Unai Emery helping to give Villarreal a second wave of excellency in La Liga

Many sing about the fairy tale of New York around Christmas but Villarreal are the fairy tale of Spanish football. Let’s face it how many football fans had heard of the club before their fantastic run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006? Whatever the figure halve it down to how many fans knew of the club back in 1998. That year Villarreal made their debut in La Liga.

It really is an amazing story, and true we’ve seen it before where clubs from a second division get promoted and do well enough to finish in the top 5 for example and qualify for Europe. But Villarreal went that step further and though they have been relegated on a few occasions since 1998 they keep coming back, have attracted quality players and coaches and are doing rather well this season.

This summer Unai Emery former coach of PSG and Arsenal signed a three year contract with the club known as ‘The Yellow Submarines’, and he already has a 53% win rate. The most stunning fact is that Villarreal have lost just once this season and are in 3rd place with 20 points, three in front of Real Madrid and six in front of Barcelona and four from the top.

No one is expecting Villarreal to be a realistic challenger for the title this season, though at the present time La Liga is well open to invitations, but if the club can finish in a European position Emery would have done his job and brought the club full circle.

It is incredible to think that the club have risen from a population of just 50,000 and their achievements have been quite incredible. Not only reaching the 2006 Champions League semi-final, but they also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League on three occasions and finished as runners up in La Liga back in 2008. They finished just 8 points shy of Real Madrid the champions but 10 points in front of Barcelona, that Barcelona team who were just getting ready to become one of the best clubs sides we have ever witnessed.

The recruitment at Villarreal has been impressive and apart from a few seasons when they club didn’t perform at all well these past 22 years have been incredible for the club. Much of that is down to club president Fernando Roig.

Roig took the gamble to buy Villarreal back in 1997 and it has been his clear investment and strategy that has brought the clubs most successful era to fruition in the past two decades. Back in 2017 Roig had this to say about the club. “The fans can complain that we haven’t won a trophy, but I’d like to assure them that really, the best thing for Villarreal is ensuring that the club remains in the top flight that’s our own Cup tournament in a way. For this club, the most important triumph is playing in the top division every year and playing in Europe every now and again. Villarreal is economically stable and in a few years’ time, our youth academy will be a source of new talent for the team.

Villarreal have had stand out players of the past including Juan Roman Riquelme, Robert Pires, Giuseppi Rossi and Diego Forlan to name a few. The current squad are doing well too.

Gerard Moreno currently has 57 goals and is just 26 shy of becoming the clubs all time leading goalscorer. At 28 he has the time to do it as long as he stays fit and doesn’t leave beforehand. This season alone Moreno has scored six goals and has the most fantasy points of any Villarreal player with 25 so far.

Just behind him is his striker partner Paco Alcacer who would cost you just 3m and has earned 24 points this season. He has been involved in seven goals so far and has scored 5.

Manuel Trigueros and Daniel Parejo have bolstered the midfield and in defence Mario Gaspar has stood out, he has 14 points so far and has helped to keep 3 clean sheets.

Once again the future looks bright for Villarreal, and this season in particular could be very memorable indeed if they can keep up their good form under Emery. Right now nobody can be thinking that their yellow submarine is going to sink this season.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 11

Finally Real Sociedad dropped points, this is what all the other chasing teams will be thinking of the best in form side in the league. Sociedad could only draw at home to Villarreal which opened up the league.

Real Madrid lost their 3rd game of the season to go seven points behind the leaders and Barcelona played perhaps their best game so far by crushing Osasuna 4-0. All eyes should be on Atletico Madrid in 2nd place who kept yet another clean sheet at the weekend, are 1 point behind Sociedad and have 2 games in hand.

