La Liga GW22 Review: Barca and Real Madrid both held
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid were held this week in La Liga, with Atletico Madrid the only team to take advantage. Infogol’s Analyst reviews the main talking points, using expected goals (xG) data to help evaluate the action.
In a huge game at the bottom of the table, it was Las Palmas who were victorious, with Alen Halilovic’s late goal the difference between them and Malaga. This was the most ‘unfair’ result of the weekend, as Malaga generated the better chances (LAS 0.5 – 1.0 MAL xG) and deserved at least a draw from their trip to the Gran Canaria.
Eibar produced the eye-catching result of the weekend, as they thumped Sevilla 5-1. The two teams generated an equal amount of expected goals (EIB 2.1 – 2.0 SEV xG) – and therefore quality of chances – but it was the home side who were superior, or fortunate, in their finishing. A tough result to take for Vincenzo Montella’s side, who now have a number of teams queuing up behind them for the sixth European place – one of them being Eibar.
Villarreal were beaten 2-1 by Real Betis, though they were unfortunate to lose. Even with 10-men, the Yellow Submarine generated the better of the chances, and deserved at least a point from their visit. Betis scored both their goals from low-probability chances, something they won’t be able to sustain.
Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with local rivals Espanyol, and Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Levante were two of three ‘fairest’ results of the game week – with the other being Real Sociedad’s 5-0 hammering of Deportivo.
On a rain-soaked Sunday, Espanyol limited Barca to very few chances, and the champions-elect had to call for back-up, with Lionel Messi coming off the bench to register the match-saving assist.
Levante new boy Giampoalo Pazzini scored on his debut to salvage a deserved point against a sub-standard Real Madrid, with a lot being made of Cristiano Ronaldo’s unhappiness after being subbed off following Madrid taking the lead again. Question marks remain over Zinedine Zidane’s post, while Barca remain unbeaten in the league.