La Liga Round Up – R1


La Liga kicked off on Saturday with Carlos Vela bagging the first goal of the season in Real Sociedad’s 2-0 win over Getafe. The former Arsenal man finished off an incisive first time pass from Gonazalo Castro with a superb chip over the oncoming Gefate keeper Moya. 21 year old Haris Seferovic finished off the scoring on 70 minutes with what is his first goal for the club on his Liga debut.

Valverde secured his first win as Athletic Bilbao boss as they overcame Real Valladolid away from home. Goals from Susaeta and Muniain ensured Athletic got off to winning start to life after Bielsa. Real restored parity soon after Susaeta’s opener, with a Patrick Elber strike. However it was Muniain’s goal on 50 minutes that saw the points travel back to Bilbao as the young forward equalled his league goal haul for last season.

At the Mestalla Valencia got their season off to a winning start on Saturday evening with a stuttering 1-0 victory over Malaga. Ricardo Costa prodded the home side ahead midway through the second half in a game punctuated with 8 yellow cards. Of those, 5 cards were shown to Bernd Shusters men, much altered from last season, betraying what may be a shift in emphasis for the men from the south.

Unsurprisingly the highest score of the weekend was at the Camp Nou where Barça thumped Levante 7-0. Barça were off the mark quickly as Sánchez got this year’s title push underway with a 3rd minute opener in what was a wholly one side affair. 6 of the 7 goals scored came in the first half, in a game that saw Barça batter a beleaguered Levante goal. Dani Alves and Xavi matched Sánchez in netting one apiece whilst Messi and Pedro went one better, both scoring a brace.

Barça’s early evening result will have been keenly noted in Madrid. Despite matching Barça’s win La Real couldn’t match the ease and emphatic style of the Catalan club’s opening result. They went behind to an assertive Real Betis, following good work from new boy Mabwati, striker Molina opened his account from near range on 14 minutes. The home side were however on level terms a little over ten minutes later through a neat finish by Benzema. Eventually it took a late goal from debutant Isco to secure the points for the Madrid club following his €27 move from Malaga this summer. Interestingly Ancelotti maintained his predecessor’s choice of Diego Lopez in goal instead of club captain Casillas.

Granada CF travelled to Pamplona to face an Osasuna side who similarly will be hoping for a better league campaign this time round. El Arabi opened the scoring for the visitors with a close range finish, finding space in the box and getting on the end of a driven cross following some good work down the right flank. It was to get better for Grenada just before the break when Yebda rose well to direct Benitez’s corner into the net giving Alcaraz’s men a handy advantage. A crisp Puñal strike from the edge of the area put Osasuna back in the frame with 33 minutes left on the clock, however the Andalucia club held on to travel home with the points.

In Seville the home side got off to the worst possible start in their match against Atlético Madrid. A 34 minute corner evaded everyone in a crowded box to find Costa at the back post, and he deftly finished to give the visitors the lead. However their advantage was short lived as the ball was worked to Perotti 2 minutes later and he unleashed a fine strike from long range that moved through the air to beat Courtois. That was as good as it got for Sevilla as Costa doubled his tally finishing neatly before Rodriguez wrapped up the points with a cute feint and a tight finish 2 minutes into time added on.

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