Welcome to El Mejor y El Peor (the Best and the Worst), our new segment where we recount some of the best, and a little bit of the worst, moments of the La Liga matchday.
Game of the week: RC Celta vs. Real Valladolid
Final Score 3-3
When Celta scored twice before the 10th minute, this game looked to be a blowout. Real Valladolid took a goal back before halftime with a header from Óscar Plano, but Aspas made it 3-1 in the 54th minute with his second goal. A two-goal run in the second half from Real Valladolid made this game a nail biter full of attacks and goals from both teams.
90 Minute Nap: Villareal vs. Valencia
Final score: 0-0
As an American soccer fan, it is difficult to explain to U.S. sports fans that soccer is not all about goals. But this game needed a lot more than goals. It ended 0-0, and the best players on the pitch were the defenders. There was a total of three shots on target between the two teams, and Danny Parejo, one of Valencia’s best players, was sent off with a straight red. The lack of offense for the entire game made it into whatever the opposite of a nail-biter is.
Goal of the Week: Ibai Gomez of Deportivo Alaves
Deportivo Alaves 5 – 1 Rayo Vallecano
This outrageous curler from Ibai Gomez in the 34th minute was his second goal of a 5-1 blowout. The inside curl with the left foot from outside the box was reminiscent of this Arjen Robben goal in the UEFA Champions League.
Worst Goal of the Week: Iñaki Williams
Final Score: Real Betis 2 – 2 Athletic Club
This goal from Iñaki Williams was the stereotypical poacher’s goal that anyone and their mother could have scored. Seriously, it would have been much harder to miss. With some lucky bounces, the ball effectively landed at the feet of Williams for him to tap it in near post from roughly three feet away. Solid positioning, boring goal.
FIFA in real life: SD Eibar vs. CD Leganes
Final Score: SD Eibar 1 – 0 Leganes
Although SD Eibar came out with the win, this sequence is the type of stuff that has people breaking Xbox remotes and televisions. After a beautiful build-up play and a great ball into the middle, Sergi Enrich slammed a shot off the crossbar, which bounced right back to him, where he was taken down, but not given a penalty. It was really the stuff of nightmares.
Almost Goal of the Week: Real Madrid vs. Espanyol
Final Score: Real Madrid 1 – 0 Espanyol
After a shocking blunder by Sergio Ramos, wherein he basically handed the ball to Espanyol with a shot on goal and a chance to tie the game, Borja Iglesias beautifully chipped the ball over Thibaut Courtois. The ball arched perfectly toward the goal, and it looked to be a fantastic finish. Tragically, however, the ball bounced off the crossbar and safely into the gloved hands of Courtois, and Madrid came out with all three points.
El jugador de la semana: Thomas Lemar
Final Score: Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 Getafe
Thomas Lemar was the unsung La Liga transfer this year. He has an incredible defensive workrate for a midfielder, while also displaying amazing shooting, dribbling and passing ability. All of these talents were on full display this week against Getafe. Lemar helped Atlético score the first goal of the game with a rocket off the crossbar and into the Getafe keeper, and scored the second goal by rounding the keeper after a beautiful build-up play. He was found near the backline, helping out the defense on multiple occasions throughout the game as well.