Real Madrid clocked up their second victory in a row after beating Granada 0-1 in the Monday night game. Once again Ancelotti preferred Diego López to Casillas in goal, and with Xabi Alonso and Khedira injured he lined up with five attacking players in his starting eleven. Last season Madrid lost all four of their league games in Andalusia, including the one at the Los Cármenes stadium, but this time they went ahead in the tenth minute when Benzema turned a shot past Roberto after Ronaldo tried to control Di María's long cross. Özil had a second goal ruled out following a quickly taken Di María free kick after the referee ruled that the ball was still in motion when the kick was taken, and Ronaldo failed to convert a couple of chances either side of half time. In reply El-Arabi shot straight at the keeper when free on goal, and Diakhaté blasted a shot over the top after the restart, but otherwise Diego López had a relatively quiet game. Later in the second half Roberto pushed a shot from Isco on to the post, and Modric and Buonanotte both had penalty claims turned down. A win in the end though for Madrid, and they join Barcelona, Atlético, Athletic and Villarreal on maximum points. (26.08.13)
With Granada and Real Madrid still to play, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid lead the table after both won their respective games on Sunday. Missing the injured Messi though, Barcelona struggled to beat Málaga 0-1, and in the end they were fortunate to go home with the three points. As usual, the Catalans had most of the possession in the first half, but apart from a point blank header from Alexis, they hardly troubled Willy Caballero until a minute before the break, when Adriano caught him out with a long shot which the local keeper saw too late to stop from entering the net. Meanwhile Víctor Valdés at the other end only had to keep out a wide Antunes free kick, and after the restart Piqué hit the bar with a back-header, and substitute Neymar tested Willy again with a well struck free kick. Midway through the second half though Fabrice fired a shot against the foot of the post, and with the game in the last minute Valdés had to make a double save from Seba Fernández and Tissone to ensure the win.
Atlético Madrid had fewer problems however earlier in the evening, Simeone's team thrashing neighbours Rayo Vallecano 5-0. Both teams had won their opening games, but within twenty minutes the locals were already two up, Raúl García heading in Gabi's corner and Diego Costa turning Arda Turan's cross under Cobeño. Later in the first half Turan himself made it three after David Villa played on Costa's pass, the Turkish winger rounding the keeper to score, and early in the second half Tiago headed the fourth after another Turan assist. With his mind already on Wednesday night's Supercup second leg in the Nou Camp, Simeone rested some of his key players, and Trashorras, Saúl and Larrivey all went close. But with the game coming to an end Koke set up Raúl García for his second of the evening, taking his side to within a goal of the leaders in the table.
Elsewhere Sevilla and Betis both suffered hangovers from their midweek Europa League games, Sevilla being held to a 0-0 draw at Levante. Both teams needed a result having lost their opening league games, and in the end it was the proverbial game of two halves, both of them fairly poor! The locals though were the better side before the break, with Barral, Sergio Pinto and Pedro Ríos all failing to convert chances. But after the restart the Andalusians were on top, Cala, Gameiro, Perotti and Rabello all failing to find the target, and Kondogbia coming up against Keylor Navas. The best chances of all though fell near the end, Beto having to beat away a long Pinto free kick, and then somehow saving from David Navarro on the follow up at point blank range.