Let’s take a look at the players who made the biggest impact at the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona 7pts

A few goalkeepers reached 7 points for their clean sheets but Marc ter Stegen probably played one of his best games in goal for Barcelona this season. True Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win over Osasuna, but surprisngly the away side had many chances in front of goal and it would have been a personal achievement for ter Stegen looking at how this season has started for the club to help keep a clean sheet.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Jordi Alba was solid in defence and remains one of Barcelona’s most important defenders. He helped keep a clean sheet and Alba now has 16 points for the season and is the highest ranked defender in fantasy points in the team.

Defender: Gimenez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

What can be said about Atletico Madrid who have conceded just 2 goals all season so far? Very strong at the back and Gimenez  has only started four games but kept 3 clean sheets and he had a very good match.

Defender: Sergino Dest- Barcelona 5pts

Sergino Dest isn’t always a regular for Barcelona but he has been brought in at the weekend and played with great confidence as Barcelona overcame Osasuna 4-0 and he helped keep a clean sheet. Dest was minus points these 5 points mean he has +2 now.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier is proving himself to be one of the best defenders in La Liga this season. In Spain he is top of the fantasy rankings with 37 points. His side Atletico Madrid are in 2nd place now as they got a very important win beating Valencia away from home 1-0.

Midfielder: Philippe Coutinho- Barcelona 6pts

Philippe Coutinho has already looked better in these first two months of the season than his debut one for Barcelona. Coutinho is getting forward more and helped Barcelona seal their 4-0 win over Osasuna by scoring the third goal.

Midfielder: Jose Campana-Levante 4pts

Jose Campana’s penalty was enough for Levante to earn a point over Real Valladolid. Campana earned 4 points in the process and that was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.

Midfielder: Casemiro- Real Madrid 3pts

Real Madrid lost at home at the weekend to Alaves in a shock result but Casemiro did pull a goal back to earn some points as they went down 2-1. Casemiro didn’t earn more as he was also booked in the early stages of the game.

Midfielder: Thomas Lemar- Atletico Madrid 2pts

Such was an overall poor performance from midfielders this past weekend that Thomas Lemar’s 2 points for Atletico earned in midfield after they beat Valencia 1-0 was enough for the former Monaco player to make the team of the weekend.

Striker: Antoine Griezmann- Barcelona 6pts

Antoine Griezmann has had a few good weeks at Barcelona and the French international will be hoping that his fortunes can turn around at the club. Not only did Greizmann get on the score sheet but he also assisted in another goal. That is the players third goal so far this season.

Striker: Joselu- Alaves 4pts

Joselu had a memorable game for Alaves as he grabbed the winner to defeat Real Madrid away from home. He now has 8 points for the season and is valued at 6.5m. That was the strikers 2nd goal of the campaign and he will be hoping that the goal could be a catalyst for more to come.

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Inter hit Torino for 4 as Antonio Conte’s men prepare for Real Madrid

What a game we witnessed at the San Siro as Inter came back from 2-0 down to beat Torino 4-2. The win has moved Inter up to 5th place and this was the clubs 4th unbeaten game in a row.

It is of course incredible to think that an encounter which featured six goals only had one in the first half and that came by the way of Simeone Zaza’s strike in injury time of the first half. Some nice one two interplay on the edge of the box led up to the goal. In truth it was hard for Inter to complain as they had been sluggish in the first half and Torino were the better team, indeed at home Inter had only managed one shot on target up until then.

The objectives for the second half were crystal clear for Inter and that was to pull a goal back as soon as possible. But again it was a stop start procedure to the game in the early exchanges of the second half which saw both Alessandro Bastoni and Ashley Young booked within 15 minutes of each other. But it was Young’s yellow card that counted more as he committed a foul on Torino’s Wilfried Singo. Though it was never intentional Young’s foot caught Singo in the chest and a penalty was awarded. Cristian Ansaldi made no mistakes from the spot and Inter were losing 2-0 with less than 30 minutes left.

However the key to the comeback was Inter scoring just two minutes after the penalty. Some good build up play saw Romelu Lukaku hit the bar, but a scramble in the area afterwards saw the ball fall to Alexis Sanchez who scored his first goal of the season for the Italian giants.

