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La Liga roundup: Real Sociedad win, pull level with Barcelona and Real Madrid (video)

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Real Sociedad’s last-minute win in Granada highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Granada 1-2 Real Sociedad

Who would have thought that after 12 matchweeks, Real Sociedad were going to be in front of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla in the standings and tied with powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid at 22 points?

Surely, Imanol Alguacil and his men were amongst the few who held on to the string of hope. Perhaps that is why their fourth victory in seven away matches came down to the wire.

With a 89th-minute winner from Portu, Sociedad edged a formidable Granada side 2-1 on Sunday.

 

Playmaker Martin Odergaard, who is nursing a right foot injury, was inactive for the visitors, but Alguacil’s late, attack-oriented substitutions proved to be the password to victory. Taking the field in the 84th minute, Adnan Januzaj contributed the match-winning assist.

It was the same Portu who broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, ending Granada’s four-game run with clean sheets. Following a splendid 20-yard pass from captain Mikel Oyarzabal, the 27-year-old slotted them ball past Rui Silva with a right-footed strike.

Granada, who fell to sixth in what is a crowded top La Liga, responded with an eye-catching goal. Alvaro Vadillo lined up from distance and rifled the ball past an inattentive Alex Remiro, who saw the ball take a slight bounce before striking the back of the net.

With Leganes next up on the calendar, the new co-leaders’ chances of remaining atop take a big boost. As for league newcomers Granada, who have put together an impressive season, Valencia is the next opponent they’ll try to defeat.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Valladolid 3-0 RCD Mallorca

Villarreal 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

Osasuna 4-2 Alaves

Leganes 1-2 Eibar 

Celta Vigo 0-1 Getafe 

La Liga roundup: Granada tops table Real Sociedad stays close (video)

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Granada’s rise to the top of the table highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Granada 1-0 Real Betis

Perhaps the biggest storyline in what is still a young La Liga season is recently-promoted side Granda’s impressive season.

With only two losses and a historic 2-0 win over Barcelona this season, Diego Martínez’s side are separating themselves from the notion that they’re running on luck, and instead are gravitating towards becoming a legitimate force within the league.

On Sunday, for a second time this season, the Andalusian side reached the La Liga summit – albeit El Clasico was postponed due to Catalonia’s political crisis.

The game boosted only a goal – a gentle strike inside the six-yard box from Alvaro Vadillo – but saw a handful of chances be wasted by both sides. Real Betis, who are in the relegation zone as a result of the outcome, controlled the possession of the ball and accumulated a total of 12, although none were on target.

Betis manager, Rubi, who joined the recent Europa League competitors this summer, is expected to be back on the dugout midweek, although his job hangs on a thread.

That said, a lot will be on the line when Betis receives Celta Vigo midweek, while Granada, on the other side of the spectrum, look to keep defying the odds as they travel to Getafe.

Celta Vigo 0-1 Real Sociedad 

Over the summer, Real Sociedad bet on two Scandinavian youngsters Alexander Isak and Martin Ödegaard, signing the former to a permanent deal and bringing in the latter on a loan from Real Madrid.

Long story short, they’ve payed dividends thus far for La Reala, who climbed up to third in the table following their 1-0 victory against Celta Vigo.

The youthful duo had everything to do with the visitor’s win in Balaidos.

In the 82nd minute, after taking the field seven minutes earlier, Isak’s unbalanced left-footed strike struck the inner-portion of the net. Ödegaard, as vigilant as ever before, picked out the Swedish attacker and assisted what would be his game-winning goal.

Real Sociedad now aim to continue their positive run going as they host Levante, while struggling Celta hope they can edge Real Betis, who are also experiencing a sour moment themselves.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Levante 0-1 Espanyol 

Sevilla 2-0 Getafe 

Osasuna 3-1 Valencia

VIDEO: Odegaard continues fine form with dazzling assist

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Remember Martin Odegaard? As it turns out, writing him off at 18 years old might have been a mistake.

[ MORE: Barcelona gets $329 fine for tampering with Antoine Griezmann ]

The 20-year-old (yes, really) Norwegian midfielder had already scored twice (and played ever minute) in Real Sociedad’s still-young La Liga campaign ahead of Thursday’s home bout with Alaves. Sociedad cruised to a 3-0 victory to go second in the league table and Odegaard, who’s still being loaned out by Real Madrid in the hopes he eventually delivers on his seemingly limitless potential, put on a bit of a show.

First, there was the nutmeg. Then, there was the 25-yard diagonal through ball to split four defenders before stopping the ball on a dime just out of reach of goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco, so Mikel Oyarzabal could swoop in and touch it home a fraction of a second before Pacheco arrived.

Inch-perfect.

