First division - day 3
Celta held on to top spot in the league despite being held to a score-less draw by Real Sociedad. The game was played at Osasuna's El Sadar ground as the Anoeta stadium was closed following crowd trouble last season, but some 15,000 fans still made the relatively easy journey to Pamplona to support their side. The result gives John Toshack's side their first point of the season.
Valencia moved level with Celta and Alavés on points after a laboured 1-0 victory over Las Palmas. Albelda got the only goal of the game in the second half, turning Aimar's clever pass past Nacho González. The visitors ended the game with nine men after referee Téllez Sánchez, making his debut in the first division, sent off Alberto and then Sarasua.
Villarreal dropped out of the top four after losing their first game of the season at Tenerife. The newly promoted side had lost their first two games, but they took the three points thanks to two goals from ex Villarreal forward Bruno Marioni, making his first start of the season. The first came early in the game from the penalty spot after a late tackle on the player himself by Unai, and the Argentinian added his second shortly after the break.
It was a good weekend for the newly promoted sides, with all three winning. Sevilla picked up all three points at Espanyol in a thrilling match, with the lead changing hands twice. The visitors took the lead through 18 year old revelation Reyes, but Munteanu and a De Lucas penalty turned things around. Espanyol's lead didn't last long though, and after Casquero levelled things up, substitute Olivera gave the Andalucian side their first victory of the season.
Valladolid moved away from the bottom spots with a last minute 1-2 victory over Málaga. Both goals were scored by players on loan from Real Madrid, Fernando and Tote, with the first coming from the penalty spot after Tote was brought down by Litos. Another ex Real Madrid player Canabal came on in the second half for Málaga and levelled the scores almost immediately, but Tote got the winner with an individualist goal in injury time. Curiously Tote's goal leaves Real Madrid down in the relegation spots for the first time in 8 years.
Zaragoza came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 1-2 with two goals in the second half. Bolo had given the Madrid side the lead in the first half, but a freak goal by Vellisca made it all square when his cross from out on the left wing flew over Etxeberria and in to the far top corner of the net. That demoralised Rayo, and Juanele finished them off with the winner five minutes later. (16.09.01)
A bad day for Spain's Champions League sides, with the four sides registering two draws and two defeats between them. Barcelona remain unbeaten, but their 0-0 draw against bottom club Osasuna was a disappointing result. Manager Charly Rexach put out a defensive side, with Rivaldo out injured and Saviola on the substitute's bench until well into the second half, and although his team dominated the game they were unable to break down a well disciplined defence.
The match between Mallorca and Alavés also ended goal-less. Mallorca were missing the injured Ibagaza, and as a result were lacking the spark they needed to break down the Alavés defence despite numerous occasions early on. The visitors had their chances too up until Pablo got himself sent off on the hour mark, presumably for something he said to the referee, and after that ex Mallorca keeper Kike demonstrated once again that he is on top form as Manés's team closed ranks. The Vitoria based side move on to seven points and go top of the table pending Sunday's games.
A Real Madrid side showing five changes from their previous line up crashed to their second defeat of the season, and have only picked up one point of a possible nine. They were up against a Betis team who were highly motivated after Madrid condemned them to relegation two seasons ago. Although Zidane got his first league goal of the season only a minute after Casas opened the scoring early in the game, second half goals by Capi and Joaquín gave the home side a 3-1 win despite playing the last few minutes with ten men after Belenguer was sent off. Casas is now the league's top scorer with four goals.
Deportivo also fell at home, 1-2 to Athletic Bilbao, the first time the Basques have won in Coruña in 37 years. The Gallician side went behind to goals from Spanish internationals Julen Guerrero and Urzaiz, and only woke up an hour in to the second half. Diego Tristán did pull one back then, but when Fran missed the easiest chance of the match near the end it was all over. (15.09.01)