With Torino’s defence now being opened up at will Sanchez crossed the ball for Lukaku who simply couldn’t miss from what looked like to be inches out. Inter had pulled back to 2-2 in the space of three minutes and the visitors looked shell shocked.

By this time Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic were brought on to bolster attack and the message was clear, Inter were going in for all three points. With just six minutes of the game left Torino gave away a needless penalty which Lukaku made no mistakes of tucking away. Inter were now leading 3-2 from 2-0 down and that was the Belgian’s seventh goal of the season so far.

A fourth was on its way and Lukaku who had a terrific second half was unselfish to lay the ball off for Martinez to score his first goal of the game rather than Lukaku going for his hat trick. A once nightmare of a game ended up being a dream for Inter who showed a lot of character to come through a difficult moment.

Antonio Conte’s thoughts on the Torino game

“I didn’t like the first half, as we basically didn’t play. I hope this can serve as a wake-up call, so we realise it’s a tough slog and we need to dig deep to make it as difficult as possible for our opponents. Too often, we either haven’t done that at all or done it too late.” Said Conte.

Conte added: “What changed in the final half-hour was the ferocity of our pressing. If you do pressing slowly, going through the motions, it won’t do anything. You need ferocity and the desire to work hard and win the ball back immediately. We scored four goals after that and could’ve had a few more.”

Next up Real Madrid in the Champions League

Attentions now turn to a huge game where Inter will face Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage match to be played at San Siro. These two teams have won the Champions League in the last decade five times between them. When the clubs met a few weeks ago in the reverse fixture the game ended 3-2 to Real.

If Inter lose this game they could be in real danger of not qualifying for the knock out rounds and come into this match in last place in their group with 2 points. Borussia Monchengladbach lead the group with 5 points which presently remains tight, but Inter really need a win to put them back in the mix.

 

Inter players fantasy points update

Romelu Lukaku was the star turn for Inter in the fantasy rankings and earned 12 points against Torino. Alexis Sanchez earned 6 and Lautaro Martinez took home 4 points.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 10

Barcelona lost their 3rd game of the season and they are now down in 12th position and 12 points behind current leaders Real Sociedad. Sociedad have won 70% of their games so far and have pulled out a 3 point lead at the top.

Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 away to Villarreal and Atletico Madrid have gone 2nd after beating Barcelona. Let’s see if any of your players made the team of the weekend below.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak kept his sixth clean sheet of the campaign and one of the most important ones as Atletico Madrid overcame Barcelona 1-0 at home. Oblak had to make 5 crucial saves and now has 42 points overall.

Defender: Kieran Tripper- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has been one of the best defenders in Spain this season and has really grown as a player with Atletico Madrid. He helped to keep a clean sheet and shut out Barcelona.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 5pts

Real Sociedad won a tough game 1-0 over Cadiz and Monreal really put in a shift to keep the newly promoted side at bay. Monreal has kept 4 clean sheets so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Defender: Felipe- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Felipe is the 3rd best ranked defender in the league and helped to keep a 5th clean sheet for Atletico Madrid. This game at the weekend was more impressive given that he shut out Lionel Messi and co, as they beat Barcelona 1-0.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 5pts

Not many defenders picked up points over the weekend in La Liga and the best defending teams have been Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. Zaldua played well and maintained the back line superbly. He has only managed to start 2 games this season but could see that increase with this performance.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 5pts

What a game for Yannick Carrasco who scored the only goal of the match to beat Barcelona 1-0. Carrasco had just been booked and his game didn’t look so good but a few minutes later and just before half time he scored. He has scored 2 goals this season and now has a total of 17 points.

