Sergiño Dest had mixed fortunes in Barcelona’s El Clásico loss to Real Madrid, while Matt Miazga and Alaves put on an impressive defensive road show to take all the points at Cadiz.
FC Barcelona 1 – 2 Real Madrid
Sergiño Dest and Barcelona came up short in this season’s first El Clásico matchup against arch rivals Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon, with the American’s late assist to Kun Aguero not enough to erase his own early wastefulness.
Dest, who was once again deployed by head coach Ronald Koeman on the right side of a front-three alongside Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay, could have given his team a 25th-minute lead when he received the ball from his Dutch teammate all alone in front of the keeper, but wastefully fired the resulting shot well over the crossbar.
Dest and his teammates were made to rue the wasted chance six minutes later, as Rodrygo adeptly saw David Alaba with space just outside the area during a counter. The Austrian defender had ample time to pick out his placement, and pummel his shot into the upper right corner for 1-0.
After seeing his initial lineup struggle for success for the rest of the half, Koeman brought on Brazilian attacker Philippe Coutinho following the break, moving Dest to his more accustomed right defender role to deal with Vinícius Júnior.
Sadly for the Blaugrana, this, and subsequent adjustments from Koeman didn’t succeed in turning the tide, and the visitors solidified their lead three minutes into second-half added time.
In the ensuing attack after the Barcelona players had heavily appealed for a penalty for a perceived foul on the out-of-position Gerard Pique, Marco Asensio stormed down the field and forced Marc-André ter Stegen into a block of his tight-angled shot, only to leave it in perfect position for Lucas Vázquez to put away with a diving effort.
Dest did partially make up for his early mistake in the seventh minute of added time, firing a low cross towards goal that the Argentinean Aguero put away from close range to bring the final scoreline to a respectable 2-1, however the result was already a done-deal, with Real Madrid coming away the victors on hostile soil.
Barcelona fall to ninth place after the loss, but will be back in action on Wednesday evening with a visit to seventh-place Rayo Vallecano.
FC Cadiz 0 – 2 Deportivo Alaves
Matt Miazga and Alaves earned the three points against fellow relegation strugglers Cadiz, with a strong defensive performance ensuring the shut-out win.
Even though Alaves had not seen the end results always go their way lately, the team’s defense had been generally strong, not conceding more than a single goal since a mid-September loss to Osasuna.
On Saturday, the attack finally rewarded their efforts with a pair of goals that lifted them to the convincing win.
Four minutes after the opening whistle, Alaves attacker Joselu received a long throw-in from Ruben Duarte near the touchline and tried to work his way towards goal, only to be toppled by Tomás Alarcón.
The veteran striker put away his resulting spot kick straight down the middle, giving his team the early lead.
Despite picking up an early yellow card in the 27th minute, his second of the season, Miazga and the Alaves defense put on a heroic effort to thwart their hosts while under sustained pressure, with Cadiz having more than 60% of possession, and attempting a daunting 23 shots, albeit with only four directly on-target.
With the game winding down into added time and Cadiz sensing the inevitable, Joselu sealed the victory for the visitors with his second of the afternoon. Miguelin was the catalyst, pressuring a weary Cadiz defender on what should have been a simple clearance out of the back, and gaining possession just long enough to fire a hopeful cross from the endline into the middle of the area.
Joselu, who had slipped free from his defender, smartly one-timed his shot under the outstretched arms of the surprised Cadiz keeper, sealing the 2-0 win.
The result brings Alaves to 18th place, still in the relegation places, but now within a single positive result of climbing out of the bottom three. They will have an immediate chance to hold onto their momentum, as they host 14th-place Elche on Tuesday in midweek La Liga action.
CD Leganes 1 – 2 CD Tenerife
Shaq Moore earned the start in Tenerife’s defense on Saturday, playing the first 76 minutes of their 2-1 win at Leganes.
The visitors held the upper hand for the majority of the afternoon, coming lose to already taking the lead in the fourth minute when Samuel Shashoua set up Elady Zorrilla with a cross to the far post which was just off-target.
Zorrilla did, however succeed in giving his team the lead in the 19th minute, this time running onto a fine through-ball from Shashoua, and beating the Leganes keeper with a low shot for the 1-0 lead.
Leganes were perhaps lucky to net an equalizing goal in the 65th minute; Leganes central defender Sergio Gonzalez headed in a long free kick from the left flank which, only to see the score disallowed when the attacking front appeared to be offside. However, after a lengthy VAR review, the officials judged that the toe-tips of defender Alex Munoz was protruding enough towards goal to keep the attackers onside, and the goal was awarded to the hosts.
Nevertheless, Tenerife were able to seal the victory late, with a long free kick from the right flank headed back across the face of goal by their own Sergio Gonzalez, where Zorilla could strike it in from give yards for the 81st-minute winner.
In the eighth minute of added time, Leganes midfielder Ruben Pardo was shown a straight red card after he childishly smacked Munoz in the face with the ball after losing an appeal for possession, however the final whistle was blown shortly thereafter, confirming the victory for the visitors.
Tenerife climb to fourth place with the win, and will be back in action on Halloween-Sunday when they host Burgos CF in La Liga 2 action.
Yunus Musah was left on Valencia’s bench for their dramatic 2-2 draw against visiting Mallorca, which saw them make up a two-goal deficit in injury time. Matthew Hoppe was not on the bench for Mallorca.