The three title favorites played against the three Basque teams, and every game came down to the wire. Only Barcelona emerged unscathed, but it took a big effort for them to beat Real Sociedad 2-1. Meanwhile, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid drew against Athletic Club Bilbao and Eibar, respectively, both by a 1-1 scoreline. It was also a week for great performances from the keepers. Unai Simón for Athletic and Marko Dmitrović for Eibar did all they could to help their teams earn a valuable point, while Marc-André Ter Stegen did his part to help Barcelona win the match that puts them top of the table. Meanwhile, Monday showed one of the best games of the week as Girona gave Celta Vigo their first loss of the season.
Atlético Blushes Saved by Debutant
Atlético Madrid continue their rotten start to La Liga with a 1-1 draw against Eibar, and it could have been worse. Dmitrović had a huge night for Eibar in goal, and the Basques looked like likely winners after Sergi Enrich bundled in a cross from close range to go up 1-0. But Borja Garcés, a teenage striker making his debut, got a late equalizer for the colchoneros in the last minute of added time. While the draw was better than a loss, it was not the result they were looking for, especially at home. It’s Atléti’s worst start to a league campaign under manager Diego Simeone.
Real Stumble as Simón Rises to the Ocassion
Real Madrid were tied on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but no more, as they could not keep up with Barcelona’s win against Real Sociedad. In the 32nd minute, a great team play by Athletic ended up in the back of the net with Iker Munian getting the last touch into an empty net from a yard out. Real would get their equalizer in the second half as Gareth Bale provided a gorgeous assist for Isco’s header, but Madrid couldn’t find the winner in large part due to a memorable performance from Athletic’s keeper, Simón. Having been thought of as fourth-choice keeper at one point before the season started, Simón played only due to contract situations, transfers, and injuries. But he had a great game and frustrated los blancos all night.
Girona Hand Celta Their First Loss
Girona won 3-2 in the last match of the round, in what was Celta Vigo’s first loss this season. Celta had a chance to equal Madrid’s start and end the week on 10 points, but instead it’s Girona who have now won two in a row. The Catalans are tied for third place on seven points with a glut of other teams, including Celta themselves. Cristhian Stuani opened the scoring for Girona, before Iago Aspas equalized for the visitors, to make it 1-1. Pedro Alcalá got Girona back in front just three minutes later, and then Stuani extended their lead in the second half, to make it 3-1. Sofiane Boufal put Celta back in it with a goal in the 87th minute, to make it 3-2. But Celta’s Gustavo Cabral was sent off in added time and they ran out of time, allowing Girona to seal the win.