Betis themselves were beaten 1-2 by Celta in a match which finished at almost one o'clock in the morning, the Andalusians ending the day as one of only four teams without a point to their name to date. Pepe Mel's team got off to a flying start though, Yoel having to make first class saves from Paulao, Cedrick and Nosa, and Jorge Molina hitting the bar. Molina missed a sitter later in the first half, intercepting a bad back pass but then shooting straight at the keeper, and after that the visitors came back, with Nolito testing Sara before the break. After the restart Charles headed against the upright before beating Sara to open the scoring, and soon afterwards Nolito made it two with a shot inside the near post. With five minutes to go though Oubiña was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Betis came to within a whisker of saving a point, substitute Rubén Castro pulling one back after Amaya headed over a long ball, and Chuli hitting the post in injury time. (25.08.13)
Villarreal are in joint top spot pending the rest of the weekend games after a 2-1 victory over Valladolid on Saturday evening. They had to come from behind to do so though, Javi Guerra putting the visitors ahead early on after a quick passing move which ended with Bergdich slipping the ball through for the striker to beat Asenjo. Marcelino's side had already overturned a negative scoreline in their first game at Almería though, and after Cani and Trigueros tried their luck, Giovani equalised from the penalty spot after Alcatraz slid in to Jaume Costa as he entered the area. The Mexican forward limped off at the break though, and there were few chances from either side until six minutes from the end, when Perbet saved a ball from going out and passed through for Cani to run on and poke a shot past his old colleague Diego Mariño. The Yellow Submarine are back with a bang, but their opponents are already struggling after a second defeat in a row left them near the bottom of the table.
Espanyol also overturned an early goal by Postiga to beat Valencia 3-1 in Cornellà. The Catalans started strongly, Simao, Stuani and Colotto going close in the opening minutes, but the visitors went ahead in their first attack, the ex Zaragoza striker firing a shot past Casilla after Jonas back-heeled the ball in to his path. David López equalised however with a header from Simao's corner (a carbon copy of a goal he scored against Tottenham in a pre-season friendly), and two minutes after the restart Stuani headed a second from a wide Fuentes free kick. Banega and Feghouli came close to making it all square again, but with two minutes to go Thievy rounded things off after a good run down the right wing by fellow substitute Lanzarote.
Earlier in the evening Elche got their first point in the top flight for 24 years after drawing 1-1 with Real Sociedad. The excited fans in the packed stadium only had to wait a minute for Coro to test Bravo, and from the resulting corner the ex Espanyol forward bundled the ball in to the net after the keeper could only push Albácar's inswinging corner across goal. Botía and Manu del Moral both came close to a second when they headed over either side of half time, but Seferovic fired a shot over the top following a short free kick, and with a quarter of an hour to go Carlos Vela got on the end of Xabi Prieto's cross to turn the ball past Manu Herrera. After that Granero fired a shot just wide and Vela hit the crossbar with a long shot, but with an important Champions League qualifier coming up they eventually decided that a draw was enough. (24.08.13)
Week two kicked off on Friday evening, Athletic Bilbao moving to the top of the table overnight after beating neighbours Osasuna 2-0. With the new San Mamés stadium not quite finished, the fixture had to be switched to the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian, home of arch-rivals Real Sociedad, but the ground was red and white for a day, and Aduríz almost gave the 20,000 or so "home fans" something to cheer about early on when his shot was deflected by Andrés on to the post. Armenteros and Sisi went close at the other end though, and armenteros almost caught Herrerín out with an inswinging corner. A few minutes later a heroic effort by Arribas prevented Aduríz from scoring, but just a couple of minutes later the hero turned villain when he slid the ball in to his own net trying to clear from Susaeta. Ibai Gómez should have made it two after the break when he rounded Andrés as he came out of his area, but with the goal at his mercy he waited too long and wasted the chance. De Marcos made no mistake though a few minutes later, running on to a perfectly weighted pass by Aduríz to steer a shot past the visiting keeper and give Valverde's side a second straight win.
Earlier in the evening Getafe and Almería picked up their first points of the season in a 2-2 draw. The early chances fell to the locals, Lacen and Lafita going close and Esteban having to make a couple of saves from Sarabia. However Aleix Vidal and Suso responded with shots just wide of the post, and with half an hour gone Rodri ran on to Suso's through ball to turn an angled shot past Moyà, his third goal of the season. The lead only lasted a minute though before Lafita headed Sarabia's cross in off the far post to equalise, but just six minutes after that Soriano put Almería back in front after Vidal's shot was blocked by a defender. For most of the second half the visitors were on top, Verza in particular brining the save of the evening out of Moyà with a dipping volley, but with the game coming to an end the referee ruled that Rafita's tackle on Lafita was illegal, and Diego Castro slotted the resulting spot kick under Esteban's body to save a point for the hosts. (23.08.13)