VINICIUS SOOTHES MADRID’S MBAPPE DISAPPOINTMENT
Real Madrid were hoping to parade Kylian Mbappe at the renovated Santiago Bernabeu this weekend but any sense of longing for the France forward was soon forgotten thanks to another inspirational performance from Vinicius Jr.
While Karim Benzema hit a hat-trick in the 5-2 win over Celta Vigo, it was the form of the Brazilian which truly lifted the spirits of Real fans.
The 21-year-old made it 3-2 to Real in the second half with an ice-cool finish for his fourth goal of the season, further shedding his reputation for lacking a cutting edge in the area.
Vinicius has scored more league goals this term than in his three previous campaigns for Real and is looking like the strike partner they need to complement Benzema, who was responsible for over a third of their league goals last season.
GRIEZMANN’S ATLETICO RETURN UPSTAGED BY LEMAR
Atletico Madrid waited all summer to bring Antoine Griezmann back to the club on loan but his first appearance back with the team was a huge disappointment.
The French forward failed to get going for much of the 58 minutes he was on the pitch against Espanyol and coach Diego Simeone ruthlessly substituted him for Joao Felix as he looked for a response after his side had fallen behind.
Luckily for the champions, another Frenchman in substitute Thomas Lemar was in far better form and snatched a winning goal in the 99th minute after Yannick Carrasco’s equaliser.
Griezmann was Atletico’s star man for five seasons before his 120 million-euro move to Barcelona, which proved a huge disappointment for all parties.
Atletico will hope Griezmann is not too downhearted by his underwhelming stay in Catalonia but he may need time to get reacquainted with the team’s style of play.
GUEDES PROVES STAR QUALITY AS VALENCIA FLYING START GOES ON
Goncalo Guedes has only shown flashes of brilliance since becoming Valencia’s record signing but he has made a storming start to the season and propelled his side to a 4-1 win at Osasuna on Sunday.
The Portuguese winger has had a stop-start career since Valencia paid Paris St Germain 40 million euros to sign him in 2018, his progress held back by a combination of injuries and an ever-changing cast of coaches.
New coach Jose Bordalas, famed for his direct and aggressive approach, was an unlikely figure to get the best out of a flair player like Guedes but the experiment is going well, with Valencia sitting second in the standings, level with leaders Real Madrid on 10 points.
“We all know he’s a fantastic player. He’s very committed and every day I tell him he has the ability to be a talismanic player for us,” Bordalas said.