Inside Spanish Football’s Javier Hernandez reviews the first two weeks of La Liga, and provides us with some interesting numbers.
Spanish football started rather slow in the 2015/16 season. It took La Liga six games to produce the first open play goal of the season – scored by Luis Suarez and assisted by Jordi Alba against Athletic. Before that, Spanish football fans were treated to only two goals in five games, both coming from free-kicks.
The lack of goals in this start of the season has been the biggest headline of the year so far. In fact, the 12 goals in the first week marked the worst La Liga start in all seasons with 20 teams. While the 33 goals after two weeks is the worst figure in over 30 years (again previous marks were in seasons where there were only eight games a week).
Fans have particularly suffered during Saturday games, as away teams still haven’t scored on a Saturday this season. Madrid’s five goals against Betis have at least put some excitement to a day that produced only two scores in the first week of the season.
This terrible lack of goals is highlighted by the fact that only Granada and Villarreal have played in two games where both teams have scored, and the bright start of the Yellow Submarine as seen striker Roberto Soldado become one of the few good pieces of news so far.
In his return to Spain, Soldado has scored two and assisted two in his first couple of matches with Villarreal. Going back to 2013, his last year with Valencia, Soldado has scored in four consecutive La Liga games and in nine of the last 10 he has participated. The return to familiar surroundings must be a major relief for the Spaniard, as the former Spurs striker only scored seven goals in his two years in the English Premier League.
The La Liga goal-drought has effected both Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who still haven’t score in this La Liga campaign. The Madrid striker has taken more shots than four other First Division teams without finding the net – one of which is Levante, who only produced three shots against Las Palmas last Sunday, all of them by midfielder Jose Mari.
Meanwhile Messi, and the rest of Barcelona, were denied by goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, who produced 12 saves against Lucho’s side. The former Espanyol star is the only La Liga goalie who has produced more than 10 saves (14) this season.
However, Vermaelen’s goal secured another victory for Luis Enrique, who has now defeated all 19 La Liga teams that he has faced as a Barcelona coach.
Athletic Bilbao, who had a magical performance against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, scoring four against the Catalans at home, haven’t found the back of the net yet in La Liga and sit at the bottom of the table together with Getafe. The team from the capital may have bigger issues than Bilbao though, as Getafe haven’t won a La Liga game in their last 10 matches, the longest winless streak in Spain right now.
Speaking of streaks, Atletico kept their undefeated run against Sevilla. Diego Simeone’s side hasn’t lost against the Nervion side in 12 games, nine under El Cholo. Antoine Griezmman managed to produced two assists in that match, that’s one more than what he produced in the whole of the 2014/15 season.
In the bizarre stats category, we find that Espanyol have only scored in the first five minutes of games (minutes 3 and 5 respectively), while Celta Vigo have played three goalkeepers in their first two La Liga games, two of them haven’t recorded a save yet but the Galician side has won both matches.
Eibar became only the 38th La Liga team to lead the Spanish First Division qualification table for at least one week, when they defeated Granada 1-3 in week one.
And referees are protagonists as usual in Spain, producing at least one red card in every La Liga day except for Friday 28th August 2015, where only one match was played.
You can follow @javierjotah on Twitter for more La Liga facts and stats.
This content originally appeared here.