[ MORE: If Klopp left Liverpool, he would back Gerrard to replace him ]

Odegaard was never short on the flash and flair — the “wow” factor — but he rarely came delivered the end product which comes from working within the confines of the team setup, while also still managing to turn heads and drop jaws. Sure, six games is a dangerously small sample size, but Odegaard appears to have fully bought into what manager Imanol Alguacil demands of him, and that’s a thoroughly welcome development for the rest of us.

La Liga roundup: Real Sociedad spoil Atletico Madrid’s perfect start

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Atletico Madrid’s first hiccup of the season headlines Saturday’s La Liga action.

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Real Sociedad 2-0 Atletico Madrid

La Liga had an upset of their own.

Atletico Madrid remain league leaders, but their undefeated record is no more after a 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad in San Sebastian.

Both sides played to a quiet first half, but in the 58th minute Martin Odegaard opened the score in front of a packed Anoeta, as his left-footed shot was deflected by Stefan Savic.

Just two minutes later, in his Real Sociedad debut, longtime Arsenal fullback Nacho Monreal tapped in a second chance inside the box, following an initial stretching save from Jan Oblak.

Diego Simeone’s side pushed desperately in the latter stages of the game; not enough to get passed Miguel Moya, though.

La Reala sets their sights on Espanyol, while Los Colchoneros, with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid at their heels, look to bounce back against Celta Vigo.

Real Madrid 3-2 Levante

Real Madrid conceded two goals in the second half in Saturday’s game, but their formidable first 45 minutes was enough to help them walk away a wet Santiago Bernabeu with three, precious points.

Coming on in the 60th minutes, Eden Hazard and Militao made their La Liga debuts with Zinedine Zidane’s side.

With two goals in six minutes, Karim Benzema gave the home side an early comfortable lead. Shortly before the halftime whistle, Casameiro added his own, following an assist from Vinicius Junior.

Despite falling short, Levante quickly got after evaporating Real Madrid’s first-half dominance. In the 49th minute, Borja Mayoral, cutting through Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, put one past Thibaut Courtois.

Following Benzema’s post-rattling shot and disallowed Real Madrid goal by VAR, Gonzalo Melero’s header gave the visiting side their final goal of the bout.

One point behind rivals Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid look for another victory against Sevilla. Elsewhere, Levante, who are in decent shape, host Eibar next.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Barcelona 5-2 Valencia

RCD Mallorca 0-0 Athletic Bilbao

Leganes 0-3 Villareal

La Liga roundup: Griezmann shines in Barcelona’s 5-2 drubbing of Betis

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Wins from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid highlight La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

Antoine Griezmann’s Camp Nou debut was one for the books.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez sidelined with injuries, the floor was all Griezmann’s. He didn’t disappoint.

Down 1-0, Griezmann, sneaking past his markers inside the box, acrobatically tapped a lofting ball from Sergi Roberto into the back of the net.

The best was yet to come, however.

In the second half, as Barcelona pinned Real Betis back in their defensive third, the Frenchman’s magic came to life.

Soon after, the floodgates opened – Barcelona’s skill effortlessly began to pick apart a weaker Betis side. Just 30 minutes after the 28-year-old’s second goal, Ernesto Valverde’s side posed a 5-1 lead.

Loren Moron’s superb strike gave Betis a second, but the defending champions had already done the damage behind goals from Carles Perez, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal and Griezmann.

With Sunday’s performance in mind, how will Barcelona function with Messi, Suarez and Griezmann spearheading the attack?

Osasuna may soon find that out firsthand as they host the Catalonians next. Elsewhere, looking for their first points of the season, Betis host Leganes.

Leganes 0-1 Atletico Madrid 

With a goal in the 70th minute, Vitolo played the unlikely hero for Atletico Madrid in their 1-0 win over Leganes.

Following a smooth lay-off from Joao Felix, the 29-year-old calmly slotted the ball past Juan Soriano, ten minutes after replacing Mario Hermoso.

The goal certainly meant a lot to Vitolo and Atletico Madrid, who along with Sevilla, are one of two teams to start the season with six points after two matchweeks.

Although not entirely dominant throughout the course of the match, the home side was inches from stripping two points from Los Colchoneros with Jonathan Silva’s free-kick hitting the crossbar.

Despite having a pair of clear-cut opportunities on Sunday, Atletico’s $142 million summer signing is yet to celebrate his first La Liga goal. Alvaro Morata, too, is waiting to catch fire.

With Atletico hosting an underperforming Eibar next, the narrative that Simeone’s side is lacking efficiency in the attack can soon fall flat. On the other hand, no points to their name, will look to exploit a confidence-battered Real Betis.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 0-0 Espanyol

RCD Mallorca 0-1 Real Sociedad