LaLiga Thoughts, Matchday 9: Los Che go off as Leganés move into fifth, Las Palmas hit the rocks

Changing things up a little this week, as I’ll be going day-by-day and giving my reaction to things that happened on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as opposed to giving a game-by-game breakdown.

Saturday

  • Getafe scored another golazo in what is becoming a curiously frequent (and awesome) wrinkle to their game. It’s been good to see them come back up and entertain a little bit. Solid point away in a 1-1 draw at fellow promoted side Levante.
  • Not the best we’ve seen Real Betis play this season, but they were quite comfortable in a 2-0 home win over Alavés. Tony Sanabria has scored in five straight games and Quique Setién’s men have lost just once over that stretch. And this image of Alavés keeper Fernando Pacheco after his side conceded an own goal sums up how their season is going:

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  • I don’t know what else I can say about Valencia. They’re in another galaxy right now. Not that Sevilla have played well this season — they haven’t, and that inadequacy is coming home to roost — but they fell victim to another spellbinding display from los Che. Gonçalo Guedes may be generating the headlines — rightfully so — but Dani Parejo’s restoration to ridiculously solid midfield pendulum (85 touches, 87 percent pass completion, four key passes) has been huge for this unbeaten side.
  • Gerard Deulofeu’s opening goal should not have counted. But that’s unfortunately how the ball is rolling at rock-bottom Málaga. A 2-0 defeat to Barcelona leaves them with one point from the opening nine games. Míchel is surely on his way out, and I’ve been told that fans want to see old boss Javi Gracia return.

Sunday

  • It may have been slightly harsh, but the hard facts tell us this: after a 4-0 pasting at red-hot Villarreal, Las Palmas have conceded the most goals in LaLiga. They’ve lost five straight and are in the drop zone. They have no discernible style or identity, and the temporary addition of future Atlético man Vitolo hasn’t helped one bit.
  • Speaking of Atlético Madrid, I’m not sure how they managed to win 1-0 at Celta Vigo and thus stay unbeaten. Celta dominated throughout and were unlucky not to receive a second half penalty for a Gabi handball in the box. Atlético haven’t lost away from home in domestic competition in 10 months.
  • Claudio Beauvue scored the goal of the weekend against Athletic Club. Little Leganés continue to impress after the 1-0 win at Butarque; they are fifth in LaLiga and boast the league’s best defense (three goals conceded).
  • In case you still had doubts, Real Madrid‘s bench is still really, really good. Karim Benzema and Marcelo came off it this time to combine for Madrid’s third and final goal against Eibar, who have the joint-lowest goal return in LaLiga. The Basque side are 17th, winless in five and need to find answers.

Monday

  • Asier Illarramendi scored and got sent off, and former Manchester United reject Adnan Januzaj put in a stellar shift which saw Real Sociedad end up fairly unlucky to only draw 1-1 with Espanyol.
  • Deportivo boss Pepe Mel is gone after his (former) side lost 2-1 at home to Girona. Depor survived last season thanks to three awful teams below them and Mel departs with just six wins from 24. Ouch.

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