Barça come from behind to beat Rayo while Girona shock Valencia
By Dave Redshaw Leaders BARCELONA scored twice in the final three minutes to salvage a 3-2 away win at struggling RAYO VALLECANO. It took Barca just 11 minutes to edge in front at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas when Luis Suárez converted easily after being picked out by Jordi Alba. Nonetheless, the Madrid side were back on level terms after 38 minutes, José Ángel Pozo crashing the ball home off an upright – the first goal the visitors have conceded from outside the box this season. It got better for Rayo just before the hour mark as Álvaro García tucked home a rebound at the far post only seconds after being introduced from the bench. Barca appeared to be heading for defeat as the game entered its latter stages, only for Ousmane Dembele to equalise when steering a half-volley into the bottom corner seven minutes from time. Suárez then grabbed his second of the night, and the winner, two minutes later after popping up at the back post for his fifth goal in two matches.
VALENCIA have still won just once in the opening 11 fixtures after suffering a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of GIRONA. The Catalans had goalkeeper Bono to thank for keeping them in the contest in the first half, first acrobatically denying Francis Coquelin and then making an even better save from a Rodrigo header, before saving a Goncalo Guedes effort with Santi Mina striking the rebound off the crossbar. Bono’s interventions proved timely as three minutes into the second half Girona got what turned out to be the winner, Pere Pons turning the ball home after onloan Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts had forced a save from Neto with the visitors’ first shot of the game.
LEGANÉS and ATLÉTICO MADRID had to be content with a share of the spoils in a hard-fought derby at Butarque that ended 1-1. The game remained goalless in the opening period, with the hosts setting the pace against their local rivals, but Atleti took the lead against the run of play on 69 minutes when Antoine Griezmann found the net from a free-kick. However, Diego Simeone’s men failed to capitalise on their advantage and paid the price with eight minutes remaining, Guido Carrillo netting from close range only a minute after de- fender Rodrigo Tarín had hit the bar for Leganés from a tight angle.
REAL MADRID needed two late goals to secure a fortuitous 2-0 home win over REAL VALLADOLID in Santiago Solari’s first league match in charge since the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. Los Blancos were jeered off after an uninspiring first half and could have found themselves two behind after the break when Rubén Alcaraz hit the crossbar from distance, before Toni Villa did likewise with an impressive strike. Nonetheless, Madrid hit back in the 83rd minute when Brazilian teenager Vinicius Jr saw his shot take a wicked deflection off Kiko Olivas that wrong-footed the goalkeeper. The points were sealed five mintues later as Fernando Calero fouled Karim Benzema inside the area and Sergio Ramos stepped up to score with a cheeky penalty.
ESPANYOL moved up to second with a 1 -0 win over ATHLETIC BILBAO at the RCDE Stadium and maintained their 100 per cent record on home turf. The decisive goal arrived four minutes before half-time courtesy of a Borja Iglesias header. The Basques, meanwhile, struggled to break down a well-organised Espanyol for the remainder of the game and find themselves just one point above the relegation zone.
REAL SOCIEDAD continue to struggle at home and are without a win all season at Anoeta after a 0-0 draw against SEVILLA. In a match where neither side failed to trouble the respective goalkeepers, La Real had most of the possession and Sevilla were happy to let them have it whilst relying on sporadic counter-attacks. But, in truth, it was a game to forget for the supporters.
ALAVÉS saw their recent fine run of form come to an end as they went down to a 2-1 defeat against EIBAR at Ipurua. The Vitoria outfit got off to a flyer with Manu García putting them in the ascendency after just four minutes and it took Eibar until 20 minutes from time to get back on level terms through Joan Jordán, although they were helped by the dismissal of Pablo de Blasis 10 minutes earlier. The sending off proved even more costly for Alavés in stoppage time when Pape Diop notched the winner to stun the visitors.
HUESCA were just a few minutes away from getting a first home win of the campaign but conceded a late goal to draw 1-1 at with GETAFE. Huesca dominated throughout and went ahead through Xabier Etxeita after an hour, while Getafe had to thank goalkeeper David Soria for keeping them in the contest. Nonetheless, they could not make that dominance count and paid the price on 91 minutes as Jorge Molina kept a cool head to slot home.
A Sergio Canales free-kick rescued a point for REAL BETIS in a 3-3 home draw with CELTA VIGO. Midfielder Loren Morón scored for Betis just after the half-hour mark and Junior added to the advantage 12 minutes into the second half. But the score was even within 10 minutes as first Maxi Gómez then Brais Méndez found the net for the Galicians. Gómez got his second of the night for Celta with seven minutes left, only for Canales to fire home three minutes later to earn his team a point.
An injury-time goal by Alfonso Pedraza gave VILLARREAL a 1-1 draw with LEVANTE at the Estadio de la Cerámica. It took until the 70th minute for the deadlock to be broken, Ramiro Funes Mori putting through his own goal, but the Yellow Submarine claimed a deserved point with virtually the last action of the game. A pass from Álvaro was headed on by Nicola Sansone and Pedraza made no mistake with an excellent finish.
Girona pulled off a shock win away to Valencia