First Division - Day 1

Alavés 0 - Barcelona 0

Alavés: Bonano; Edu Alonso, Sarriegi, Juanito, Poli; De Lucas (Mena 81'), Astudillo, Jandro (Wesley 53'), Nené; Rubén Navarro (Arthuro 74'), Bodipo. 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Oleguer, Puyol, Edmilson (Belletti 68'), Gio Van Bronckhorst; Xavi (Iniesta 80'), Márquez, Deco; Giuly (Larsson 68'), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.

Goals: None.

The new season kicked off with a surprise in the opening game, newly promoted Alavés holding reigning champions Barcelona to a 0-0 draw. Frank Rijkaard's side were expected to have an easy passage, but they were unable to break through a well ordered defence in which Bonano was in excellent form.

The ex Barcelona keeper stopped efforts from Eto'o, Giuly and Deco in a flurry of activity midway through a first half which otherwise was fairly eventless, and then produced two excellent saves from Ronaldinho immediately after the restart, the second a shot which he tipped on to the post.

Eto'o could have scored soon afterwards hen he intercepted a bad back pass only to miss the target, and a few minutes later drove in a long shot which bounced back off the foot of the post. Up to that point the home side had hardly created any chances, but Bodipo almost gave them the lead when he connected with a De Lucas cross to hit the post at the other end.

That was about all they managed though, and Ronaldinho could have won it for the Catalans with two late free kicks from just outside the area. But it was not to be, the first bouncing off the top of the bar and Bonano rounding off a good night pushing the second over the top. Alavés were back, and Barcelona now know that they won't have it that easy to hold on to their title.