Analysis: Four things we learned form Matchday 8 in Spain

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-07 17:07:43|Editor: xuxin
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MADRID, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Liga Santander continues to take on an ever more familiar look as Real Madrid beat Granada to remain top of the table, while Barcelona thrashed Sevilla 4-0 to move second. Here are some things we learned this weekend in Spain.

1. Valverde could be Real Madrid's secret weapon

Real Madrid put their 2-2 midweek draw against Bruges behind them with a 4-2 win at home to Granada. Although Alphonse Areola gave further material to the goalkeeping debut with an error to allow Granada back into the game, the man capturing all of the headlines was midfielder Fede Valverde.

The Uruguayan produced an all-action display, working in defense and providing creativity in attack and with Tony Kroos now sidelined for around 3 weeks with a muscle injury he is likely to continue in the team.

Zinedine Zidane wanted to sign Paul Pogba over the summer, perhaps in Valverde he has found the man he was looking for.

2. Barca back on track?

Leo Messi was back in the starting 11, Luis Suarez scored a goal and a defense with several players out injured kept a clean sheet as FC Barcelona beat Sevilla 4-0 to move second in the table. The convincing win comes after Ernesto Valverde's side won away to Getafe and beat Inter Milan in the Champions League, coming through a potentially damaging week with three straight wins.

That should ease the pressure on the coach.

However, Valverde probably knows by now that at a club such as Barcelona there is always controversy and it has escaped nobody's attention that the win was without big signing Antoine Griezmann. The role of the Frenchman is likely to be the next topic of debate at the Camp Nou.

3. Not such good news for Sevilla

Sevilla were the busiest side in Spain over the summer with a host of new signings and the arrival of former Spain and Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui produced high hopes that the club could challenge Barca and Madrid this season.

However, the first eight games of the season have seen Sevilla lose 1-0 at home to Real Madrid and Sunday saw them beaten 4-0 in the Camp Nou to make it clear they are not title contenders.

The previous weekend's 3-2 win at home to Real Sociedad show that Lopetegui's side have potential, but (logically perhaps after so many signings) they are not yet the finished item.

4. Problems for Gallego at Espanyol and Pellegrino at Leganes

Espanyol coach David Gallego and Leganes boss Mauricio Pellegrino are the two favorites to become the first coaches to be sacked this season.

Leganes' home defeat to Levante on Saturday leaves them with just two points from eight matches, although they were unlucky at the weekend as Levante goalkeeper Aitor produced a heroic display.

Meanwhile Espanyol looked flat as they lost 2-0 in Mallorca to undo the good from Thursday's win away to CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.

Playing in Europe is stretching Espanyol's thin squad, but whether or not the club bears that in mind when they consider Gallego's future is very much a moot point.