Granada goes top after El Clasico gets postponed

Granada players celebrate after Vadillo's goal against Betis. Credits: AFP

The La Liga schedule returned this weekend and, while most were expecting El Clasico, they will have to wait until December. The game between Real Madrid and Barcelona has been postponed initially to 18th December, although the date might still change.

Anyway, as the Catalonia riots motivated the postponing, other opponents in La Liga took advantage. Granada took the lead of the La Liga table, at least for now and the newly-promoted side might be in for a surprise this season.

Atletico and Real Sociedad also took all 3 points and continue chasing the leaders.

Granada 1 x 0 Real Betis

With El Clasico postponed due to the Catalonian protests Granada was presented with a chance to go top of La Liga. However, visitors Real Betis stood in their way.

There was nothing in the game but on 61 the home side took the lead in controversial circumstances. Javi Garcia was dispossessed midway inside his own half and Carlos Fernandez fed Alvaro Vadillo who beat Joel Robles.

Betis wanted the game pulled back for an earlier foul but the goal stood and Granada was 1-0 up.

Granada was close to doubling their lead shortly after but Ramon Azeez saw his low drive hit the foot of the post and Fernandez failed to sort his feet out quickly enough to sink the rebound.

The team from Sevilla struggled to cut through a well-organized home defense and Granada’s remarkable start to the season continues. Remember they have just been promoted this season.

Atletico Madrid 2 x 0 Athletic Bilbao

After three league games on the bounce ending in draws, Atletico welcomed Athletic Bilbao to the Wanda Metropolitana aiming for three points. Still, it was the away side who went closest early on.

Inigo Martinez out jumped Saul but his header was superbly clawed away by Jan Oblak. On 28 Saul was in the action again, this time at the other end, as he opened the scoring by sweeping home after great work by Angel Correa.

It wasn’t until 64 that Atletico notched a second goal and again the chance came about following the good endeavors of Correa. This time he served up a goal on a plate for Alvaro Morata to tuck in.

Bilbao equipped themselves well during the game and, on another day, might have shared the spoils but it wasn’t to be.

Sevilla 2 x 0 Getafe

Sevilla came into their match with Getafe as favorites, after a victory on Thursday for Europa League. Meanwhile, Getafe was defeated for UEL, at home against Basel.

The Andalusians dominated their visitors throughout the 90 minutes. That said, for a long time it looked like David Soria in the Getafe goal would frustrate the hosts’ attack. He denied Nolito twice in the first period and Chicharito shortly after the break.

Ever Banega did manage to beat Soria with a low strike from 18 yards but the ball hit the inside of the left post and bounced across goal to safety.

Sevilla kept asking questions though and on 69 Chicharito managed to open the scoring. The Mexican raced on to a perfectly played through ball from Oliver Torres and this time Soria could do nothing.

Just nine minutes later the hosts made it 2-0. Jesus Navas split the Getafe defense in two and Lucas Ocampos skilfully rounded Soria and walked the ball over the line.

Celta Vigo 0 x 1 Real Sociedad

Celta Vigo’s early struggles have shown little sign of relenting and a visit of Real Sociedad was hardly the most appealing fixture given their opponent’s impressive opening to the campaign.

Although at different ends of the table the hosts were the most threatening with Santi Mina twice having good chances. First, he headed against the post and then, when free eight yards from goal, he headed over when he ought to have tested Alex Remiro as a bare minimum.

In the second half, Celta faced an uphill battle after Pape Diop collected two yellow cards in quick succession to reduce the hosts to 10 men. With 82 minutes on the clock, Alexander Isak scored what proved a winner for the away side.

He clinically beat Ruben Blanco after superb use of his body to hold off two Celta defenders.

Real Sociedad move to third in the league, also profiting from the postponed Clasico.

Leganes 1 x 0 Mallorca

Mallorca traveled to face a managerless Leganes on Saturday hoping to follow up their shock win over Real Madrid. Still, despite their lowly position, the hosts proved a tougher nut to crack than many expected.

