Alaves triumphs at Camp Nou

September 11, 2016

Barcelona would have been looking for a comfortable win on Saturday, when they played host to Alaves at Camp Nou. Deportivo Alavés was promoted to the top tier of Spanish football at the end of last season, their first time in the first division in more than a decade.

And with two draws behind them this season, it didn’t look like they could offer too much resistance against the might of FC Barcelona. However, things don’t always go the way they appear to be destined, and one of those matches was against Atletico Madrid.

Messi, Suarez and Iniesta started the match on the bench, rested by Lluis Enrique ahead of their Champions League match this week. But even with players like Neymar, Mascherano and Busquets the squad failed to gel properly. They dominated possession, but the visitors showed what a bit of determination could do. And in the end it was Deyverson for Alaves who scored the opener with six minutes of the first half remaining.

Althogh Neymar came close to equalising before the break, it was Mathieu who did exactly that at the start of the second half. He failed to score a second goal just afterwards though and the chance to put Barça ahead. Instead Mendez put the ball into Barcelona’s net, only to see it ruled offside.

With half an hour to go, Messi went on to try and change the balance of the match. All the same, Gómez soon put Alaves into the lead again and so on came Suarez too, as was Iniesta. Despite bringing on the big guns, Barcelona was unable to do what was required even to draw and as the clock ticked down it was clear that the Catalans would drop points this weekend.

0-1 Deyverson (min 39)
1-1 Mathieu (min 46)
1-2 Ibai Gómez (min 64′)

As of early Sunday afternoon this is what the league table looks like:

Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Real Madrid 3 3 0 0 10 3 9
2 Sevilla 3 2 1 0 8 5 7
3 Sporting Gijon 3 2 1 0 4 2 7
4 Las Palmas 3 2 0 1 10 5 6
5 Barcelona 3 2 0 1 8 4 6
6 Atletico Madrid 3 1 2 0 5 1 5
7 Villarreal 3 1 2 0 3 1 5
8 Alaves 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
9 Deportivo La Coruna 2 1 1 0 2 1 4
10 Leganes 3 1 1 1 2 2 4
11 Real Sociedad 3 1 1 1 3 4 4
12 Eibar 2 1 0 1 2 2 3
13 Espanyol 3 0 2 1 7 9 2
14 Malaga 3 0 2 1 3 5 2
15 Granada 2 0 1 1 2 6 1
16 Real Betis 2 0 1 1 2 6 1
17 Osasuna 3 0 1 2 3 8 1
18 Athletic Bilbao 2 0 0 2 1 3 0
19 Valencia 2 0 0 2 2 5 0
20 Celta Vigo 3 0 0 3 1 7 0

The majority of matches have been played this weekend, but there is still the risk that Barça will slip further down the table. If Deportivo wins then they’ll overtake the Catalans. It’s still early days though and so nothing to panic about, although frustrating to see Real Madrid with a clean sheet at the top. But it’s hardly ideal ahead of the Champions League match against Celtic on Tuesday. They beat Rangers 5-1.

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