Midfielder: Gonzalo Melero- Levante 4pts

Levante drew 1-1 with Elche and Gonzalo Melero scored the opening goal of the game for Levante. He also put in a good shift in midfield and distributed the ball well. His value is worth 6m.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Angel Correa has appeared in the team of the week on many occasions and he has been a solid player for Atletico. He played a very pivotal role for the club as they overcame Barcelona 1-0 and at times kept Messi quiet.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 4pts

Adnan Januzaj provided his first assist of the season as Real Sociedad beat Cadiz 1-0. He is the 2nd best ranked midfielder for the club and has 20 points overall now.

Striker: Oscar Plano- Real Valladolid 6pts

Oscar Plano opened the scoring for Real Valladolid as they beat Granada 3-1. He also set up the clubs 2nd goal and had an overall brilliant game away from home. It was Plano’s first goal of the season.

Striker: Lucas Perez- Alaves 6pts

Alaves were expected to lose to Valencia and sprung a surprise by drawing the game 2-2. Lucas Perez earned six points by assisting in the first goal for the club and then converting a penalty. The striker has scored 2 goals so far this season and his value is 4m.

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The Best 11 Players in La Liga 2020/21 so far

With internationals taking over the domestic season last week and this week we look at the players who are making all the noise in the Spanish league so far. Just who has been the best performing players this season?. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have struggled so far, and only 1 player overall has made the final cut- who is it? Just who has been making the biggest impact so far in the league? In a 4-4-2 formation we will find out below:

Goalkeeper: Remiro- Real Sociedad 35pts

Remiro and Jan Oblak have the same points and have clearly been the outstanding goalkeepers in La Liga, however Remiro has played more games and whist Oblak was expected to have a great season Remiro wasn’t. The shot stopper has kept 5 clean sheets so far this season and Real Sociedad are top of the league.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 27pts

Kieran Trippier is currently the best defender in Spanish football with 27 fantasy points earned. Atletico Madrid are in great form and the Englishman has helped to keep 5 clean sheets at the back and has also assisted in a goal. His value is 7m.

Defender: Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 21pts

Mario Hermoso alongside Trippier has been solid as a rock in Atletico Madrid’s defence and has helped keep 4 clean sheets, he has played 2 less games than Trippier with five matches completed so far, his value is 5m.

Defender: Stefan Savic- Atletico Madrid 20pts

Atletico Madrid dominate the defence in Spanish football that is because they have staggeringly only conceded 2 goals this season from their seven games played. Savic has 20 fantasy points so far and has helped keep 4 clean sheets.

Defender: Felipe- Atletico Madrid 19pts

Felipe not only defends well but also has pace on the counter attack and is yet another Atletico Madrid player to make it in defence this season. The club have only conceded 1 goal at home and 1 away. Felipe has helped to keep 4 clean sheets.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 30pts

So far Portu has been the best defender in the league and has 30 points after a blistering start which has saw his team Real Sociedad in the top position. He has been involved in 6 goals, scoring 4 and assisting in 2 and has been a revelation this season, his value is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 25pts

Back to Atletico Madrid and their best midfielder has been Marcos Llorente. He has scored 3 goals and assisted in two others. He has been a great fixture in the middle of the field and one of the best players in the league so far overall.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 22pts

Angel Correa has been able to link up well with Llorente in midfield. His contribution to the team has also been very important. He isn’t much of a goalscorer, although has scored this season but he is all about assist, and has already set up 4 goals this season.

Midfielder: Federico Valverde- Real Madrid 20pts

From Real Madrid and Barcelona it is incredible to think that only 1 player has made this team of the season so far. It’s been an interesting season though. Valverde has scored 3 goals and assisted in one, in an otherwise bumpy start for Zinedine Zidane’s team.

Striker: Mikel Oyarzabal- Real Sociedad 27pts

With Real Sociedad being the best team so far in the league it is no surprise that they have a striker who has started so well. Mikel Oyarzabal has chalked up 27 points through scoring six goals and also assisting in a further two. His current value is only 8m and he could end up being the best striker over the season at this rate.