The opening stages were somewhat uninspiring but on the half-hour mark, Leganes took the lead. Roberto Rosales crossed from the right and Martin Braithwaite capitalized on some poor Mallorca defending to make it 1-0.

The away side never looked like getting back on terms as they failed to register a shot on target after falling behind and Leganes would have been more at ease had a second-half Braithwaite effort not cannoned off the underside of the woodwork.

This was Leganes’ first win of the season, but they still have only 5 points and remain on the bottom.

Levante 0 x 1 Espanyol

With Leganes winning on Saturday Espanyol may have traveled to face Levante feeling the pressure somewhat. Both sides were pretty lackluster in the attack.

Roger Marti – for Levante – and Facundo Ferreyra – for Espanyol – spurned golden opportunities to give their respective sides the lead but on 38 Espanyol drew first blood. Levante had struggled to defend set-pieces throughout and this time they were punished when Bernardo Espinosa turned in from a corner.

The second half was dull, dull, dull with neither side threatening but Espanyol won’t care as they recorded just their second win of the season.

It might be a turning point for Espanyol to regain confidence after their Thursday win over Ludogorest for Europa League too.

Real Valladolid 2 x 0 Eibar

Real Valladolid has been on a decent run of form lately albeit with a few too many draws but a home game against Eibar provided a good opportunity to bag all three points.

The away side started reasonably well but on 10 they were undone by a long ball; Oscar Plano cushioned it into the path of Sergi Guardiola and he slipped it past Marko Dmitrovic for 1-0.

Eibar rallied but Jordi Masip kept the hosts in front and as half time approached they doubled their advantage. Nacho fired towards goal and Mohammed Salisu arrived right on cue to apply the final touch.

After the break, the away side fought to keep the game alive but Masip earned his clean sheet with a couple of smart saves – the pick of them a save from Edu Exposito’s rasping drive that was tipped onto the bar. And at the other end, Plano spurned an opportunity to put things beyond all doubt after being played in by Enes Unal.

Villarreal 4 x 1 Deportivo Alaves

Villarreal hosted Alaves on Friday night hoping to build on their victory last time out. Things got off to a good start when a simple ball down the line saw the away defense evaporate from the scene and Karl Toko Ekambi, who still had a fair amount to do, dispatched effortlessly beyond Fernando Pacheco for 1-0.

That’s how things remained though until on 50 Lucas Perez scored an exceptional leveler – beating Sergio Asenjo with an overhead kick. That seemed to serve as a wake-up call to Villarreal though and 15 minutes later Toko Ekambi bagged his second of the game and restored the home side lead.

This time, Moi Gomez got to the byline and cut back into the danger zone leaving Toko Ekambi with a tap in.

Although the home side was in control it took until 84 for a third goal to come along, Gerard Moreno slotting in Santi Cazorla’s perfectly weighted ball. The final gloss was added in injury time through Javier Ontiveros, who had only entered the fray five minutes earlier, with a 20-yard free-kick that deflected off the wall and beyond Pacheco.

Osasuna 3 x 1 Valencia

The final game of the weekend saw Osasuna play host to Valencia and the match proved one worth waiting for.

The visitors took the lead on 14 through Rodrigo who was left with the simplest of tap ins after his strike partner Kevin Gameiro beat Raul Navas on the byline and picked him out at the far post. On 29 though the complexion of the game changed.

Rodrigo saw red for swinging an elbow and just five minutes later the home side made it 1-1 when Oier headed past Jaume Domenech.

Valencia held firm until the interval but on 48 another headed goal saw them fall behind; this time a whipped delivery from Roberto Torres was nodded in by Ruben Garcia and with 10 minutes left Osasuna made it 3-1.

Domenech failed to deal with a cross from Lillo and Pervis Estupinan made no mistake. The goal, and certainly the way it came about, was harsh on Domenech who had made a couple of saves – including a fully stretched one to keep Navas at bay – to keep the 10 men of Valencia in the game.

Valencia, probably tired due to their clash midweek against Lille for Champions League group stages, left an opportunity to go into the top 10, as they are 13th now.

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