Mon, 04 Dec 2023

MADRID, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid went back to the top of La Liga in the eighth round of matches this weekend, while FC Barcelona struggled again but moved to second. Here are some things we saw in Spain in recent play.

1. Real Madrid firepower makes difference in Girona

Saturday's game between Girona and Real Madrid started as if Girona were going to extend their winning run. However, one of Real Madrid's secrets in recent seasons has been to score goals when under pressure.

Jude Bellingham's pass with the outside of his foot set up Joselu to open the scoring, and when Aurelien Tchouameni doubled their lead four minutes later, it was as good as game over.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the match was to see the usually calm Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez sent off for a straight red card for a wild challenge on Portu in the closing moments of the game, and he'll miss next weekend's home game against Osasuna.

2. Barca make hard work of Sevilla but Ramos provides relief

Barcelona again made hard work of their match, taking all three points at home to Sevilla, who put them under pressure at both ends of the park.

Barca struggled to produce their best football, but like Real Madrid, they have players who can turn things around even when the team isn't playing well.

Teenager Lamine Yamal again showed his worth with the knockdown at the far post that rebounded off Sergio Ramos and into the Sevilla goal to decide the game with a combination of talent and fortune.

A symbol of Real Madrid for so long, Ramos' own goal will have provided an extra dose of happiness for the Barca faithful.

3. Correa provides cover at Atletico

Cadiz got off to a flying start away to Atletico Madrid and were leading 2-0 in the first 27 minutes, as Diego Simeone's side were uncharacteristically slack in defense. However, Angel Correa showed once again that he can be relied on to produce the goods when it matters.

Given a rare start after Alvaro Morata's red card during the week, Correa scored Atletico's opening and winning goals, while his mobility was also difficult for the Cadiz defense.

Simeone usually prefers Correa as a second-half substitute, but time after time the Argentinean scores vital goals and is a key member of the Atletico squad.

4. Penalty area effectiveness decides Basque derby

Real Sociedad won the Basque derby 3-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao in a defeat that was extra-painful for the visitors as they had chances to take something from their trip down the coast.

All three of Real Sociedad's chances ended up in the back of the net, while Athletic were guilty of failing to accept a hatful of opportunities that could have changed the result.

Inaki Williams and Gorka Guruzeta both missed the target twice, and Iker Muniain failed to clip the ball over Alex Remiro when he looked odds-on to score, but as Real Madrid and Barcelona both showed this weekend, it is in the penalty area where games are won and lost.

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