Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had a 100-percent efficiency through the first eight matches in La Liga but neither side was able to continue their perfect start as they were surprised by Osasuna and Espanyol respectively.
Los Blaugranas rested in-form winger Alexis Sánchez and had Lionel Messi on the bench as the Argentine was still recovering from an injury suffered a few weeks ago. The result? They were unable to penetrate Osasuna’s crowded defensive line despite having a number of chances.
Messi entered the game with almost 30 minutes left but even he was unable to do something as he looked out of rhythm. Osasuna celebrated the draw like a title and Barcelona, while not perfect, are still unbeaten and sitting at the top of the standings.
Espanyol stunned Atletico Madrid in the other highlighted fixture of this week. Diego Simeone‘s men were also carrying a perfect start to the season but their lack of accuracy going forward and the solid play of Espanyol on their home turf was the only thing needed for the hosts to clinch a surprising win.
The only goal of the game was courtesy of Atletico’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was unable to clear a cross and ended up putting the ball into his own net.
Los Rojiblancos suffered their first defeat of the season but they don’t have many reasons to be worried about. They are still only one point behind the league leaders and if his strong start of the year is an indication, then they should contend for the title until the final weeks of the schedule.
Both teams will have Champions League games next in their schedule and both will also play away from home: Barcelona will clash against AC Milan in a very promising fixture while Atletico Madrid will take on Austria Wien.