After coming back from a fortnight’s hiatus due to International matches, the second week of La Liga action witnessed some shockers. Real Madrid scored their first win, Valencia and Atletico continued their winning forms while promoted side Hercules shocked the entire nation by beating the Spanish Champions at their own porch. Here’s a round-up of all the action that happened in the ‘Iberian’ nation over the weekend.
La Liga Week-2 Results:
Barcelona 0-2 Hercules
Valencia 1-0 Racing Santander
Real Madrid 1-0 Osasuna
Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Getafe 4-1 Levante
Sporting Gijon 2-0 Mallorca
Real Zaragoza 3-5 Malaga
Villareal 4-0 Espanyol
Sevilla 0-0 Deportivo La Coruna
Almeria 2-2 Real Sociedad
Hercules? Yes, indeed!
Hercules truly lived up to their namesake by putting up a heroic performance against the Spanish Champions Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Paraguay international Nelson Valdez scored two goals – one in the 26th minute and the other on the 58th minute mark to hand Barcelona their first home defeat in league matches after long 16 months. What was even more impressive was the fact that Hercules were seldom troubled by the tremendous Barcelona strike force. Three well deserved points and their first win of the campaign at the Camp Nou was something they could’ve never even dreamt of.
Stuck in Serie-A mode
While Real Madrid took all three points against an incapable Osasuna with a lone goal from a rather unlikely source in Carvalho, the game clearly suggested that “The Special One” is still stuck in the Serie A mode. Madrid did produce some beautiful plays – Mesut Ozil at the heart of every one of them, but are still very far behind the form they are expected to be in. Higuain misfired, Ronaldo was hapless, Benzema was sleepy, Ozil was slick, Khedira was strong, Ricardo (Osasuna’s GK) was exceptional, and the rest of the Osasuna players were more than happy to lose only by a 1-0 margin at the Bernabeu. That sums up a rather boring game in a surprisingly gloomy atmosphere at the Bernabeu. Perhaps, they were saving their voices for Wednesday to intimidate Ajax.
Six points in the bag
Valencia and Atletico both won their matches against Racing and Bilbao respectively to make it two wins in a row and secured six out of possible six points in the two games played. Valencia ran out winners at the Mestella after Maduro headed home to score the only goal of the game in first half injury time. Los Che were fortunate not to concede a goal to Racing Santander, even as the latter tried very hard to take their first points of the season. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid marched on to the top of the table with an impressive win at a hostile San Mames against Atletico Bilbao. It was all too comfortable for Atletico as they went two goals up – Forlan and Tiago helping them in the goal scoring department. Llorente found one back in the 88th minute for the hosts, but it was a case of too little too late for Bilbao as Atletico took the full three points even as Aguero suffered an injury.
Minnows march on
Sporting Gijon upset the high flying Mallorca by condemning them to a shock 2-0 defeat at El Molinon. Mallorca started the game as favorites after their impressive draw against mighty Madrid a fortnight ago. Gijon had a disastrous opening game where they were thumped 4-0 by Atletico, but that didn’t stop them as they ran out deserved winners. Alberto Botia gave them the lead only minutes into the second half. Mallorca struggled to make an impact and Diego Castro put the final nail in the coffin by scoring neatly from just outside the box. Three very important points for Sporting considering the fact that they travel through a bumpy road where they have to face the likes of Bilbao, Barca, and Valencia.
Getafe taught relegation favorites Levante a footballing lesson by beating them 4-1. Gavilan gave Getafe the lead after five minutes when he headed home a sharp Manu cross. Adrian Colunga doubled the tally by slotting home a beautifully threaded through pass from ex-Real youth teamer Pedro Mosquera. Levante pulled one back through Jorda, but the rout would continue as Gavilan made it a brace for himself and Arizmendi scored in injury time to give Getafe their first points of the season.
Villarreal scored the first win of their campaign when they ran ragged a hopeless Espanoyal side at El Madrigal. Espanyol dominated the first 20 minutes, but that was all they did as Rossi gave “The Yellow Submarine” the lead in the 23rd minute. Ten minutes later Vallero made it 2-0 as Espanyol struggled to respond. Rossi made it 3-0 and was followed by Nilmar to complete a total nightmare for the Catalans.
Malaga raided the walls of La Romareda as they put on a show by scoring five times in a highly entertaining game – all within the first 35 minutes. Fernando gave the visitors the lead after only two minutes. Juanmi made it two nil as Real Zaragoza were left scratching their heads. That effect was compounded when Juanmi and Fernando added two more to leave the hosts shocked in what was a complete rout. The score line read 5-0 to the visitors when Abeyie ran clear behind the Zaragoza defence and scored emphatically. Zaragoza got back to make the scoreboard look a little more respectable by scoring three goals, one each from Edmilson, Perez, and Herrera, although they knew a comeback would be impossible and the final score read an astonishing 3-5 in favor of Malaga. They left the stadium by gaining their first points of the season in some style.
Sevilla held to a goalless draw
The Ramon Sanchez Pizuan yawned and grew restless as Sevilla struggled to find a breakthrough against a highly resistant Deportivo La Coruna side. Goalkeeper Manu was the standout performer as he thwarted off attack after attack from Sevilla. Negredo had the best opportunity in the first half when he was served with a delicious cross from Perotti, but the ex-Real Madrid man’s effort bounced off the crossbar. Manu made superb saves of efforts from Perotti, Caceres, and Jose Carlos. Sevilla’s luckless night continued when Konko hit the crossbar again as the game ended in a stalemate goalless draw. Deportivo never really created any chance and will be more than happy with the one point they acquired in Seville.
So that rounds up what was a very entertaining second week in the Spanish league. Some routine wins, a few shocks, but as always, plenty of goals and the everlasting attractive football.