressure on manager José Luis Mendilibar as Sevilla sits bottom of the table without a point after three games.
PHOTO: IMAGO / NurPhoto
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