Striker: Paco Alcacer- Villarreal 24pts

Paco Alcacer seems to be having a second wind as a striker and has done well with Villarreal so far this season. He has scored 5 goals and assisted in 2 and wit 24 points he is currently the 2nd best striker in Spain. His value is a real bargain at just 3m.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 9

Real Madrid lost 4-1 against Valencia which just keeps the Spanish league more interesting as Real Sociedad won their sixth game of the season to go four points clear of the champions. Sociedad have not lost a game since the end of September.

Barcelona finally played like the Barca of old as they crushed Real Betis 5-2 and even Lionel Messi seemed happy as he scored a couple of goals. And Atletico Madrid have now won 4 games in a row as they crushed in form side Cadiz and they remain in 3rd place.

So with many points up for grabs for the players let’s take a look to see if any of your chosen players made the final cut and the team of the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has already help keep 5 clean sheets this season. He was solid as a rock against Cadiz as they had genuine chances to score although Atletico ran out 4-0 winners in the end.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 9pts

Nacho Monreal helped keep a clean sheet and Real Sociedad beat Granada 2-0. Monreal capped off a fantastic weekend by opening the scoring also and Sociedad stay top of the league.

Defender: Sergio Escudero- Sevilla 5pts

Sergio Escudero now has 10pts as he earned another 5 at the weekend as Sevilla came past Osasuna 1-0. Escudero actually started from the bench and played well and held the back line in a game that Sevilla could well have drawn. He is valued at 6m.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 5pts

Zaldua put in a good shift but had to be substituted in the 2nd half. But helped Sociedad in defence with some fantastic passes and they kept yet another clean sheet.

Defender: Gimenez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Gimenez earned all points as Atletico Madrid put paid to Cadiz’s great start. The club kept a clean sheet in a crushing 4-0 win. This was the defender’s first points of the season and he is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 13pts

What  a memorable weekend it was for Carlos Soler who earned an incredible 13 points as Valencia stunned champions Real Madrid and won the game 4-1. Soler scored a hat trick and all of the goals were penalties. He kept calm for each one as Valencia made a huge statement. Soler now has 19 points overall.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 8pts

Another great win for Atletico Madrid as they overcame Cadiz by 4-0. Llorente assisted in the clubs first goal of the game and set up Felix and then scored the 2nd which seemed to deflate the visitors. From there on in there was only going to be one winner.

Midfielder: Fidel Chaves de la Torre- Elche 4pts

Elche drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo and Fidel as the player is known opened the scoring with a penalty. Though the club couldn’t hold on Fidel earned a good 4 points and has been solid this season and has 17 points overall. He may be worth looking into and he is valued at a fantastic bargain of just 3m.

Midfielder: Sergi Roberto- Barcelona 4pts

After their slow start Barcelona players have been missing from players of the weekend. Sergi Roberto saw his side beat Real Betis 5-2 and whilst remaining consistent in midfield he went one better and assisted for Barcelona’s last 2 goals of the game which were highly important and a huge factor in closing out the game.

Striker: Joao Felix- Atletico Madrid 10pts

Joao Felix has been on great form in the last few weeks and the highly promising youngster scored 2 goals including the opening one and assisted in another as he won man of the match as Atletico crushed Cadiz 4-0. Felix now has five goals so far this season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 8pts

Lionel Messi is back! He scored 2 goals as Barcelona beat Real Betis 5-2 in their first real performance of the season. Messi now has 10 points and will want to build on this for the rest of the season and get back to the form that everyone knows him for.

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How Jokin Aperribay and Imanol Alguacil have guided Real Sociedad to the top of La Liga

Take a look at the La Liga table and the team sitting on top are none other than Real Sociedad. The club from the Basque country are showing their best form since they almost won the league title in 2002/03 after an epic battle with Real Madrid. But what chance does the club have now of repeating that challenge and maybe going one step further?

