Barcelona struggled to beat Valladolid 1-0 thanks to a goal from France’s Ousmane Dembelé, but they scored three points to lead the Spanish championship alone in a matchday in which Atletico also defeated Rayo Vallecano by a single goal.
Despite playing against a newly promoted team, Barcelona had many problems against Valladolid, also helped by the poor state of the grass at the José Zorrilla Stadium.
“The state of the grass was deplorable. It’s not the game anymore, it’s the risk of injury, it’s embarrassing. I hope that those responsible will take action because it is regrettable,” said defender Gerard Piqué.
“If we want to sell the product outside, we should first look at what’s in the house. We want to take players to the United States to play and it’s a shame what happened,” he added, referring to LaLiga’s desire to play Spanish championship games in the United States, something that the players are opposed to.
Germany’s Marc-André Ter Stegen saved Barcelona from conceding the first goal with a shot from Turkey’s Enes Ünal (8).
Barcelona reacted and had chances from Luis Suarez (33) and Philippe Coutinho (35), but in both cases, the goalkeeper Jordi Masip, Barcelona’s exporter, stopped the South American players’ shots.
Shortly before the hour mark came the only goal of the match: Sergi Roberto saved a ball that looked like it was getting lost on the baseline with his head and gave the ball to Dembelé, who connected a half-volley to beat Masip (57).
Despite going bottom on the scoreboard, Valladolid did not give up and fought to the end in search of a draw. He did it at the discount of the match, with a header of’Keko’, but the referee annulled it at the behest of the VAR for offside of the whitewashed forward.
Thanks to this victory, Barcelona has made the full 6-point mark in two rounds and leads the championship, waiting for the rest of the teams that won on Sunday, including Real Madrid, which will travel to Girona.
Also this Saturday, Atletico Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal from Antoine Griezmann midway through the second half and placed third in the provisional standings.
– Goalscoring Griezmann –
Despite playing in their stadium, which helped the three French players of Atletico (Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, and Thomas Lemar) offer the World Cup to the red-and-white fans, Atletico did not play well and only saved the victory thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
The Rayo had chances to score, but it was Griezmann who opened the scoring, deflecting Stefan Savic’s header off a corner (63).
It took Atletico 36 minutes to approach the goalkeeper with danger, but the shot from Argentina’s Angel Correa was saved by goalkeeper Alberto Garcia.
In the second half, visitors again had chances to score (Álvaro García in 58 and Argentina’s Óscar Trejo in 59), but it was Griezmann who opened the scoring, deflecting a header from Stefan Savic at the corner (63).
Far from giving Atletico peace of mind, the goal made the Rayo look for the opponent’s goal and had at least five very clear chances to score in the last 10 minutes (the clearest one being Jose Angel Pozo in the discount that Oblak stopped), but the team of Diego Simeone ended up saving the win, the first of the season and thanks to which the club mattress adds 4 points.