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Soccer-La Liga talking points

Talking points from the weekend's La Liga matches: REAL AND BARCA NOT SO PRETTY IN PINK Real Madrid and Barcelona each wore pink jerseys in their respective games on Saturday but the unusual fashion experiment did not turn out well for either side. Madrid, who wore their pink kit to show support for World Breast Cancer day, fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to promoted Cadiz, while a few miles down the road Barca, also sporting pink, then lost 1-0 at Getafe.

Reuters | Updated: 19-10-2020 03:58 IST | Created: 19-10-2020 03:58 IST
Soccer-La Liga talking points

Talking points from the weekend's La Liga matches:

REAL AND BARCA NOT SO PRETTY IN PINK Real Madrid and Barcelona each wore pink jerseys in their respective games on Saturday but the unusual fashion experiment did not turn out well for either side.

Madrid, who wore their pink kit to show support for World Breast Cancer day, fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to promoted Cadiz, while a few miles down the road Barca, also sporting pink, then lost 1-0 at Getafe. It was the first time the two giants of Spanish football had both lost league matches on the same day without scoring since May 6, 2000, when Barca went down 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano and Madrid were beaten 1-0 by Alaves.

The twin results showcased both side's weaknesses at the worst possible time, a week before they meet each other in the 'Clasico', Spanish football's showcase game. CAN SHOW-STOPPING SOCIEDAD REMAIN CONSISTENT?

Even though their 3-0 win over Real Betis which took them top of La Liga on Sunday was laced with disputed refereeing decisions, no-one could argue that Real Sociedad are not one of the most exciting teams in Spain on their day. The Basques have a wealth of attacking talent, spearheaded by Spain forward Mikel Oyarzabal and Sweden international Alexander Isak and supported by one of the best midfielders in the league in Mikel Merino.

They took the league by storm last season and looked on course for a Champions League spot before running out of steam, and will be put under strain by a Europa League campaign which begins next week. But if they can continue to put their many chances away and show more resolve, another top-four push is well within their sights.

GRIEZMANN COMPLAINTS LOOK WORSE AFTER GLARING MISS Talk of Antoine Griezmann's best position had dominated the build-up to Barca's game at Getafe after the striker had scored for France against Croatia and appeared to send a message to coach Ronald Koeman for not playing him in his favoured role.

The Frenchman's grievances looked woefully out of place, however, when a glorious chance fell his way early in the game at Getafe only for him to blast the ball way over the bar. With Philippe Coutinho starting on the bench and Ousmane Dembele playing on the right wing, this was Griezmann's chance to really show that his troubling form for Barca was all down to playing out of position.

But he failed to take it and remains goalless after four league starts this season, making his 120 million transfer from Atletico Madrid in 2019 look ever more misguided. ZIDANE NO LONGER ABLE TO RELY ON MADRID FRINGE PLAYERS

Real coach Zinedine Zidane has long been an advocate of rotating his squad to keep his top players sharp, but the harrowing first half display against Cadiz showed this policy is now fraught with risk. The Frenchman hauled off three players plus an injured Sergio Ramos at the start of the second half after his side had conceded five clear chances to Cadiz and he later remarked that Madrid were lucky to not be 3-0 down by halftime.

Zidane had great success rotating his side in the double winning season of 2016/2017 when the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Isco used to shine when given the chance, but both players were quickly hooked at halftime after poor displays in the 1-0 loss.


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