Madrid excel as Barcelona struggle, Atlético stutters

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David Alaba of Real Madrid, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain, on Sunday, October 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Jeanne Monfort)

PA

Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Sevilla are the ones driving things forward in the Spanish League.

After the first 10 games he’s close to the top with six teams three points ahead. Madrid are the top performing power as defending champion Atlético Madrid stutters due to their unusual defensive issues and Barcelona continue to struggle without Lionel Messi.

Sociedad and Sevilla are the underdogs with the most potential so far.

Sociedad has 21 points in 10 games, Madrid and Sevilla one point behind with one game short. Atlético, Real Betis and Osasuna are three points off the lead, while Barcelona are in ninth place, six points behind.

SOLID MADRID

Madrid were the better side before back-to-back defeats – to Espanyol in the Spanish league and to Sheriff at home in the Champions League – raised doubts. But the team rebounded with a 5-0 rout at Shakhtar Donetsk and a convincing 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the “clásico” league at Camp Nou on Sunday.

“This team has a lot of quality, we have to take advantage of it,” said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. “I’m happy because we got all three points in a difficult game. Barcelona did not make it easy for us.

Madrid’s attack, led by Karim Benzema and Vinícius Júnior, has carried the team so far with 24 goals in nine league appearances. But two defenders scored on Sunday, David Alaba and Lucas Vázquez.

Madrid’s next game is Wednesday at home against the surprising Osasuna, who have won four of their last six matches.

DISEASES OF BARCELONA

Barcelona have had a disappointing start to the season without Messi, but there was some optimism around the Catalan club after back-to-back wins in the clásico. The team’s lackluster play on Sunday came as a reality check, keeping him in the middle of the board and adding pressure on coach Ronald Koeman.

“A loss in a classic means more than losing all three points, but there is no time for a disappointment,” said Koeman. “We have another game on Wednesday and we have no choice but to get up. We’re disappointed now, but we have to start preparing for the next game right away. “

Barcelona face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, a team that just lost to Real Betis but in seventh place.

ATLETICO STALLS

Atlético have a powerful attack with Luis Suárez, Antoine Griezmann and João Félix, but their defense has been unusually weak under coach Diego Simeone this season.

Atlético had to come back from a two-goal deficit to save a 2-2 home draw against Sociedad on Sunday. The team have conceded five goals in their last two games in all competitions, and have only one clean sheet in their last six games.

“It’s a concern and we have to try to address it,” Simeone said ahead of Thursday’s visit to Levante, who have yet to win this season.

EXTERIOR

With an attacking style that impressed from the start, Sociedad has managed to keep the league lead. The team could have had an even bigger advantage at the top if they hadn’t weakened against Getafe, last place a few weeks ago. Sociedad visits Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Sevilla, strong under Julen Lopetegui, have won four of their last five league games, with the only setback being a loss to Granada. The team heads to Mallorca on Wednesday.

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