La Liga round-up: Madrid show why they are the best as Lewandoski keeps scoring for Barca

Real Madrid have started their La Liga title defence on a perfect note, with six wins in as many league games so far in 2022-23. A 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid saw them head into the international break top of the log, and Barcelona and Co. have a lot of work to do this season to have any chance of pipping Los Blancos to the title. There have not been any upsets in the Spanish top-flight after six rounds of games, and here are the results and talking points from matchday six.

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Friday, 16 September.

Real Valladolid 0 Cadiz 1

The newly-promoted side were in search of their second win of the season, and they came close to scoring several times and would have been thinking of settling for a point before Alvaro Negredo’s 93rd-minute goal broke their hearts.

Cadiz barely threatened Valladolid’s goal, but a mistake from goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo after he missed the cross that resulted in the visitors’ goal was enough to make all the difference.

Sergio González’s side finally won their first game of the campaign after five straight losses, and they are now 19th in the table, while Pacheta’s side are 18th after a win, a draw and four defeats.

Saturday, 17 September.

Mallorca 1 Almeria 0

The hosts ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Pablo Maffeo’s header following a defensive mix-up, and Vedat Muriqi should have doubled his side’s lead moments later, only for him to blast a fine chance high.

Both sides were in search of their second win of the season, and Almeria came close to drawing level, but a goalline clearance thwarted their effort late on in the game.

The result means last season’s Segunda division winners are 16th in the table after a win, a draw and four losses, while Javier Aguirre’s side are 10th following two victories, two draws and two defeats.

Barcelona 3 Elche 0

The Catalans continued their unbeaten start to the La Liga season with an emphatic win against the 10-man visitors at Camp Nou thanks to a Robert Lewandowski double either side of

Memphis Depay’s goal.

La Masia graduate Alejandro Balde provided the assists for the first two goals in the first-half to continue what has been a breakthrough campaign for the young left-back.

The visitors had Gonzalo Verdu red carded in the 14th minute after he fouled the Polish striker who was through on goal despite being the last man.

Lewandowski has now bagged eight league goals since his arrival from Bayern Munich in the summer and could be key to his side’s chances of winning the title after missing out over the last three seasons.

Barca’s fifth win of the campaign leaves them in second place, two points behind Madrid, while Elche, who saw manager Francisco sent off ahead of half-time, are last in the table following five defeats and a draw.

Valencia 3 Celta Vigo 0

Gennaro Gattuso’s side strolled to victory against 10-man Vigo for their third win of the season, thanks to a first-half goal from Samu Castillejo and late strikes from Mike De Sousa and Andre Almeida.

The visitors had Franco Cervi sent off 15 minutes into the second-half after a rash challenge that had his studs showing, and that played into the hosts’ hands.

Valencia are now ninth in the table after three wins and three losses, while Eduardo Coudet’s side are 13th following two wins, a draw and three defeats.

Athletic Bilbao 3 Rayo Vallecano 2

Athletic Club made it four wins out of six games with a hard-fought victory over Vallecano, coming behind from a goal down to race into a 3-1 lead.

Oscar Trejo put the visitors ahead five minutes into the game after the hosts’ defence was caught napping, and Bilbao thought they had equalised four minutes later only for VAR to rule their effort out.

Inaki Williams finally drew them level before Oihan Sancet and Nico Williams put them ahead.

Veteran striker Radamel Falcao made it 3-2 with a deft touch with 10 minutes left on the clock, but Ernesto Valverde’s side held on to a much-needed win that leaves them in fourth place, while Vallecano are in 12th place after two wins, a draw and three losses.

Sunday, 18 September.

Osasuna 0 Getafe 2

Getafe shocked Osasuna, with Juan Iglesias opening the scoring 30 minutes into the game before Pedro Gastón Álvarez Sosa doubled their lead 14 minutes to the end of the game.

The hosts had Ezequiel Avila sent off two minutes to the break, while the visitors were reduced to 10 men very late in the game after Luis Milla picked up his second yellow card in the 91st minute.

The result leaves Jagoba Arrasate’s side in fifth place after four wins and two losses, while Quique Flores’ men are 14th having won twice, drawn once and lost thrice.

Villarreal 1 Sevilla 1

The Yellow Submarine were held at home by Julen Lopetegui’s men, with Alex Baena’s 51st-minute goal cancelling out Oliver Torres’ eighth-minute opener.

Unai Emery’s men are sixth in the La Liga table after three wins, two draws and a defeat, while the Seville side are in 15th, with a win, two draws and three defeats so far.

Lopetegui’s side finished last term in fourth place, three points behind Barca, and they need to quickly get things right if they want to finish this season well.

Real Betis 2 Girona 1

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have started the new season well, similar to how they did last term, and newly-promoted Girona could not stop them from earning their fifth win of the campaign.

Martinez Arnau put the visitors ahead seven minutes into the game, but Borja Iglesias drew the hosts level from the spot eight minutes later and manager Michel was shown a straight red card afterwards.

The Betis striker put his side ahead in the 71st minute with his sixth goal of the season, capitalising on a back pass that left him through on goal.

Michel’s side thought they had snatched a point in the closing stages of the game only for Manu Vallejo’s goal to be chalked off for offside.

The result leaves Betis in third place after just one defeat so far, while Girona are 11th in the table following two wins, a draw and three defeats.

Real Sociedad 2 Espanyol 1

Imanol Alguacil’s side were gifted their opener by the visitors’ goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez after Takefusa Kubo caught him napping, and Alexander Sorloth put the ball into an empty net 17 minutes into the game.

Edu Exposito drew the visitors level two minutes later with a well-worked corner routine, but Sociedad restored their lead just 10 minutes later through Brais Mendez.

Both teams had chances in the second-half, but they were not able to convert them and the result leaves the hosts in eighth position after three wins, a draw and two losses, while Diego Martinez Penas’ side are in 17th following a win, a draw and four defeats.

Atletico Madrid 1 Real Madrid 2

Matchday six ended with the Madrid derby, and Carlo Ancelotti‘s men proved why they are the best team in the world at Wanda Metropolitano despite the injury-enforced absence of Karim Benzema.

Rodrygo Goes put his side ahead in the 18th minute against the run of play following a brilliant one-two with Aurélien Tchouaméni, and Federico Valverde doubled Madrid’s lead nine minutes from half-time, scoring the rebound after Vinicius Junior’s effort hit the upright.

Mario Hermoso pulled one back for Diego Simeone‘s men with seven minutes left from a corner Thibaut Courtois misjudged, but the Atletico defender was booked twice within three minutes and sent off.

The result leaves Atletico in seventh place after three wins, a draw and two losses.