Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico all look vulnerable. Does that mean La Liga is wide open?

13:48 EN

the writer Sid LoweSpain

If you take a break on Tuesday night after visiting Real Madrid at Borussia Mönchengladbach and look to the right side of the screen, away from the action, you’ll see the moment when Fed Valverde thinks everything is lost. As the ball flew through the air, he stood on a wing with his head in his hands, convinced that he had misjudged his cross, which was now out of play in just three minutes.

But suddenly Casemiro appears and jumps up to save everyone. Somehow the Brazilian keeps them in his hands, Karim Benzema scores a goal, and now Madrid just scores a goal. Four minutes later, in a deep injury, another ball was thrown into the penalty area and Casemiro bounced back to complete his comeback, returning to a 2-0 scoreline for a 2-2 tie. Madrid was about to do this, but the mission was successful and their work was done here.

2 Related

Around the same time in Madrid, Joao Felix scored a goal in the Metropolitano Wanda. Athletico beat Salzburg 3-2, 2-1 The next night was a little more convincing. Sevilla defeated Rennes, and for some reason Luca De Jonga’s beautiful goal was the only one they scored on the night they scored 23 goals. Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata scored a hat-trick in Turin with offside goals banned by the VAR and Barcelona beat Juventus 2-0.

Three victories and a draw resulted in one death, another for this collection of epic returns: All in all, it was a good week for the La Liga teams in the Champions League. That will also be the case; in the end it seems that not only Madrid and Atletico have saved Casemiro and Joao Felix, but perhaps all the others. That would feel justified not only Barcelona and Seville afterwards, but also by the place where they play.

After the victory of Barcelona, Andrea Pirlo confessed: We played in a great soccer team, now Barcelona is one step ahead of us. In Turin that was true – more than a step, in fact – but what the extraordinary literally means from above. Nobody was expecting this: Barcelona have arrived, they have not been able to win any of the last three matches of the Championship, not even the Classico, their problems are getting worse, doubts casting a spell on everyone.

– Broadcast of new episodes of ESPN FC from Monday to Friday on ESPN+
– Series A on ESPN+ : Streaming LIVE games and playback (US only)

You weren’t alone. In Madrid the headlines took the last train, while Atletico escaped the monumental chaos. They came to Monchengladbach knowing they needed a victory after losing 3-2 in their opening game against Shakhtar Donetsk, the supposedly weakest team they had beaten at home. Athletico came in the game against Salzburg after missing four games against Bayern in Munich.

Only Seville seemed confident: At Stamford Bridge, where they drew, they made a strong impression and beat Rennes convincingly. But if you look at the rankings, and they… 13-й. Barcelona is just a place above them.

The following matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+ (USA) :
– Hamburg to St. Paul (13.20 ET)
– Schalke to Stuttgart (15.20 ET)
– Coventry to Reading (15.40 ET)
– Bristol city in Norwich (8,25 ET)
– Croton in Atalanta (9,50 ET)
– Frankfurt in Bremen (10,20 ET)
– Cologne in Bavaria (10,20 ET). ET)
– Augsburg to Mainz (10.20 ET)
– Bielefeld to Dortmund (10.20 ET)
– Luton to Brentford (10.55 ET)
– Inter Milan to Parma (12.50 ET)

Yeah, it’s summertime: The teams playing in Europe have all the matches in their hands because they started the season later. By the way, Athletico is in fifth place and Madrid in second place. If you win, it looks different: The four teams in the Champions League can be in the lead as well as within the maximum score.

Seven races per season (or six or five, depending on the person) is a period in which the ranking means nothing, and we have been there before. It’s so much fun: It is nice to see that Real Sociedad is in the lead and Granada in third place, little Cadiz in a European place, Osasuna, Elche and Getafe on their point. It’s nice to see different leaders: Valencia, Granada, Betis, Getaf, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad. But the early leaders tend to slip, reality intervenes, familiar faces overtake them and the same parties fight for the title.

Giants find their way, even though they are made of clay.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Messi (right) and Barcelona have not been successful for most of this season, especially after losing first place to Real Madrid. There’s still time to change things, but something seems different. LIST GENE/APP via Getty Images

It’s not even worth looking at the standings for the last five races, said the real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguasil. His team is the only one at the top so far. Until last week, every leader in the league lost every time he got to the top. It’s good, too, and it takes a long time.

And yet there is a doubt, a suspicion that something deeper is going on. Maybe these giants won’t get up this time, in a season that is played in silence. Maybe their problems go beyond a slow start.

At the end of the last round of the game, two former players spoke on television. One of them said that he liked the feeling of rivalry, the unpredictability of the competition. Yes, the other one answered, but I want it to be because they’re all good, not because of their lack of them.

Only one team hasn’t been beaten this season. Nevertheless, Atletico was held in Huesca and Villarreal in an aimless draw. Last week Seville lost to Eybar, and the week before that to Granada.

Fault! The file name is not specified. – set


Gab Marcotti believes that the legendary stars of Barca, such as Javi, Inesta and Lionel Messi, are crucial for the future of the club.

It was not crazy and unpredictable to ask for empty stadiums and ugly results like in other places. If the empty stadiums here suggest anything, it is a feeling of loss, or perhaps pessimism on the part of everyone else, which leads to overly gloomy judgments. But it wasn’t a coincidence. Look at the results at home: no great comebacks, no blockbuster, targets flying both ways, it’s all even more flattering without the fans.

