Atlético Madrid top the first division at the end of day one after a 4-0 victory over Sporting Gijón. The Asturians lived up to their name applauding their opponents as they carried the European Super Cup on to the pitch before kick off. Quique Sánchez Flores included the unsettled Jurado in his starting line-up, presumably to try and persuade him not to take up an offer from Schalke 04, and within ten minutes he opened the scoring after Raúl García played the ball back following a corner. The visitors started to take control after that, but six minutes before the break they went further behind, Diego Forlán left with the easiest of tasks after Agüero battled his way past five defenders. De Gea did well to save from De las Cuevas soon after the restart, but a few minutes later Forlán made it three after Reyes and Ujfalusi combined to set him up. Agüero was denied the goal he deserved on a couple of occasions by Juan Pablo, but with the game in injury time Simao completed the rout with the best of the night, a curler in to the top corner of the net after picking up a return pass from Mario Suárez. A great week for Atleti - could this be their season at last? (30.08.10)
Defending champions Barcelona got off to a good beginning once again, beating Racing Santander 0-3 to start the new campaign in second spot behind Sevilla. With only three minutes gone Messi ran on to Iniesta's pass to chip a shot over the head of Toño, and half an hour later Iniesta himself scored the second with a first time lob back in to the net after Toño had tried to punch clear. Racing could have got one back when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Maxwell on Francis, but Valdés guessed correctly and saved Tchité's spot kick. Shortly before half time David Villa got the ball in the net only for it to be ruled out for a borderline offside, but after the restart he did get his name on the scoresheet, steering a header past the keeper from an Alves cross.
A set back though for Barça's closest (and perhaps only) rival for the title, José Mourinho's Real Madrid being held to a 0-0 draw by a young Mallorca in the San Moix stadium. The new coach left his two German internationals on the bench at the start, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuaín put Aouate to the test early on. Michael Laudrup's team grew in confidence though, with Chori Castro firing a shot just wide and Víctor going close a couple of times either side of half time. And after that Aouate and his defence held fast, the keeper making important saves from Ronaldo and Higuaín as Madrid pushed for the winner in the closing minutes.
Two more scoreless draws earlier in the evening in what was a relatively low-scoring Sunday. Deportivo and Zaragoza shared the points in a dull match in which the visitors had the better chances, new signing Marco Pérez in particular somehow failing to find the target late on when set up just a yard or two in front of goal. And Osasuna and Almería also drew 0-0 in an at times bad tempered game, Carlos García getting himself sent off for a rash tackle on Pandiani in the last minutes.
Goals at least in the Cornellà stadium, where Espanyol ran out 3-1 winners over Getafe to begin the season in the top four. The visitors started well, with Miku trying his luck a couple of times. But with just over half an hour gone Verdú and Callejón combined to set up Osvaldo to open the scoring, and the striker got his second of the evening a few minutes after the restart after picking up a poor clearance from Miguel Torres. The visitors got one back when Galán turned Manu's cross past his own keeper, and Colunga hit the post before Dátolo wrapped things up in injury time.
Getafe paid the price though for their long European qualifier on Thursday, and their Europa League colleagues Villarreal were also beaten on Sunday, losing 1-0 to newly promoted Real Sociedad. The Basque side lined up with seven home-grown players, and they had the better of the game before Xabi Prieto ran on to Llorente's back-heel return pass to beat Diego López for the only goal of the game. Rossi and Nilmar did go close later on, but they were unable to get past a well-organised defence. (29.08.10)
Sevilla bounced back from their defeats in the Spanish Super Cup and the Champions League qualifiers with a much needed 1-4 over Levante on the opening day of the new season. Things looked grim for Antonio Alvarez's side when they went a goal down with only ten minutes on the clock, Rubén Suárez converting a penalty after Cigarini blocked a wide free kick with his hand. But only two minute later Konko levelled the scores after a shot from Navas came back off the post. A quarter of an hour after that Sevilla were given a penalty of their own after Cerra fouled Perotti on the edge the area, and Negredo stepped up to put the Andalusians in front. And from then on it was plain sailing, Konko getting his second of the night after a quick passing move, and Renato heading the fourth after substitute José Carlos set him up with virtually his first touch of the ball.
Earlier in the evening Valencia also got off to a winning start with a 1-3 victory at Málaga. New signing Aduríz helped the fans forget the sale of Villa and Silva when he met Banega's corner with a powerful header to open the scoring in the tenth minute. But a revitalized Málaga fought back to equalise on the stroke of half time, Sebastian Fernández scoring on his debut as well after deflecting Eliseu's low free kick past César. The visiting keeper made a vital save from Rondón soon after the break, and Arnau responded keeping out Mata. But two goals from Joaquín in a four minute period wrapped things up, the first with a shot which took a slight deflection off Iván González, and the second after a long Jordi Alba cross was played back to him by Aduríz.
A disappointing return by Hércules to the top flight after 13 years away, the Alicante based side losing 0-1 to Athletic Bilbao in the opening game of the season. The Basque side had the better of the opening minutes, with Susaeta shooting wide and Gabilondo bringing a good save out of Calatayud. Iraizoz did well to save from Portillo just before half time, but just a minute or so after the restart Fernando Llorente got ahead of the defence to head a long Gabilondo free kick past the keeper. Portillo, Tiago Gomes and Fritzler all had chances to equalise, but when Fritzler was sent off for a second bookable offence with a couple of minutes to go it was all over. (28.08.10)