First division - day 2

Espanyol are clear leaders at the end of the second weekend, the Catalans the only side to win their opening two matches after beating Recreativo 0-1. De la Peña hit the bar in the first half, but Kameni had to pull off a couple of saves from an active Adrian Colunga before Luis García drilled home the winner late on.

Almería and Valencia both stay in the top four after drawing 2-2 in the last match on Sunday evening. Piatti put the home side ahead after Renan failed to hold on to a long shot from Julio Alvarez, and although Alexis equalised a few minutes later, Negredo restored the lead with a well taken header shortly before half time. Villa saved the day however after Joaquín set him up in the second half.

Real Madrid recorded their first win of the season, although they had a couple of scares before beating Numancia 4-3. The Soria based side were fresh from their victory over Barcelona, and they went ahead through Moreno before Guti made it all square with Madrid's 5,000th league goal. Barkero restored the lead though, and although strikes from Higuain and Van der Vaart and a Cisma own goal seemed to have wrapped things up before the break, a second goal from Moreno put the result in doubt right up until the final whistle.

Otherwise though there were few goals in the remaining matches. Villarreal beat Deportivo 1-0 with a first half goal from Cazorla, and Aduríz and Portillo were on target as Mallorca and Osasuna drew 1-1. Getafe and Betis drew 0-0, despite several chances for both sides, Albín in particular firing a late penalty against the bar, and Málaga and Athletic Bilbao got their first points on the board in another game which ended scoreless. (14.09.08)

Sevilla head up the first division with Sunday's games to go after a high scoring 4-3 win over Sporting Gijón. The Asturians surprised their hosts with two goals in a three minute period midway through the first half, Bilic turning in assists from Diego Castro and Carmelo with help from local defenders. Chevantón headed one back almost immediately though, and within a quarter of an hour the Andalusians were in front after goals from Kanouté and Maresca. Bilic completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time to level the scores once again, but Kanouté took advantage of a spill from keeper Sergio Sánchez to get the winner after the break.
PS Referee Mateu Lohoz awarded the first goal to Diego Castro.

Barcelona's poor start to the season continued, and they only have one point from their opening two games after a 1-1 draw with Racing Santander in the Nou Camp. Coach Pep Guardiola revolutionized the side, leaving Henry in the stands and including youngsters Sergio Busquets and Pedro in his starting line up. But despite dominating for much of the match, they couldn't open the scoring until twenty minutes from the end, when substitute Messi converted a penalty after Christian had handled in the area. Five minutes later though Jonathan Pereira deflected a Garay free kick past Valdés to equalise, and there were protests from local fans at the end of the match.

Last week's leaders Atlético Madrid fared no better though, Javier Aguirre's team losing 2-1 to a Valladolid side who played over three quarters of the match with ten men. The coach left Agüero and Forlán out of the line up after their long trips to South America during the week, but they went behind in only the third minute when Coupet misread Alvaro Rubio's free kick, Vivar Dorado bundling the ball in to the net. Pedro López was sent off for a second bookable offence twenty minutes later, but even so the home side extended their lead with a Javier Baraja penalty after Vivar Dorado was fouled. Agüero came on at the break and pulled one back, it was not enough to save the defeat. (13.09.08)