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Monday September 2 2019
Six things learnt from La Liga so far

With La Liga taking a back seat for the upcoming international break, David Whitworth assesses the opening three rounds of matches in Spain.

Astute Atlético: It is early days but Atlético Madrid sit pretty at the top of La Liga. Diego Simeone’s band of brothers are the only team in Spain to collect maximum points with victories over Getafe, Leganes and Eibar. With Barcelona and Real Madrid in mixed form, Atlético have started as they mean to go on and mean business.

Athletic Club basking in early success: Seven points from nine ensure Gaizka Garitano’s side are joint second in the table going into the break. Impressive wins against Barcelona and their rivals Real Sociedad have given the Lions a flying start to the campaign. Big performances from Aritz Aduriz with that sublime scissor kick on the opening night and the impressive performances of Iñaki Williams on the back of his nine-year contract extension make the Basque outfit the early pace setters.

Sevilla shining brightly: In spite of recruiting a dozen new signings, Sevilla have clicked into gear smoothly and once again their acclaimed sporting director Monchi has come up trumps for Julien Lopetegui and his team. The Andalusians have commenced sharply out of the gates - taking seven points from nine and are the other team along with Bilbao currently in a tie for second place. With a promising start, they look in good shape for the season ahead.

Real Valladolid can surprise: Four points from nine including a draw away in the Bernabéu represents a fabulous start for Sergio González’s men. The team with Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario at the helm were many people’s candidates for relegation however the team from Pucela have given themselves a great platform to build upon.

Barca have another star in the offing: At just 16 years of age, winger Ansu Fati made his Barcelona debut in the Camp Nou to rapturous applause. The striker stepped in for his La Liga bow taking advantage of the club’s injury crises and produced an impressive performance from the bench against Real Betis. He followed this up by incredibly scoring his first goal for the club against Osasuna and becoming Barcelona’s youngest ever goal scorer - at remember just the tender age of 16. Naturally this precocious talent is certain one to watch and keep an eye on.

Expect shocks: What La Liga has taught us so far is that everyone is capable of beating anyone with the league more competitive than ever. One only has to see Athletic’s victory over Barcelona, Madrid's slip up to Valladolid, Osasuna gaining a deserving point against Barcelona, Espanyol going down to a heavy home defeat at the hands of promoted Granada and Madrid tripping up once more at Villareal. It promises to be the most wide-open league in years.

Fasten your seat beats because when La Liga returns there promises to be more thrills, spills, shocks and entertainment lying in wait. A case in point of indeed why we very much love La Liga.

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