News Archive

Match round-up - First Division, Day 1

Barcelona had no problems seeing off Sporting Gijón in a match which was postponed to Monday due to the Catalans' participation in the European Super Cup. Guardiola's side ran out 3-0 winners, with Bojan heading them in to an early lead after Keita headed on Xavi's corner. Keita himself headed in the second from a Dani Alvés cross before half time, and Ibrahimovic wrapped things up with his first goal for his new club near the end. (31.08.09)

Getafe head up the first division pending Barcelona's Monday night game against Sporting after Michel's side thrashed Racing Santander 1-4. Rafa headed in a corner to open the scoring early on, but the star of the match was Soldado who netted himself a hat-trick to top the Pichichi table on day one. The ex Real Madrid striker scored two more before Lacen got one back, and then completed the rout after the break.

No less of a surprise though was Málaga's 3-0 win over Atlético Madrid. Curiously two of the goals came from players with a surname closely linked with Atlético, Torres, Manu driving home the second goal after the break and Xavi heading the third near the end. Baha got the first with a spectacular overhead kick in the first half.

Probably the biggest game on Sunday however was between Valencia and Sevilla, with the Ches running out 2-0 winners in the end. The Andalusians were up against it after Kanouté was sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half time, and Banega put in his claim for a first team place setting up Mata and Pablo for the goals after the restart.

Mallorca ended the weekend in the top four as well after beating first division debutants Xerez 2-0. The visitors were left with ten men when new signing Gioda was sent off shortly before the interval, and Aduríz and Tuni set each other up to score the goals in a two minute period around the hour mark. Carlos Calvo was also sent off for Cuco Ziganda's side in injury time.

Athletic Bilbao also got off to winning start, beating Espanyol 1-0. A good performance by visiting keeper Kameni seemed to have saved a point for the Catalans before Toquero picked up Javi Martínez's long pass and ran on to score the winner.

Like Athletic and Valencia, Villarreal had played an important Europa League qualifier on Thursday, and they started the new league campaign with a 1-1 draw at Osasuna. Cazorla gave them the lead on the half hour mark with a shot which took a deflection off a defender to wrong foot the keeper, but Pandiani equalised a few minutes later after Aranda set him up.

Almería and Valladolid also shared the points in a 0-0 draw, a match which was conditioned by the sending off of visiting defender Nivaldo with only twelve minutes on the clock. After that the visitors sat back to defend, and although Kalu Uche hit the bar the game ended without goals. (30.08.09)

All eyes were on the Bernabeu stadium tonight, where the €200+ million Real Madrid kicked off this season's league against Deportivo. And although there were some scares, in the end the new "galacticos" ran out 3-2 winners to delight the local fans. Old hand Raúl got them off to a good start after Benzema's shot came back off the post, but just four minutes later Riki headed the equaliser from Juca's cross. Cristiano Ronaldo opened his account for his new club from the penalty spot before half time, but once again Depor equalised, Valerón taking advantage of slack defending just a minute after the restart. However in the end a third goal from Lass was enough to give Pellegrini's side the three points.

Later in the evening two of La Liga's newly promoted teams met, with Zaragoza eventually beating Tenerife 1-0. The visitors had the better chances, but in the end Arizmendi got the winner after good work by substitute Ander with twenty minutes to go. (29.08.09)