La Liga: Real Madrid and Barcelona aiming to set record straight this weekend
We will be entering the third round of La Liga fixtures this weekend. It has been compelling viewing so far, although Real Madrid and Barcelona will have been disappointed to drop points against Levante and Athletic Bilbao, respectively. In this preview, we will provide the full lowdown ahead of Real Betis v Real Madrid on Saturday evening, as well as Barcelona v Getafe on Sunday.
Gareth Bale back among the goals as Real Madrid involved in pulsating draw
After spending last season on loan to Tottenham, Gareth Bale is ready to shine for Real Madrid this season. The mercurial Welshman had fallen out of favour with Los Blancos’ previous incumbent Zinedine Zidane. However, he is already looking like a new player under Carlo Ancelotti. Bale only needed five minutes to open the scoring against Levante last Sunday.
In a pulsating game that oscillated back and forth, Levante thought they had grabbed all three points when Suarez Pier put them 3-2 up. But Vinicius Junior spared Real’s blushes when he equalised five minutes from time. Karim Benzema provided two assists, and Levante had to stick defender Ruben Vezo in goal for the closing stages of the game after goalkeeper Anito Fernandez was dismissed.
Carlo Ancelotti bemoans Real Madrid’s brittle defence
While the 3-3 draw was great for the neutral to watch, it made for uncomfortable viewing for Ancelotti. Real have already conceded as many goals (4) as title rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona combined from their first two games. Ancelotti was particularly disappointed with the second goal conceded against Levante, as he said: “For the second, it was three against two and that can’t happen.”
Real Betis display recovery powers once again
Real Betis have garnered two points from their opening two La Liga games, and they are currently mid-table. However, what is more concerning, is that they have been slow coming out of the traps in matches. Against Mallorca, they found themselves trailing before they equalised just before the hour mark. However, with Real Madrid’s defence looking brittle, Betis may take some comfort from that.
Real Betis v Real Madrid: a tale of past encounters
Although Real Madrid have traditionally dominated the head-to-head with 23 wins from their 46 clashes against Betis, recent meetings suggest Betis won’t be daunted. Indeed, Betis earned a draw at the Bernabeu last season, and they beat Real 2-1 on home soil last year. While Real are strong favourites to win this one, you wouldn’t put it past Betis to defy the odds.
Memphis Depay comes to Barcelona’s rescue
For a few hours last weekend, Barcelona moved to the top of La Liga. However, against Athletic Bilbao, they had Memphis Depay to thank. Inigo Martinez powered a header home five minutes after the restart, and they looked on course for victory. But summer signing Memphis rifled home a left-footed effort to secure a point for the visitors.
Eric Garcia got dismissed in injury time after hacking down Nico Williams when he was clean through on goal. Despite the draw, Barca have picked up four points from their opening two games, and they are now third in the La Liga table, just two points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Getafe, at the time of writing, will be eager to get their first points on the board. They lost 1-0 away in the opening game of the season to Valencia, and before they face Barca, they host Sevilla. Last season was a struggle for Getafe as they finished 15th in the table, and it could be a long old campaign once again.
Barcelona v Getafe: looking back on past fixtures
Barcelona will certainly be relishing facing Getafe on Sunday. A cursory glance at meetings between the two sides shows that wins have been scarce for Getafe. Indeed, Getafe have only beaten Barca three times in 32 clashes. Trips to the Nou Camp have been painful experiences for Getafe.
Last season, Barca cruised to a rousing 5-2 victory. Lionel Messi bagged a double, while substitutes Ronald Araujo and Antoine Griezmann also got on the scoresheet. Although Barca no longer have Messi in their ranks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them enjoy another convincing victory against Getafe.
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