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La Liga 2016-17 Week 2 roundup: Barcelona join Real Madrid and Las Palmas at the top

James Clancy
CONTRIBUTOR
6.47K   //    29 Aug 2016, 09:31 IST
Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic got the goal for Barcelona

Deportivo Alavés 0-0 Sporting Gijon: Stalemate at the Mendizorrotza Stadium

In Sunday’s opening La Liga game Alavés were held to a goalless draw in a non-descript game at the Mendizorrotza Stadium with the newly promoted home side unbeaten but also without a win this season after two games following a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

The best chance of a match which contained few chances came late on when Sporting’s Duje Cop sent a shot narrowly wide when set up Victor Rodríguez though Cop should really have scored.


Las Palmas 5-1 Granada: Hosts hammer hapless Granada

Nabil El Zhar
Nabil El Zhar was on target yet again for Las Palmas

Nabil El Zhar bagged a brace of goals to help Las Palmas to consecutive La Liga wins. The French-born Moroccan international hammered the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to open the scoring at Estadio Gran Canaria midway through the first half. The visitors levelled the score however in injury-time at the end of the first half.

Kevin-Prince Boateng restored the lead for the home side with a goal on his home debut. Ezequiel Ponce, the scorer of the visitor’s equaliser in the draw with Villarreal last weekend, wasted a chance to net a second goal in two games as he aimed a powerful header wide before El Zhar opened the scoring

The score was levelled on half-time when Boga, on loan from Chelsea, smashed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net from the edge of the area after taking Sergi Samper's pass.

Boateng headed home to give The Yellows the lead again in the 51st minute but then had to come off with an injury. El Zhar chipped the advancing Granada ‘keeper Guillermo Ochoa to net his second 21 minutes from time before Momo tapped in the home side’s fourth a few minutes later.

The rout was complete after 85 minutes when Araujo blasted the ball into the bottom left corner from close range.


Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona: Wasteful Barca do enough to overcome Bilbao

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi could not bag a goal against Bilbao
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Barcelona made it two wins from two La Liga matches as Ivan Rakitic’s first-half header was enough to beat Athletic Bilbao.The Croatian scored midway through the first half as he rushed into the penalty area to head home Arda Turan’s left wing cross.

Turan, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez had clear cut chances that should have resulted in goals for the defending league champions.

Also read: La Liga 2016-17: Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona - 5 talking points

Visiting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen nearly paid for a poor pass as Athletic’s Raul Garcia and Inaki Williams both wasted good chances for the home side though they didn’t deserve anything from the game on the balance of play.

The win allows Barça to join Real Madrid and early leaders Las Palmas on six points with each having played two games this season.

Villarreal 0-0 Sevilla: Visiting ‘keeper earns hard-fought point

Villarreal Sevilla
There was no separating Villarreal and Sevilla

Sevilla were held to a goalless draw having scored six (and conceded four) against Espanyol last weekend. The star performer on the night was visiting goalkeeper Rico who produced a string of quality saves including a remarkable stop from Manu Trigueros after the interval.

Villarreal dominated the game and did not seem to be suffering any after effects of their midweek Champions League exit but could have lost late on when Pablo Sarabia's corner kick hit the home side’s post.

Villarreal had a goal disallowed shortly before half-time when Borre was ruled offside after forcing a goalbound effort from Mateo Musacchio into the back of the net.

Rico made a stunning save on 60 minutes when he dived full length to divert Trigueros' low effort up and onto the crossbar. Midway through the second half Borre’s effort was forced wide following another flying save from the Spanish international netminder.

Ultimately neither side could manage a goal with Sarabia’s corner kick hitting the Villarreal post near the end the close the visitors came to taking the spoils.

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