Club owner Jokin Aperribay will be celebrating 10 years as president and though they haven’t always been memorable at a team like Sociedad a lot of work must go on in the background to see the benefits down the line and that seems to be paying off this season.

Real Sociedad really are a throw back in time to when teams did not spend millions on the latest talent. Sure Sociedad have dipped into that arena once or twice but the clubs core values are simply to promote from within and their youth system is of utter importance.

A few years ago Aperribay said: “When they come to the first team it’s incredible news, these players come up through our system and know our colours, they understand our community and they are willing to push that and work hard and be part of the community and understand why we are here.” This is a reinforcement of promoting from within something that has all but died with most European clubs and especially the elite and it is a refreshing method.

The choice of coach at the club then shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Imanol Alguacil is Sociedad through and through. The 49 year old started his career at Sociedad playing for the B team and spent a total of 9 years with the club in the 1990s. His managerial career has followed suit and he has only been in charge of either the Real Soceidad B team or the senior and that has been ongoing since 2011.

Imanol as he is widely known by just his first name in Spain stands for everything that Sociedad represent. A local that played the majority of his career with the club and is now coach- Sociedad’s ethics simply wouldn’t have it any other way. And for this season especially Imanol’s inner workings of the club and the backing of the president are seeing all of that hard work rewarded.

There is real quality in the side and leading the fantasy rankings is Remiro the goalkeeper who already has 28 points and has kept 4 clean sheets and only conceded four goals since the beginning of the season.

Attack is good too in the form of Mikel Oyarzabal who has scored 5 goals and assisted in a further 2. Portu has been a rock in midfield and he also has a total of 28 points and has scored four goals and assisted in another two and these are players that are regularly making the best La Liga team of the weekends.

One of the most important players for Sociedad is arguably David Silva. Though he is coming to the end of his career the talented player- a legend for Manchester City and much missed in England has impressed for his new club. But what else would one expect from one of the best players of his generation in the last decade. The move felt like a surprise but Silva is obviously content and the experience that he can bring to the side just in the dressing room really can’t be measured.

Presently Real Sociedad sit in 1st place with 17 points and have won 4 games in a row. Even though Real Madrid are just a point behind and have a game in hand what is encouraging is that Sociedad are scoring goals. It really is the best way to measure a team. The club beat Celta Vigo last weekend 4-1 and before that put another four goals past Huesca. In all they have scored 14 goals in their past four games and have 18 so far this season which is easily the most in the league.

How far can Sociedad go this season? We should know more by Christmas but their main rivals at this time will be Real Madrid and the emerging Atletico Madrid.

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Inter lose thriller at Real Madrid following a draw against Parma

Two games, no wins and yet Inter scored 4 goals and should have scored more. The Nerazzurri would have taken something from this week which included a draw against Parma and defeat against Real Madrid, because in both games they didn’t play too bad.

Inter had found themselves 2-0 down at home against Parma courtesy of two second half strikes by Gervinho. The first was a belter but the second could have been taken care of and was more about scrappy defending from Inter who would have been disappointed at conceding a goal which in most games would have killed the game.

To their credit though Inter finally woke up and just two minutes later had pulled a goal back through Marcelo Brozovic who powered through Parma’s defence and kept on his feet to slot the ball home. Inter were a transferred team in the 2nd half and Parma scoring a second rattled them. In the first half for example they managed just 2 shots on target but in the 2nd half that increased to seven as they increased the pressure.

Despite Inter having goal line chances cleared off the line, time was running out and it seemed that they would lose the match. But a free kick swung into the area found the glancing head of Ivan Perisic who in the 92nd minute made it 2-2. Inter then had a chance to win the game but Arturo Vidal somehow missed strong contact on a cross to out it away.

It’s another two points dropped for Inter and it has happened at home but considering they were 2-0 down Antonio Conte the Inter coach will have taken this. The result leaves Inter in 6th place and five points behind league leaders Milan. Inter are drawing games but have only lost once in their last five and next weekend they will take on Atalanta away from home.

