Welcome to the third edition of El Mejor y El Peor, where we recount some of the best, and a little bit of the worst, moments of the La Liga matchday.
Game of the week: Real Madrid vs Levante
Final Score: Real Madrid 1 – Levante 2
As a Madridista myself, it is tough to put a loss as the game of the week. But, this contest had all the markings of a great La Liga game. Two early goals by Levante prompted a consistent Real Madrid attack, boosted by a halftime sub of Gareth Bale. This game had suspenseful VAR decisions all over it as well, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats. Levante received a penalty thanks to VAR, and both Madrid and Levante lost a goal from VAR. Mariano rocketed a header off the post, and Marcelo’s top-netting goal toward the end of the game with his right foot was world class. Plus, for everyone who isn’t a Madrid fan, watching Los Blancos lose is fantastic. Haters.
90 Minute Nap: RC Celta vs. Deportivo Alaves
Final score: RC Celta 0 – 1 Deportivo Alaves
Deportivo Alaves won this long yawn of a game with a messy goal in the 58th minute. It was a long set piece lofted in for a tap-in goal. Before the goal, there were three total chances: two off-target misses and a free kick from Iago Aspas that was deflected out of bounds. There were one or two more chances after the goal, with a beautiful shot that missed off the post from Ibai Gomez, but that’s it. It was almost rudely boring.
Goal of the Week: Marcelo
Final Score: Real Madrid 1 – 2 Levante
Marcelo’s rocket of a goal (1.15) with his right foot brought Real Madrid to within one goal with around 10 minutes left. Coming off a long injury, Marcelo, the left back for Madrid, somehow found himself by the penalty spot with an opportunity to score. No one understands how Marcelo consistently finds himself in line with Real Madrid’s forwards, but everyone has come to accept it. Either way, beautiful goal, terrible loss.
Worst Goal of the Week: Filipe Luis
Final Score: Villareal 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid
Filipe Luis’ second half header (33sec) was the result of a horribly messy set piece taken by Antoine Griezmann. It was a looping header after a failed clearance off the post that somehow ended up on Luis’ head. While the ball floated in slow motion toward the goal, Alvaro Gonzalez, a centerback for Villareal, falls down on his own keeper. Ugly, lucky goal.
FIFA in real life: Valencia vs Leganes
Final Score: Valencia 1 – 1 Leganes
Toward the beginning of the game, Danny Parejo passed it off to Wass, who whipped a beautiful low cross into the cutting Kevin Gameiro for what should have been an easy tap-in goal. But, in pure FIFA fashion (10sec), the ball ricocheted off of Gameiro into the feet of Ivan Cuellar, the keeper for Leganes. This ball should have gone anywhere else in the net, but for some reason, Gameiro felt it best to aim right at the keeper, as if someone just pressed B and pointed the left stick nonchalantly right toward the middle of the goal.
Almost Goal of the Week: Ibai Gomez of Deportivo Alaves
Final Score: Deportivo Alaves 1 – 0 Celta Vigo
Ibai Gomez had the goal of the week during our first edition of Todos Los Buenos, and this week, he gets the almost-goal of the week. In their one-goal win over Celta Vigo, Ibai Gomez almost scored this (1:15) worldy of a goal with the outside of his boot.
El jugador de la semana: Lionel Messi
Final Score: FC Barcelona 4 – 2 Sevilla
Lionel Messi suffered a gruesome injury this weekend, but, don’t forget how good of a game he had before his injury. Only Lionel Messi can play 26 minutes and put up a better performance than anyone else did for all of Matchday 9. With an assist in the second minute to Coutinho and a goal in the 12th minute, Sevilla looked like a bottom of the table team with Messi on the pitch.
Sevilla, mind you, has been successful in many European competitions, and Messi was responsible for two goals in 12 minutes against them. Borja Iglesias of Espanyol was strongly considered for the honors this week, but Messi hurt himself and we’re going to miss him. Borja, you’ll get your opportunity.