First division - day
First division football returned to the Vicente Calderón stadium, but it wasn't quite what the Atlético Madrid fans were expecting. Their opponents Sevilla spoilt the party with some physical football to hold on to a 1-1 draw and take a point away with them. Mono Burgos was called upon to save them a couple of times early on, and the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot, Moisés converting the kick after Sergi brought down Gallardo. Substitute Movilla came on though in the second half and immediately set up Fernando Torres to head the equaliser. After that Atlético turned on the pressure and Correa hit the bar, but with Burgos limping at the other end Sevilla were always dangerous on the counter attack. The referee upset the crowd again in the last few minutes when he twice booked Torres for diving in the penalty area, sending off the under-21 international.
At the end of the day five teams top the table with maximum points, including Real Sociedad who defeated Espanyol 1-3 in Montjuic. The Catalans were left with ten men before the break when Soldevilla was sent off for a second bookable offence, and before the half time whistle Kovacevic headed home Garitano's corner. Aranburu added a second soon after the restart, but Tamudo pulled one back with an individualist goal ten minutes from the end. Half time substitute Fredson hit the post near the end, but in the last minute a superb Nihat crossed in from the right wing for Kovacevic to score his second of the night. Espanyol are one of four teams yet to pick up a point, and they must visit city neighbours Barcelona next weekend.
Celta are up with the leaders after beating struggling Mallorca 3-1. Catanha returned to the side after suspension and made his mark early on, heading a Mostovoi free kick past Leo Franco, and Jesuli scored a superb second goal with a long shot before half time. Fernando Niño put the visitors back in the game with a late header, but Jesuli restored the two goal margin with a solo run five minutes from the end. Unfortunately his celebrations earned him a second yellow card though, leaving Celta a man short at the end. Mallorca join Espanyol, Recreativo and Athletic at the bottom of the table without a point.
Valladolid are in fifth place after their second 1-0 victory in a row, this time against Villarreal. The only goal of the game came from Colsa who headed Sousa's corner in off the bar on the half hour mark. Paquito was temporarily in charge for the visitors after Víctor Muñoz was fired during the week, although a new manager, possibly Benito Floro, is expected to be appointed shortly.
Racing Santander got their first three points of the season after beating Alavés 0-1. The locals hit the woodwork twice in the opening minutes, and felt themselves hard done by when new referee Rubinos Pérez allowed a Bodipo goal to stand half an hour into the match despite the fact that Pablo Lago played the ball to him with his hand. The Basque side ended the game with ten men after Geli was sent off for a second bookable offence. (15.09.02)
Scandal in the Ruiz de Lopera stadium in Sevilla, where the match between Betis and Real Madrid had to be abandoned two minutes before half time due to a floodlight failure. A capacity crowd turned up for the first time in years after the spectacular victory over Deportivo in the opening game, but they were forced to sit in darkness for a quarter of an hour before the match could start. After another brief stoppage the game got under way, and Capi put the home side in front after the Madrid defence failed to clear a long ball. But minutes later the lights went out again, and both sides decided to call it a day. A new date will now have to be found in the tight calendar of both teams for the remaining 47 minutes to be played.
Other than that, there were victories for the other three teams who will be playing in the Champions League midweek. Deportivo though had to come from behind to beat Osasuna 1-2 after the Pamplona based side went in at the break with a one goal lead. Mexican international Vidrio headed the home side in front from Puñal's free kick, but two goals in just over a minute by Roy Makaay in the second half gave Irureta his first three points of the season.
Barcelona bounced back after their elimination from the cup with a 0-2 win at Athletic Bilbao. Heynckes picked a young side, but they found themselves behind when Luis Enrique got on the end of Cocu's scuffed shot to score his third of the season. A clever chipped pass from Kluivert set up Saviola to poke the ball over Lafuente for the second a few minutes later, and either side could have scored again several times in an open and exciting match.
Valencia made hard work of finishing off Recreativo Huelva, and in the end it took two goals in the last four minutes by late substitute Carew to give them a more respectable 3-0 scoreline. Vicente had given Rafa Benitez's side the lead with ten minutes gone, running on to a Juan Sánchez pass to fire a low shot past César. However the newly promoted side resisted the pressure up until the introduction of the big Norwegian made the difference. Valencia top the table with six points.
Málaga came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 and join Valencia on maximum points. The Andalucians wasted a chance to move ahead when Etxeberría saved a Dely Valdés penalty midway through the first half, and then a mistake by keeper Contreras let a soft shot by Bolic in to the net. Dely Valdés finally got his reward though in the second half, and the league's top scorer Musampa gave his side the victory with an angled shot a few minutes later. (14.09.02)