As ever, La Liga looks to be a tight dogfight between Barcelona and Real Madrid this season. Spain’s, and arguably the world’s, finest two teams seem a class above the rest in 2016-17 and will likely battle it out all the way to May.
However, one side has made a marginally more promising start than the other.
Real Madrid have reaped a maximum nine points from their first three games, but their El Clasico rivals have already slipped on an early banana skin. There can little doubting the shock of Barca’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of newly promoted Alaves.
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A home tie against Alaves, on paper, appears a walk in the park for La Liga champions Barcelona. After all, with Neymar now back in the side, the Catalans looked set to ravage the minnows in front of a 90,000 strong crowd.
However, after 39 minutes of misfiring, it was the away side who broke the deadlock. Deyverson knicked the ball past Jasper Cillessen upon a rare expedition into the opposition half.
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Nevertheless, normal service appeared to have resumed just after the break when Jeremy Mathieu headed home from a Neymar corner. The returning Brazilian’s pinpoint cross seemed to have saved Barca blushes.
It wasn’t to be though as Alaves wrapped up the upset with a 64th minute strike. Ibai Gomez slalomed through the Barcelona defence before applying the finish despite Cillessen getting a hand to the ball.
The home side threw their all at the visitors in the remaining minutes, but to no avail.
Evidentially, given the magnitude of the upset, social media has reacted with appropriate surprise and ridicule. Some are even viewing it as an early advantage for Real in the title race, a somewhat premature assumption.
Nevertheless, Barca have come in for an avalanche of criticism and the pick of the tweets can be seen below:
It’s fair to say that Luis Enrique’s men have stumbled over their own legs in what should have been a comfortable victory. With Alaves amassing a comparatively miniscule amount of efforts on goal, Barca have let three points slip through their fingers.
Besides, while suggesting implications for the title race are somewhat extreme at this stage, there can be little doubting the blow to Barca’s confidence. After all, with MSN at their disposable, a 2-1 loss is practically a crime.
Who do you think will win the La Liga title this season? Have YOUR say in the comment box below