La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round Six: Joaquin is ageless, Real Sociedad the team to watch

The Basque have been the surprise package in Spain

 
9:54am on Friday 27th September 2019
By
Paul Macdonald

Real Sociedad are legit.

Martin Odegaard, Alex Isak, Mikel Oiarzabal - there's real talent in this team and they are showcasing all of it so far as they sit in second spot behind a resurgent Real Madrid. Meanwhile Barcelona get back to winning ways and Atletico grind another one out.

If it feels like Joaquin has been around forever, it's because he's 38 now, and is still going strong. Against Levante he was absolutely unplayable; his dribble and cross allowed Moron to head against the post before converting, then in the second half two marauding runs down the right led to cutbacks and easy finishes for Moron again and Borja Iglesias. It's heartwarming to see a local hero still performing like this at such an age.

Oiarzabal is developing into a serious talent for this exciting la Real team and he ran the show against Alaves. He took advantage of Martin Odegaard's wonderful through pass to dummy the keeper and slot home the opener, then his whipped delivery allowed Willian Jose to score his third in two games. A penalty sealed the win for the Basque side.

As good as Oiarzabal was, Odegaard wasn't far behind. The Real Madrid loanee is beginning to look every inch the generational talent Madrid thought he would be. His sliderule pass for the first goal was a work of genius, while he created another big chance for his team-mates in the contest. La Real are fast becoming the team of choice to watch in Spain.

Celta are struggling for consistency this season but Mallo's delivery from wide was a constant attacking threat against Espanyol. Most of his 13 crosses were into a dangerous area and he was finally rewarded with an assist for Santi Mina in the closing minutes of the match.

Atletico Madrid performed much better in their 2-0 away victory in Mallorca, and it was no surprise that Koke stepped up to drive his team forward. His superb cross allowed Diego Costa to open the scoring, while he provided five interceptions, six recoveries and one big chance created.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Maxi Gomez's (8.2) two goals should really have been enough for Valencia to win against Getafe, but a second-half capitulation led to a 3-3 draw. Sergio Ramos (8.2), Toni Kroos (8) and Casemiro (8) all turned in excellent displays as Real Madrid went from crisis club to top of the table.

ROUND TO FORGET

Diego Carlos (4.8) was part of a Sevilla defence who somehow turned a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 loss away at Eibar, while Allan Nyom (5) will have been pleased to see his team turn a 3-1 deficit into a 3-3 draw at the Mestalla.

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