There was only a 2-2 and a tie with a lot of points, and only a 3-2: The victory of Madrid at La Betis. There was a 4-2 (Valencia-Levante), a 4-1 (Sociedad Huesca) and a 6-1 (Atletico-Granada), and that was almost all. The most common result of the team this season is zero: The teams scored 39 times zero and only one goal – 33 times. With just over 100 points, both teams scored two or more goals. Spain has fewer goals than all the major European leagues and in the top flight their number has almost doubled.

Maybe the protection is better than ever… …or maybe something’s slipping. Just last year a columnist compared a classic with two injured men chasing each other and aiming at each other. This year Barcelona and Madrid entered the Classico last week, losing to Getaf and Cadiz respectively for the first time since 2003. Which is great again, but also sobering.

Of course, 2003 does not seem so far away, but a lot has happened since then that Spanish football seems to have taken over elsewhere: the World Cup, two European championships, eight European Cup victories, ten UEFA Cup victories, more than just a Spanish final in the two cups. The rise of Madrid and Barcelona as the largest clubs in the world. Lionel Massey, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the cast.

Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop and others have joined Dan Thomas to bring you the latest news and discuss the most important plots. Flows to ESPN+ (USA only).

Huge conclusions and grand statements make Spain a hostage of fate, and what belongs to one Spanish team does not always apply to another, but some people are now wondering if all that has disappeared. Or at least he’s leaving. When the balance of power has shifted to another place; when, of course, the economy has shifted. There may be an opportunity for an outsider – a season in which Real Sociedad, Seville or Atletico can compete in the championship would be highly desirable, but fear is the reason why and whether these results will show something interesting at home and abroad.

In their last three games against the Spanish teams, Bayern’s overall result in Munich was 14-3 lower. Bavaria is a team that goes out and tells people the truth, Jorge Valdano suggested. They scored eight goals against Barcelona, which is a measure of their decline, and four against Atl3tico, which is another diagnosis: The competition loses its competitiveness because of the garbage dump.

This is what Valdano wrote in the morning in the Spanish newspaper El País in a Classico that Real won 3-1. Not so long ago, he said it was the highest peak in football…

…but not anymore. Ronaldo is gone, Messi has tried to leave and will do so soon, either by translation or dismissal. The summer transfer market has told the story of the Spanish teams. Nineteen teams in the Champions League had net costs: Among the Spaniards there was only Seville. There is a reason – well, there are many – why it is the largest Spanish teams trying to qualify for the European Super League, and one of the leaders says, as has been said, that they either sink into deep mediocrity.

It goes without saying, of course. Greed, too. And it’s hard to swallow the complaints of the Spanish superclubs, who complain they don’t do their job. Take us out, take us out for a few pennies. Frankly, there is a great temptation to tell them to leave and then enjoy someone else’s victory. But there is also fear – fear of being left behind, fear of seeing power change elsewhere.

Fault! The file name is not specified. – set


Barcelona teammates Sergino Dest and Conrad de la Fuente will play in the Halloween edition of Never Have I Everver.

Power is often perceived by the players, who are the real attractions of the sport. The absurd decision to cancel the Ballon d’Or this year could have saved the Spanish red, because it was the first time in more than ten years that it did not exist.

Discover the UEFA team of the year. Yeah, it’s full of flaws. Actually, it’s funny sometimes, but it doesn’t make sense, at least not as an echo of what’s going on. Last year there was only one La Liga player. How many will there be this year? No? There were six in 2018 and 2017, and eight in 2017 and 2016. A year ago there were five. This development in fact depends on the European results, which vary from year to year. Victory and defeat are certainly sometimes deception. Transitions take time – and there is no doubt that both Madrid and Barcelona are at a very special moment that doesn’t necessarily have to last.

If Europe is the barometer of the health of Spanish football, then it is also uneven: After the final of the All-Prime-League, probably the beginning of something permanent, Germany and France reached the final in Lisbon. Sevilla has won the Seville Cup again and is participating in the Champions League this season. Where, when it comes to reliability, you can be exactly the Spanish team you trust the most this time. The other members of the Europa League, Villarreal, Real Socidad and perhaps even Granada, should be taken seriously.

But in the biggest phase, this automatic list of favorites should no longer include the Spanish teams at the beginning of each season. The headline on the front page of a Spanish newspaper on the day the competition was launched this year: More difficult than ever. This week, after the first round of races, after what was noticed in the country, that feeling was probably even stronger.

The La-Liga teams needed a response, and they got one, a rebellion. So is the alarm clock. They won’t give up so easily and won’t give up their rights in the future. There is time, space, a place to grow – not only now, but also in the future.

When Casemiro saved Madrid, the men who ran Barcelona and Atletico were boys. The children who dominate the stage and let everything go up in the air. Who knows, maybe it even announces a new era, better times. Hope. Tomorrow is another day and Pedry and Joao Felix will be here.

On Wednesday evening, in the tunnel for the second half, Saul Niges and Jan Cluck talked admiringly about Joao Felix, who impressed in the first 45 minutes and will change the game and atmosphere in the second half – and do even better.

Madre mía, he’s so good, Cloud said.

He’s good. He’s theirs, too.

You May Also Like