5 Things We Learned from La Liga Week 2
We haven’t seen yet Week 1 in the Spanish League (and we won’t until January), but the Week 2 of the schedule is over.
That’s going to be a bit confusing during the entire season (Week 1 will be played on Week 20 spot, while Week 20 goes to Week 37), but we’ll figure it out.
What else did we learn from the first weekend of play in La Liga?
1. Real Madrid Will Keep Running Up the Score
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Los Merengues had an easy season-opener, visiting a scared Zaragoza that couldn’t even make on shot on goal in the entire game.
By the 71st minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the fourth goal, the game had been long over.
So, what did Real Madrid do?
They pressed even harder, scoring only two more goals just because Zaragoza’s keeper Roberto was outstanding.
In the NFL that would have been called running up the score; Bill Belichick would be proud.
Sure, in soccer you can’t just make short-yardage runs to eat the clock, but still, there was no need to try that hard.
But, well, at least the Madrid press is happy—Cristiano Ronaldo is on pace for 114 goals and they can highlight that to forget Barcelona is still the best team in the world.
2. Roma Wasn’t Built in a Day…and Malaga Won't Be Either
There has been a lot of hype about Malaga, the Spanish version of Manchester City.
Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani spent tons of money to strength the team, signing big names like Santi Cazorla, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jérémy Toulalan, among others.
But as I mentioned in the preseason La Liga power rankings, let’s not place them in the title picture yet.
Sevilla beat Malaga 2-1 and did it deservedly, giving their Andalucian neighbors a much-needed reality check.
3. In Spain, the Radio Stations Don’t Pay
When we thought La Liga was controversy-free with the end of the strike, a new “scandal” surrounded the weekend.
There were no radio broadcasts, except for the Sevilla-Malaga.
Why? Because apparently La Liga authorities just realized every other important league in the world (of any sport) charges broadcasting rights to the radio stations, so they intend to.
And because of that, the Spanish radio companies are outraged, refusing to pay for what they have gotten for free for decades.
Now I understand a bit better why half of the teams in the league are broke.
4. Barcelona Doesn’t Need Defenders
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Josep Guardiola had five absences in the defence for this game: Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Adriano and Maxwell.
The solution? Changing his usual 4-3-3 to a Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team-like 3-4-3.
But that wasn’t all: The only defender on the field was left-back Abidal; the other two central defenders were Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets, two midfielders who have had to learn the position in the part year.
5. Yes, It’s a Two-Horse Race
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Eight games of the weekend ended on a draw or a victory by one goal.
The other two were, of course, Real Madrid and Barcelona’s blowouts over Zaragoza and Villarreal.
Any doubt they’ll have a 30-point lead over the third place at the end of the season?
So, What Do You Think?
Enjoy the goals and reactions of the weekend in this video.
I’m waiting for your comments.
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