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Five talking points from the weekend in La Liga

Five talking points from the weekend in La Liga
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Real Valladolid - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - August 24, 2019 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane REUTERS/Juan Medina -
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Juan Medina(Reuters)
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By Rik Sharma

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Champions Barcelona drew 2-2 with Osasuna on Saturday while Real Madrid were held by the same scoreline at Villarreal on Sunday.

Here are five talking points from La Liga:

Fati makes history as Barca stumble

Barcelona drew at Osasuna but forward Ansu Fati made history as he became the club’s youngest scorer in La Liga.

At 16 years and 304 days, Fati took the record from Bojan Krkic, heading home from Carles Perez’s cross to equalise for the Catalans.

The Guinea Bissau forward made his debut last weekend against Real Betis with a 12-minute cameo but Ernesto Valverde called him on in the second half to try and turn things around.

With Barcelona’s move for Neymar reportedly collapsing on Friday, Fati and fellow La Masia graduate Perez showed there is able backup for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele already at Camp Nou.

Bale puts Zidane in his place

Six weeks ago Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he hoped Gareth Bale left the club as soon as possible.

The Welshman nearly moved to China but stayed at Madrid and because of an untimely injury to Eden Hazard, has started the first three La Liga matches.

Bale struck twice in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal on Sunday, which left Zidane with egg on his face.

The winger has been Madrid’s best player at the start of the season and looks fired up for the season and the chance to prove his coach wrong.

Perhaps a little too fired up – Bale was dismissed for two late yellow cards.

Exciting Atletico maintain 100 percent start

Atletico Madrid is the only La Liga club to have won all three of their matches this season.

Diego Simeone’s side left it late to secure the win against Eibar. Coming from two goals behind, they fought back to win 3-2, thanks to Thomas Partey’s 90th minute strike.

The 2014 champions look in good shape to have another run towards the title and their attacking vibrancy is notable.

Mr Consistency

Inaki Williams played in his 122nd consecutive La Liga match on Friday as he led Athletic Bilbao to a 2-0 Basque derby win over Real Sociedad.

The striker tucked home the first goal as he broke goalkeeper Diego Lopez’s record (121 games) of featuring in the most number of consecutive Liga matches in the 21st century.

For an outfield player to achieve the feat, it is a testament to Williams’s professionalism and fitness.

Espanyol’s Europa League woes

Last season Espanyol were one the league’s surprise packages, battling their way into the Europa League qualifying spots for this season.

Unfortunately it appears playing in the tournament’s play-off rounds has taken a toll.

Espanyol, with two defeats and a draw, sit 19th.

Newly promoted Granada’s 3-0 win on Sunday was resounding confirmation of the toll Europa League qualification took.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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