Sat, 05 Dec 2020

MADRID, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- There was controversy in the Clasico between Barca and Real Madrid, while Real Sociedad remains top of the table and Athletic Club fell into the same old errors. Here are four things we learned in Matchday seven in Spain this weekend.

1. Ramos remains vital for Madrid

Sergio Ramos returned to Real Madrid after two defeats without him for the 3-1 win in the 'Clasico' away to FC Barcelona on Saturday and showed again how important he continues to be. Ramos' presence gave discipline to a Real Madrid defense that had looked chaotic without him earlier in the week and he also won the decisive penalty after his shirt was pulled by Clement Lenglet shortly after the hour.

Ramos looked to have fouled the Barca defender in the run up to the penalty, but his knowledge of the 'dark arts' is such that the VSR didn't focus on his little kick and push on Lenglet, but instead the obvious shirt pull and that is what ultimately decided the game.

2. Problems for Koeman

Although Barca can (and will) argue about that decisive penalty, any excuses should not hide the fact they didn't play well and Ronald Koeman has problems: Barca has taken just one point from nine and now faces a difficult trip to face Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Once again they looked sluggish in midfield, with Sergio Busquets having another disappointing performance as he failed to stay with Fede Valverde in Madrid's opening goal and then failing to produce the movement he needed to shake off Madrid's pressure in midfield. Barca's midfield options are limited after losing Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic over the summer and if Busquets is running out of steam, Koeman only has Miralem Pjanic to replace him.

3. La Real march on

Real Sociedad produced another impressive display to remain top of the table (the first side to be on top for consecutive weeks) as it defeated a previously solid Huesca 4-1 on Sunday night. Mikel Oyarzabal led the charge with two goals and his constant movement on the wing, but he was as well supported as ever by players such as Willian Jose, Alexsander Isak and Portu, while youth team products Jon Guridi and Martin Zubimendi show the depth of options available to coach Imanol Alguacil, who was able to rest Spain international Mikel Merino and Nacho Monreal after their Europa League visit to Croatia on Thursday.

4. Same mistakes for under-pressure Garitano

The success of Real Sociedad's youngsters will not have gone unnoticed at Real Sociedad's neighbor, Athletic Club Bilbao, who slipped to another disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Osasuna.

As in other 1-0 defeats this season, Athletic looked to be in complete control against a poor rival only to concede a late goal after an individual error. Coach Gaizka Garitano has to take much of the blame for his conservative decisions; opting once again not to make changes to try and take three points only to be forced to make them in the closing moments to try and save a draw.

Garitano has repeated that error against Cadiz and Alaves already this season and several times last season as well and unless he changes it will cost him his job.

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