Inter lose thriller against Real Madrid

Inter followed up their draw in Serie A by losing 3-2 to Real Madrid in Spain. Though they started as the underdogs they gave Zinedine Zidane’s men a real scare. Madrid did find themselves 2-0 up within 33 minutes through goals by Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos but Inter kept their hopes alive by pulling the game back to 2-1 in the 35th minute through Lautaro Martinez.

Then the comeback hero v Parma Ivan Perisic did it again getting Inter’s 2nd goal making the game 2-2 in the 68th minute. However with just ten minutes left to play Rodrygo scored a third for Real to give them 3 precious points. Madrid had started their group slowly and this match at home really was a must win.

As for Inter the loss was bad news and Conte’s team have just 2 points after 3 games. But the group is close with Borussia Monchengladbach the group leaders only on 5 points. The pressure is on Inter though who will play Real Madrid at San Siro on November 25th and they will likely have to pick up all three points to keep in the mix.

Romelu Lukaku has managed to earn the most fantasy points for Inter with 19 so far. But he missed the Parma game and Real Madrid clash. There is no further word on his injury but the club will be hoping that the Belgian international will be fit to play against Atalanta this weekend.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 8

There is a team in first place in Spain who begin with Real but it isn’t the one you’re expecting. Real Sociedad won their 4th game in a row and the club are a point clear of Real Madrid who hammered Huesca.

Atletico Madrid recorded their third straight win in a row but there was more misery for Barcelona who have gone 4 games without victory as they drew 1-1 at Deportivo, they are in the unlikely place of 12th and this is their worst start to a league campaign in 18 years. This weekend felt like it was all about red cards though and there were 5 shown.

Below are the best 11 players from the weekend in La Liga.

Goalkeeper: Fernando Pacheco- Alaves 0pts

It is an incredibly rare occurrence that a player would get into the team with zero points. But all the keepers linked to fantasy football scored no points or minus. Whilst many scored zero points Fernando Pacheco criheld the mighty Barcelona to a 1-1 draw and gets the nod.

Defender: Fali- Cadiz 5pts

Cadiz were the only club in La Liga to keep a clean sheet as they beat Eibar 2-0. Fali was part of a defence that stayed strong throughout and helped maintain yet another clean sheet for the surprise package team of this season.

Defender: Cala- Cadiz 5pts

Cala makes the best 11 yet again after his fantastic contribution in the Eibar game where Cadiz won 2-0 and he picked up points for a clean sheet.

Defender: Carlos Akapo- Cadiz 5pts

Carlos Akapo has been in our team of the weekends before and he picked up another 5pts in a superb defence display from Cadiz. Akapo now has 18pts and is only valued at 5m. He looks a real bargain.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 2pts

This was a weekend where defenders in La Liga did not really shine and 2 points was enough to get the final 11 cut. Trippier has had a fine season so far with Atletico as they beat Osasuna in an important fixture winning 3-1.

Midfielder: Federico Valverde- Real Madrid 6pts

Real Madrid beat Huesca 4-1 at the weekend and are 2nd in the league. Federico Valverde had a superb game setting up the first goal for Eden Hazard to open the scoring and then scoring the 3rd goal which by then effectively killed off the encounter.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 4pts

Portu has been one of the outstanding players in the league so far. He has acquired 28pts so far and at the weekend added another four as his side beat Celta Vigo 4-1. What was amazing is that Portu only came on in the 46th minute and then assisted in a further 2 goals.

Midfielder: Lucas Torreira- Atlteico Madrid 4pts

Lucas Torreira is settling in at his new club from his Arsenal move well and they are in brilliant form winning their last 3 games in a row. He scored the final goal as his club overcame Osasuna 3-1.

