Madrid, 16 September (EFE). – With the help of an extra-motivated and rejuvenated Joao Felix, Barcelona temporarily took over the leadership of LaLiga EA Sports, from whom Atletico Madrid poached Simeone, one of the worst faces. And he left Mestalla beaten.
With fresh air, although initially without Lamin Yamal, sitting on the bench, Xavi Hernández’s team returned from the international break with a good image, reinforcements integrated and Robert Lewandowski fine with his scoring nose. They defeated Betis brutally (5-0).
While the champion turns the pressure on Real Madrid, who hosts Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Sunday, he thinks about the day that saw an explosion of enthusiasm in Valencia, a good version of Athletic that beat Cadiz (3-0) And won the first victory of Mallorca, in Vigo, against Celta, about which doubts are beginning to appear (0-1).
Barcelona have won four in a row, winning all but one on their debut against Getafe at the start of the season. Xavi gave his eleven another chance and it was a complete success. He also had the rebellious spirit of João Félix, eager for his vengeance, to demonstrate that he was where he always said he wanted to be and without the rigidities that Simeone demanded.
The Portuguese, who made his Barcelona debut as a scorer, brought joy to the attack. And Lewandowski and Ferrán, who are on a streak, extended their streak. With Barcelona and with the national team. Few are more profitable than the Valencian in terms of minutes played and success. Joao Cancelo joins the party. The Portuguese side also made their debut. This piece was wanted by its instructor.
Betis looked like a toy in Barça’s hands. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have only one win in their last four matches.
The worst version of Simone
And just when it seemed that Atlético Madrid had found the rhythm of the competition and the right pace to aspire to everything, they crashed at Valencia. Nothing to do with how it looked before the break. With the red and white team advancing without losing and Valencia woke up from their dream. Two consecutive defeats put an end to an unimaginable start.
But he came out badly from Mestalla. A week before the derby they were crushed by Rubén Baraja’s team and inspired by Hugo Duro, who scored a double, and Javi Guerra was punished.
In fact, Simeone retired Antoine Griezmann with just over half an hour remaining. Declaration of intention. It was Atlético Madrid’s worst defeat in official competition in two years and eleven months since October 21, 2020, when they were beaten 4–0 by Bayern Munich on the opening day of the Champions League group stage in the 2020–21 season. ,
Simeone called it his “weakest game” since his arrival at the club.
In fact, in that trip, the red and white team only conceded three goals in one game and lost, 3–2, against Cádiz at the Nuevo Mirandilla Stadium on 29 October. The last defeat by the same margin against Valencia in the league was 3–0 against Espanyol on May 4, 2019.
“I saw what everyone who watched the game saw, Valencia was superior, we just didn’t play the game we wanted to. We should congratulate the opponent because they played a very good game: they knew how not to let us think, they played well on the counterattacks…” Semyon told the media.
“The opponents were better than us, congratulations to them, there is nothing more to say. Nothing caught my attention about Valencia, we knew they run well in space, they play for stretches with the goalkeeper, they were more intense, they won duels, they played in the most dangerous areas. were able to form triangles and they were more powerful,” he concluded.
athletic, on the rise
However, Athletic recorded its second consecutive win in San Mamés for the first time in 2023. Ernesto Valverde’s team, with three wins and one draw, is already part of the top zone of the classification. Only Barcelona and Real Madrid are ahead of them.
The Bilbao team eliminated Cádiz’s resistance thanks to its men in the area: Guarazeta opened the scoring just before the substitution and Villalibre, who came on as his replacement, increased the score two minutes later. Iñaki Williams scored Athletic’s third win of the season.
Strong and solid in San Mamés, where he only lost against Real Madrid, he did not suffer the loss of Nico Williams, who was injured.
“Nico gives us different things. He tackles, he is fast and he keeps the opponent behind him, but we have to be ready for these types of upsets and I have no doubts about the team’s performance,” Valverde said. Not there.” “Scoring three goals is qualification,” he said.
Athletic halted Cadiz’s momentum and brought Mallorca back to reality by emerging victorious for the first time so far this season.
Mallorca, first win
Five months later, again in Ballados, Mallorca recorded its first win of the season against Celta de Vigo (0–1) with a brilliant performance from goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic and a goal from Kosovar Vedat Muriqi in the 85th minute, followed immediately by after. In the VOR room he canceled Jonathan Bamba’s 1–0 score because the ball did not fully cross the goal line.
Doubts are falling on Rafa Benitez’s project, which has won only one of the five games it has played and is stuck in bottom place. Without excessive arguments for optimism, the Vigo team is not finished taking off.
“You can never be happy when your opponent hits the post twice and has the best chances, but you can be happy because your effort has been rewarded with victory. We had that dose of luck which left us with two missed penalties this season. Talking about justice in football is very complicated. “We finally won, which gave us some relief,” admitted Javier Aguirre.
(c) EFE Agency