La Liga wrap: Real Madrid in chaos ahead of Man City clash
Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid side are in poor form ahead of their Champions League clash with Man City, writes Tom Wellman
Sevilla compound Real Madrid’s misery
Real Madrid appear to be in all sorts of chaos ahead of their Champions League tie with Manchester City on Tuesday as they lost their second league game of the season to Sevilla. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo remains unhappy at the club, as reported after the Granada victory, and the squad appears to lack any sort of cohesion. Jose Mourinho had to face his second tough press conference in quick succession, with the questions focusing on the rumored unrest in the team. He responded by saying that even Real can lose – but not in the manner that they have done. In truth, their disply was limp throughout and Sevilla merited their win, secured by a second-minute Piotr Trochowski strike.
Barcelona avoid Getafe banana skin
Despite the ongoing capitulation within the walls of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona have simply gone about their business with optimum efficiency. The Catalan club top the table and maintained their 100 per cent record with a 4-1 win over Getafe, the same team who caught out Madrid not so long ago. Adriano opened the scoring before Lionel Messi grabbed a brace and David Villa rounded off an assured victory. But for a Javier Mascherano own goal, Barcelona would have kept a clean sheet – eight points already separate Barcelona and Real prompting questions whether the title race is already over.
Falcao nets again as Atletico avoid late Rayo fightback
Fabulous Radamel Falcao scored his fourth goal in three La Liga games against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. Adding his hat-trick in the Super Cup to that, the Colombian striker has notched seven goals in his previous four Atletico games to make him the world’s form player at the moment. He only managed a single goal against neighbours Rayo during a fascinating game at the Vicente Calderón. Falcao made the score 4-0 after Mario Suárez, Koke and Arda Turan strikes but Rayo fought back in a bizarre five minute spell. Andrija Delibašić’s two goals in two minutes made it 4-2 before Leo unnerved Atletico fans on 88 minutes with a third. But Rayo couldn’t force the equaliser though during an intriguing encounter.
Espanyol drop points again as Llorente returns for Bilbao
Espanyol took the lead twice against Athletic Bilbao but, similar to their last game with Levante, they could not hold out for the win. Javi López and Verdu had put Espanyol 2-0 up at half-time against a weak Bilbao defence and appeared set to secure their maiden victory of the season. However, within 25 minutes of the restart, Bilbao were back level. Aritz Aduriz grabbed the first, and Fernando Llorente, on his return to the starting XI, equalised. Longo scored Espanyol’s third on 80 minutes but Aduriz’s second of the day ensured another disappointing result in El Prat. Afterwards, Marcelo Bielsa spoke of how pleased he was that Llorente had scored, but the striker refused to say whether he would remain in Bilbao beyond the January transfer window.
Mallorca’s Hemed continues his stunning form
Along with Messi, Falcao and Aduriz, another striker in great form is Tomer Hemed. Mallorca’s Israeli frontman was not expected to feature in the top scorers section at any point during the season but his four goals has left him the nearest rival to Messi. More impressive is the fact that Hemed has taken just seven shots this term in scoring his quartet of goals, making him a dangerous opponent in La Liga. He scored Mallorca’s leveller at the weekend to continue the Islander’s unbeaten start to the new campaign. At his current rate, he could fill the void left by the miserable and misfiring Ronaldo.