First division - day 1
Deportivo La Coruña are the early leaders after beating Valladolid 4-0 in their first game of the season. The visitors held on until just before half time when Víctor opened the scoring, but in the second half Deportivo added three more through Valerón and then twin strikers Makaay and Diego Tristán. New signings Djorovic, Amavisca started the match, and Sergio came on later in the game. However Valladolid were not allowed to use their new man Turu Flores under the loan agreement with the Coruña club.
Curiously there were no draws in the first division, with six away wins and four home wins. Depor go top ahead of their Gallician neighbours Celta, who defeated Osasuna 0-3 in Pamplona. Catanha headed the first on the half hour mark, with Sergio and Jesuli getting the others after the break. Osasuna and Valladolid narrowly escaped relegation last season and look like they will be struggling again.
Hard up Las Palmas produced the surprise of the day to share second spot after beating Champions League team Mallorca 0-3 away. Mallorca's manager Bernd Krauss surprisingly rested Engonga and Miguel Soler and substituted Luque at half time after he had missed a penalty. He paid the price however, with the Canary Island youngsters scoring through Pablo Lago, Jorge and then new revelation Carmelo.
Patrick Kluivert saved the day for Barcelona with two well taken goals in their 1-2 victory over newly promoted Sevilla. Olivera levelled the scores temporarily from the penalty spot after Rochemback had brought down David. Manager Charly Rexach left Saviola on the bench until the second half, preferring Overmars to start the game.
Athletic Bilbao started well under their new manager Jupp Heynckes, winning the Basque derby 1-3 at Real Sociedad. Ismael Urzaiz gave them the lead and scored again at the end to wrap things up. Khokhlov had equalised for Real soon after the first goal, but substitute Tiko re-established the lead in the second half. The one match ban at the Anoeta stadium was postponed to allow this game to take place, but with bottles being thrown on the pitch again a longer ban could now be enforced.
Málaga came from behind twice to beat local rivals Betis 3-2, with the man who Betis rejected Darío Silva scoring two goals, and Zárate getting the winner in the second half. Gaston Casas had given the visitors the lead, and got a second from the penalty spot after Denilson was brought down in the area.
All of the newly promoted teams lost, with Tenerife being defeated at home by Alavés. Rubén Navarro stepped into Javi Moreno's shoes and scored an impressive first goal before half time, but then got himself sent off for a second yellow card ten minutes from the end. That didn't stop Astudillo adding a second though from Witschge's free kick.
Cup winners Zaragoza were suffering a hangover from their midweek defeat in the Supercup, and they went down 2-1 to a depleted Espanyol side. Quique De Lucas was drafted in to the starting line up and scored early on, and although Jamelli equalised after Mora's clearance hit him and went in to the net, Lopo headed the winner in the second half.
Rayo Vallecano were also missing several key players, and they were beaten at home by high flying Villarreal. With Palermo not fully fit, Craioveanu started in his place, and he made a goal for Jorge López and then scored another himself. Arteaga made his debut for Rayo, and he pulled one back near half time. (27.08.01)
The season kicked off with a surprise defeat for league champions Real Madrid in the only first division match played on Saturday night. Valencia beat them 1-0 thanks to an eighth minute goal from Angulo. The match was a hard fought affair, and Madrid's Luis Figo was sent off in the last minute for a second bookable offence. All other matches will be played tomorrow. (26.08.01)