Finally La Liga is on – up and running. The last weekend of August saw the commencement of one of the world’s most awaited football leagues. After a hectic week with a lot of Champions League qualifiers, action finally shifted to the good old league matches. Defending Champions Barcelona got off to a flying start with 3-0 away win over Racing Santander while their title rivals, Real Madrid, had a stuttering opening and had to settle for a goal-less draw against Mallorca.
Spanish La Liga Round-1 Results:
- Racing Santander 0-3 FC Barcelona
- Mallorca 0-0 Real Madrid
- Osasuna 0-0 Almeria
- Deportivo La Coruna 0-0 Real Zaragoza
- Real Sociedad 1-0 Villareal
- Espanyol 3-1 Getafe
- Levante 1-4 Sevilla
- Malaga 1-3 Valencia
- Hercules 0-1 Athletic Bilbao
Well, the champions played like real champions. Even without their talismanic captain (Carles Puyol picked up a knock), victory wasn’t too difficult. Lionel Messi did what he does best. Scored as early as in the 3rd minute with a delightful chip and the best thing is that he did it with his weaker right foot. Andres Iniesta scored with a volley from quite a distance after a very average clearance from the Cantabria keeper Tono. Iniesta met the ball first time and lobbed it over the stranded keeper’s head. A goal of such a high quality that even Pep Guardiola applauded. Moments later, the Blaugrana custodian Victor Valdes stopped a penalty in spectacular fashion. The one-handed effort was nothing short of fabulous. The former Valencia hitman, David Villa, too opened his account from an Alves cross which he headed in the goal with ease.
High flying JMO off to a pedestrian start
Mallorca pulled out a resolute display to stop Jose Mourinho’s men from snatching full three points. With a star-studded squad, a goalless draw isn’t exactly the result fans hope for. Ronaldo, Di Maria, Higuain tried their best to break the Mallorca defense, but to no effect. Keeper Aouate gave Mallorca a life line by a fine save off the Argentine striker. Real tried their best by going all out. Benzema, Ozil & Khedira were sent out to give the Los Blancos a much needed breakthrough. In the end Mallorca ‘earned’ one point and Real ‘dropped’ two. The catching-up game has already begun.
Looking forward to a promising season
After crashing out of Champions League, Sevilla displayed some good football to run away with a 4-1 victory from their away date with Levante. The home team’s Suarez Ruben put them ahead from the penalty spot. Another dismal result looked to be awaiting the Rojiblancos, but they pulled back in style. Abdoulay Konko brought Sevilla on level terms within a minute and former Real Madrid frontman, Alvaro Negredo put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute. Konko scored his second of the night in the 62nd minute and Sevilla were up and running with 3 points from Cuitat de Valencia. Dirnei Renato scored the fifth of the day and the fourth for his team to seal the victory. A fine victory for a team which suffered pre-mature European ouster only a few days back.
Being Los Che without Villa and Silva
Even without the two of their biggest stars, the Taronges were off to a flying start away at La Rosaleda. Young and promising Spanish striker Aritz Aduris opened his account for his new club by giving them the lead early in the first half. Malaga too held strong and Sebastian Fernandez pulled one back for the home team. Finally it was the seasoned Los Che winger Joaquin who sealed his club’s victory with a second half brace. This isn’t the first time that the former Betis’ man rescued his club. He did it earlier and here he does it again. Unai Emery’s men have a lot to prove, the most important being that they are still a decent team even without their biggest stars.
The Yellow Submarine drowned
After having a forgettable season in 2009-10, El Madrigal seems to have lost their way. For a team comprising of players like Joan Capdevilla, Marcos Senna, Santi Cazorla, Marchena, Rossi and other bright stars the result hasn’t been pleasing for quite some time now. The bad run of form continues as they lose to Real Sociedad, away from home at Anoeta. Xabier Prieto scored for the Txuri-urdin to give them a slender lead over the Yellow Submarines.