La Liga Results: Analysis for Barcelona vs Sociedad, and All the Midweek Matches

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

La Liga Results: Analysis for Barcelona vs Sociedad, and All the Midweek Matches

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Barcelona took themselves to the top of La Liga after securing a sixth straight win at home to Real Sociedad on Tuesday night.

    On Wednesday Real Madrid endured a late Elche fight-back to win 2-1 in Alicante.

    But the Spanish giants weren't the only sides in action. Here's the roundup of the week's matches.

Barcelona 4-1 Real Sociedad

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    Barcelona made it six wins from six with a routine 4-1 victory over a disappointing Real Sociedad side.

    Neymar and Leo Messi both scored inside the opening 10 minutes to give an early indication of how the game was going to go, though both strikes came after Haris Seferovic had struck the crossbar at the other end.

    Sociedad's poor defensive line and failure to close space outside the box proved their undoing time and time again, and there could have been more goals before Messi hit the bar, with the rebound eventually being cleared to Sergio Busquets.

    The defensive midfielder hit a fantastic half-volley into the bottom corner to score Barca's third.

    The home side eased up after the break somewhat and Real Sociedad were given a glimmer of hope when De La Bella tapped home from close range, but Marc Bartra did the same at the opposite end to round off the scoring.

    You can catch all the post-game reaction and player grades here.

    Shots: 23-9

    On Target: 9-5

    Possession: 71%-29%

    Passing: 93%-78%

Levante 1-1 Real Valladolid

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    Levante missed a good chance to claim just a second victory of the season at home against 10-man Real Valladolid as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

    All the big action came in the first half of the game, starting with Senegalese striker Baba putting Levante ahead with his first goal of the season. That goal came on 36 minutes, kick-starting the game into life.

    Within six minutes, Javi Guerra had equalised for Valladolid, who themselves had taken just four points from their opening five games before Tuesday.

    Zakarya Bergdich was then sent off for the away side and conceded a penalty in the process right on half-time, but Andreas Ivanschitz missed his spot-kick to send the sides in level at the break.

    An onslaught for the entirety of the second half ensued as Levante sought to make their dominance count and take the extra two points, but a combination of wayward finishing and poor luck meant they were denied and had to settle for the draw.

    Shots: 24-4

    On Target: 4-2

    Possession: 57%-43%

    Passing: 83%-77%

Malaga 2-0 Almeria

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    Malaga picked up their second win in three league games to continue their recent improvement, thanks to a 2-0 home victory over Almeria.

    The home side were the better team throughout, with Almeria struggling to gain any kind of momentum in the match outside of Suso's involvement in buildup play.

    Despite their better play and greater chances on goal, it took until midway through the second half for Malaga to take the lead, with Fernando Tissone scoring the opening goal on 68 minutes.

    Francisco Portillo made sure of the points in stoppage time, moving Malaga up to seventh place in La Liga with their second victory this term. Almeria remain winless, with three points from six games.

    Shots: 16-7

    On target: 7-2

    Possession: 50%-50%

    Passing: 81%-81%

Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Real Betis: Comeback for Valverde's Men

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    Two goals in the final 20 minutes saw Athletic Bilbao come from behind to beat Real Betis at San Mames on Thursday.

    Betis led through Jorge Molina's 63rd minute finish, but defender Mikel San Jose and then Oscar de Marcos both struck to turn the match around for Ernesto Valverde's men.

    The result will have been a relief for former Betis man Benat, who missed a 59th minute penalty for his new employers.

    Bilbao move up to fifth with the win.

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Osasuna

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    Atletico Madrid kept pace with league leaders Barcelona as they also made it six wins from six.

    A 2-1 home win over Osasuna was not without the odd moment of worry, though overall it was a dominant display by Atleti who simply failed to find the killer third goal.

    In-form striker Diego Costa was the star man again as he scored twice more in the opening 25 minutes of the match, taking his total to seven goals in his six league games, joint-top scorer of the league with Leo Messi.

    Oriol Riera pulled one back for Osasuna before the break, but they remain in the bottom three after suffering their fifth defeat in six games.

    Shots: 13-7

    On target: 4-1

    Possession: 70%-30%

    Passing: 84%-68%

    All stats courtesy of WhoScored?

Elche 1-2 Real Madrid

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    Elche quite nearly became the story of the week when they threatened to take two points off Real Madrid in Wednesday’s match in Alicante.

    With the 90 minutes already in the book, substitute attacker Richmond Boakye cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener with a well-placed header from Fidel’s cross that beat Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez inside the far post.

    The strike sent the home crowd into raptures, but just moments later they were brought back down to earth when the referee awarded Real Madrid a late penalty.

    Carlos Sanchez had hauled Pepe down in the box, and true to form Ronaldo stepped up to convert the spot-kick and reclaim the full three points for the guests.

    Shots: 11-12

    On target: 3-5

    Passing: 72%-86%

    Possession: 38%-62%

Wednesday’s Other Matches

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    Sevilla 4-1 Rayo Vallecano

    Sevilla earned their first win of the season, Wednesday, when they thumped Rayo Vallecano 4-1 at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

    Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the 17th minute from the spot, and he would also score what proved to be the winner in the 53rd minute.

    Adrian Gonzalez managed to pull one back for the guests in the 55th minute, but a late brace from Carlos Bacca rounded out the scoring.


    Valencia moved into seventh place on Wednesday after a narrow, 1-0 win over Granada at the Mestalla.

    The only goal of the encounter came four minutes into second-half stoppage time and was scored by Jonas, who beat goalkeeper Roberto from close range after accepting the ball from Sergio Canales.