Atletico Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at the San Mames on Tuesday to continue their unbeaten start to league play after five matches. But anemic draws against Girona and Valencia find them trailing Barcelona by four points, and you can’t fight the feeling that despite the continued excellence of players like Koke and Antoine Griezmann, there’s a Diego Costa-sized hole in this Atleti side.
Real Madrid and Karim Benzema have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with the striker now set to stay until 2021, past the Frenchman’s 33rd birthday.
Amid strong interest from clubs in Major League Soccer, it was with a view towards the 2018 World Cup that Andres Guardado decided to join Real Betis and continue pushing himself at the highest level in La Liga. After three starts for the Seville-based club, it’s apparent that the 30-year-old made the right decision. This is obviously his level.
Gareth Bale has done it again. Perhaps best known for his stunning sprint against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey Final (one that had Usain Bolt saying: “It’s a goal any sprinter in the world would like to score one day. He’s the fastest footballer in the world at the moment.”), Bale has scored another scorching effort for Real Madrid.
Barcelona continue to set the pace at the top of La Liga following a spirited, come from behind victory at Getafe on Saturday. A wonder goal from Gaku Shibasaki gave Azulones a shock lead, but second half strikes from Denis Suarez and Paulinho maintained Barcelona’s perfect start to the season after four matches.
There’s no fighting the feeling that the Champions League group stage has become more and more of a nonevent over the past few years. Over the course of this week’s action, we watched Chelsea hammer Qarabag 6-0, PSG pummel Celtic 5-0 and Manchester City put four unanswered past Feyenoord. Even the marquee matchup between Barcelona and Juventus had the feeling of an International Champions Cup match being played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Part of what makes Luis Suarez so brilliant is that he’s absolutely insane. Occasionally this particular character trait can manifest itself poorly, but it’s also the same quirk that propelled him from Montevideo’s Nacional to the Camp Nou.
Suarez made his 2017-18 La Liga bow on Saturday and that insanity was on full display in the match’s final three minutes. With Barcelona leading 3-0, Suarez became hilariously incandescent with Gerard Pique after the defender scored Barca’s fourth in the 87th minute.