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Football column

Diagnosis of the start of the season for European mega clubs (La Liga)

It’s been almost two months since the start of the 2021-2022 season in European football. In this series of articles, we take a look at how the mega clubs in Europe have started the season. We’ll take a closer look at how they’ve performed since the start of the season, and we’ll also make some predictions for the future.

In this third instalment of our series, we take a look at the La Liga. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have led the way in La Liga in previous years, but how are they faring this year? Here we take a look at how the teams have fared since the start of the season.

La Liga mega-club scoring chart

In this edition, we’ll be grading the top three teams in the La Liga – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – as well as the mid-table side Sevilla and, at the top of the table (at the end of nine games), Real Sociedad.

As of November 4, 2021

League Ranking Score
Real Sociedad 1st 100 points
Real Madrid 2nd 95 points
Sevilla 3th 90 points
Atletico Madrid 4th 80 points
Barcelona 9th 40 points

Let’s move on to a detailed analysis of each club and why they scored the way they did.

Real Sociedad

レアル・ソシエダ
  • Ranking: 1st (7 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss)
  • Score: 100 points
  • Goals scored: 17 goals, 10 conceded

We give full marks to Real Sociedad, the surprise leaders of La Liga.

Real Sociedad lost 2-4 to Barcelona at the start of the season, but since then they have gone unbeaten with seven wins and four draws. Real Sociedad started the season with a 2-4 loss to Barcelona, but since then they have gone unbeaten with seven wins and four draws, including a draw against Atletico Madrid.

They are not a small club, having finished 5th last season, but it is a surprise to see them top of the table after 12 league games, ahead of the top three of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

The team is led by ace Mikel Ojalzabal. He has scored six goals in eight games so far. His eight goals in 648 minutes of action means he has scored a goal every 108 minutes, almost a goal a game. For a wing player, that’s an impressive pace.

The fact that they’ve played Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla in the top flight is also an advantage, and if they don’t fall short against lower-ranked sides, they could be in the Champions League or even the championship.

Real Madrid

レアル・マドリー
  • Ranking: 2nd (7 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss)
  • Score: 95 points
  • Goals scored: 26, goals conceded: 12

The second highest scoring team in the table is Real Madrid.

They have played one less game than Real Sociedad and are almost on a par with the leaders.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have made good progress since the start of the season and, despite losing to Espanyol on matchday eight, they have been almost unbeatable against lower-ranked opposition, winning El Clasico against Barcelona.

The 26 goals they have scored so far are by far the most in the league. Vinicius Junior has been a revelation, his seven league goals in 11 games are already a career high. Karim Benzema has also continued his good form, scoring nine goals in all competitions, and the attackers are leading the way.

The draws have seen them fall behind Real Sociedad at the top of the table, but if they keep up their good form, it won’t be long before they regain the top spot.

Sevilla

セビージャ
  • Ranking: 3rd (7 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss)
  • Score: 90 points
  • Goals scored: 19, goals conceded: 7

Sevilla, who were fourth in the table last season, continue their good form this season.

They have 24 points, the same as Real Madrid and just one point behind leaders Real Sociedad. They also have one game in hand over Real Sociedad, which means that they are in a good position to challenge for the top spot in the table.

Sevilla’s solid defence is the key to their success.

They have conceded just seven goals so far this season and have kept six clean sheets in 11 games, the fewest in the league.

The centre-back pairing of Diego Carlos and Jules Kunde has been solid, but there are rumours that Kunde could be on the move. The fear is that Kunde is being linked with a move away from the club, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, notably Chelsea, who came very close to signing him this summer.

If Kunde joins a big club this winter, we will have to look for a new centre-back. If Kunde moves to a bigger club this winter, the club will have to find a new centre-back, which would be a blow to their strong defensive line.

Sevilla’s ability to maintain their position in the table may well depend on this winter’s transfer window.

Atletico Madrid

アトレティコ・マドリー
  • Position: 4th (6 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss)
  • Score: 80 points
  • Goals scored: 18 goals, 10 conceded

Atletico Madrid, last season’s winners, are in fourth place in the table.

Atletico Madrid, last season’s champions, are fourth in the table, just three points behind the leaders and still in contention for the title.

However, one thing that is disturbing is the number of goals conceded. They have scored 18 goals, which is fourth best in the league, but have conceded just 10, and have only kept four clean sheets. At first glance this may not seem so bad, but last season we conceded just 25 goals, and after 11 games we had conceded just four.

Is this a shift to a more attacking approach or a hole in the defence? We will only know for sure at the end of the season, but it is clear that there has been a change.

What is encouraging is that our attackers, Luis Suárez, Ángel Correa and Antoine Griezmann, continue to perform well. Even if they concede a few too many goals, they can still win the title again.

Barcelona

バルセロナ
  • Ranking: 9th (4 wins, 4 draws, 3 losses)
  • Score: 40 points
  • Goals scored: 16, goals conceded: 12

Barcelona have a lower score than the top four teams.

After a 4-2 win over current leaders Real Sociedad in the opening game of the season, Barcelona’s form deteriorated and they are now in ninth place with 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses. The month of October has been particularly bad, with just one win, one draw and three defeats.

Financial problems forced the release of the team’s ace and historic star, Lionel Messi, and this was reflected in the results on the pitch.

Ronald Koeman was sacked as a result of the poor results and Sergio Aguero, who moved from Manchester City this season, is out with a heart problem.

If they continue to finish in the middle of the table, they will not be able to qualify for the Champions League, let alone win it.

However, there are some bright spots in the squad, with Memphis Depay continuing his good form and Anse Fatih, who took over Messi’s number 10 spot, making a comeback after a long lay-off. Can they take advantage of these few positives to get back to the top of the table? Or will they fall into the middle of the table? All eyes will be on Barcelona in the coming weeks.

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