After the ninth week of games in the Spanish Primera División, there were quite a number of changes to the league table as the partiy amongst the top teams showed itself this weekend.
Atlético Madrid came into the weekend as the league leaders, but retreat back to the capital from Sevilla in fifth place. Diego Simeone went toe-to-toe against his fellow Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli on the other sideline. Unfortunately for Simeone, his side could not pull any points out of the visit to the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Samuel Nasri proved himself to be a shrewd pick up for Sevilla FC, supplying the creativity needed for the 1-0 victory, with Steven N'Zonzi scoring the lone goal in the 73rd minute.. The loss was the first domestic defeat for los rojiblancos this season, and allowed Sevilla to climb to second place in the league.
New leaders Real Madrid barely edged Basque team Athletic Bilbao, with Zinedine Zidane digging into his bench to supply los blancos with the second and decisive goal. Alvaro Morata came off the bench for Karim Benzema - who scored Madrid's first goal - and scored the go ahead goal in the 83rd minute to seal the victory for the home side.
With Casemiro and Luka Modric still out for Zidane, he again turned to Isco to plug up midfield, and again Isco came through. After not finding a fit in the scheme last year, he has inserted himself into the lineup quite nicely and helped the team set the pace for the rest of the league.
Barcelona climbed into third, and are still only two points off the top spot. They needed every minute to escape Valencia with a 3-2 win, getting that third goal after Lionel Messi converted a penalty kick from the spot in the last minute of stoppage time.
Barcelona even got to see what their future could hold as Munir El Haddadi, on loan at Valencia from Barcelona, scored a goal against his pseudo employers. The 3 points proved to be bittersweet for Barcelona as Andres Iniesta was carted off the field early in the match, his status going forward is still uncertain. Few teams come away from the Mestalla unscathed, as it is widely known as one of the more difficult stadiums in the league to notch a win at.
So far this campaign there has been more shuffling amongst the top portion of the league table than normal. And if the first nine week are any indication, it should be an interesting 2016-17 season in Spain.
Image via: Flickr