Barcelona made it 4 La Liga video games with out a win on Saturday after failing to beat 10-man Alaves, a 1-1 draw leaving Ronald Koeman’s facet sitting 12th within the desk. Luis Rioja put Alaves in entrance at Mendizorrotza after an error from Barca’s back-up goalkeeper Neto, with Antoine Griezmann equalising within the second half, a minute after Jota Peleteiro had been despatched off. However with nearly half an hour left and an additional man, Barcelona have been nonetheless unable to discover a winner, as an alternative settling for a draw to go along with latest defeats by Getafe and Actual Madrid, and one other draw towards Sevilla.
It means Madrid, who had earlier received 4-1 at house to Huesca, now sit eight factors away from their Catalan rivals, having performed a recreation extra, whereas Atletico are six forward after they beat Osasuna 3-1. Atletico will go prime in the event that they win their recreation in hand.
Even at this early stage within the title race, the hole is critical and Koeman will know the scrutiny on his place as coach will improve, significantly after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu as president on Tuesday.
Bartomeu appointed Koeman coach in August and eight factors from the primary six league video games shouldn’t be the kind of kind that may impress the following president and board, who needs to be voted in earlier than the top of January.
“I am very dissatisfied,” mentioned Koeman. “As soon as once more we have not performed effectively sufficient to get a consequence. The primary objective was a present after which we created a number of possibilities however did not take them.”
Koeman’s determination to substitute Ansu Fati with 12 minutes left was significantly stunning given Fati had been arguably Barcelona’s most harmful participant, maybe much more threatening than Lionel Messi, who endured a irritating evening.
Messi has nonetheless not scored in open play this season and whereas he was on the coronary heart of virtually each Barca assault, his contact and ending was once more not as crisp as regular. He was booked within the first half for dissent.
Fati and Griezmann each missed early possibilities whereas a Messi free-kick would have gone in had Florian Lejeune not been completely positioned on the road.
Frenkie de Jong was unfortunate to not have had a penalty when nudged out of a free header by Ximo Navarro earlier than a Barca mistake gifted Alaves the opening objective.
Gerard Pique underestimated how shut Neto was to him and the defender’s firmly hit backpass caught the goalkeeper abruptly. Neto failed to regulate his ft and Rioja capitalised, robbing him of the ball and tapping into an open internet.
Koeman made three adjustments at half-time, with Pedri, Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic all approaching.
However Barca discovered it tough to interrupt down the Alaves defence till Peleteiro gave them a gap. He booted Pique within the face to earn a second yellow card within the 62nd minute and within the 63rd, Griezmann equalised, an beautiful, lifted end pulling Barcelona stage.
It was nearly 2-1 a minute later however Messi’s end was effectively saved whereas Griezmann had a second dominated out for offside. Fati fired at objective earlier than going off and Pique’s end was cleared off the road. Alaves held on.
Hazard ends objective drought
Eden Hazard earlier scored his first objective for Actual Madrid in over a yr and his crew seem to have turned a nook after their comfy win over Huesca.
Hazard has had a horrible time with accidents since becoming a member of Madrid for 100 million euros from Chelsea in 2019 however the Belgian will hope his gorgeous strike from distance on the Alfredo di Stefano can kick-start his profession in Spain.
“We all know the standard that Eden has,” Zidane mentioned. “He scored a very good objective and we would have liked it within the first half, as a result of after his first objective the sport was totally different.”
Karim Benzema and Fede Valverde made the win safe earlier than Huesca scored via David Ferreiro, just for Benzema so as to add his second and Madrid’s fourth in injury-time.
It caps an encouraging week for Zidane’s facet, which started with the Clasico win at Camp Nou and finishes with them prime of the desk, two factors forward of Actual Sociedad.
Subjects talked about on this article