Midfielder: Sergio Canales – Real Betis 4pts

Real Betis beat Elche 3-1 and that was largely thanks to the underrated Sergio Canales. The midfielder set up striker Cristian Tello twice to finish off the game, and Canales now has 16pts in total.

Striker: Cristian Tello- Real Betis 10pts

Cristian Tello was on form has he scored 2 goals for his club Real Betis as they beat Elche 3-1. Tello’s value is just 6m and he has scored 4 goals already this season.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 10pts

He may be getting older but Karim Benzema has been a rock for Real Madrid throughout the years. He was easily the man of the match as Real Madrid beat Huesca 4-1. Benzema not only scored 2 goals putting his season total to 3 he also assisted in a goal also.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 7

El Clasico was the game on everyone’s mind and yes it felt strange to witness a Barcelona and Real Madrid game without any fans. It was Real Madrid who picked up the three points though as they recorded a rare with at Camp Nou winning 3-1. The pressure will be on Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman as he saw his side slip to 12th place!

Real Sociedad are top of the league after winning their 3rd game in a row when they easily overcame Huesca 4-1 and Atletico Madrid are creeping up the table after going 5 games without defeat and at the weekend they beat Real Betis 2-0.

Let’s look at the La Liga team of the weekend, did any of your players make the final cut?

Goalkeeper: Marko Dmitrovic- Eibar 7pts

Marko Dmitrovic was hailed as something like a hero at the weekend as Eibar beat Sevilla 1-0 away from home. He made some important saves as Sevilla had over 20 attempts on goal and though a few goalkeepers picked up 7 points he seems more deserving in this vital and important away victory.

Defender: Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Atletico Madrid continued their fine by beating Real Betis 2-0 and it was important for the club to record a clean sheet also. Mario Hermoso was brilliant at the back and also assisted for the clubs first goal which opened up the chance to win the game.

Defender: Facundo Roncaglia- Osasuna 5pts

Facundo Roncaglia put in a good display at the back as his club Osasuna beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0. The game looked to be heading for 0-0 and so a clean sheet was going to happen but Osasuna then got a last minute penalty.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has really impressed since joining Atletico Madrid and he put in a stellar performance as his club kept a clean sheet in beating Real Betis 2-0. Trippier is the 3rd best ranked defender in the league and has already picked up 20 points this season.

Defender: Carlos Akapo- Cadiz 5pts

For the second week in a row Cadiz have impressed and at the weekend they held off Villarreal to draw 0-0 with them and keep another clean sheet. Carlos Akapo has 13 points overall this season and at 5m looks like a very good price.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Marcos Llorente opened the scoring as he saw his side Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0. He also had a superb time in midfield controlling the game and creating chances and very much deserves his 6 points which now puts him on a total of 18.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Ruben Garcia did not start the game but came on as a substitute because of an injury, and the fate was sealed in this game. Garcia converted a last minute penalty which gave his club all three points.

Midfielder: Tomas Pina – Alaves 6pts

Tomas Pina opened the scoring as Alaves overcame Valladolid 2-0 he now has 7 points overall and can be snapped up for just 3m. Pina took his goal well and that was the goal that set up his team for victory.

Midfielder: David Silva- Real Sociedad 4pts

David Silva has fitted into his new club with ease and he put in a commanding display as Real Sociedad beat Huesca 4-1. He assisted in the final two goals which was just the icing on the cake and put in yet another vintage display.

Striker: Mikel Oyarzabal- Real Sociedad 7pts

Mikel Oyarzabal makes the final cut for a 2nd week in a row and the Real Sociedad player is on hot form as he scored another 2 goals at the weekend to keep his side top of the league. Oyarzabal now has 4 goals this season and has also assisted in a further two.

Striker: Kike- Eibar 4pts

Kike scored the only goal that beat Sevilla in a 1-0 victory, which was taken in the first half. Kike now has 3 goals this season and has an overall points record of 12 and he can be brought into your team for the value of 6.5m.

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