La Liga: Matchday 1 Review
The fight to be the champions of Spain started this weekend at almost the end of a transfer season that saw a lot of changes in most of the Spanish teams. After so many internal swaps and transfers and a few cross-border transfers most of the teams had a new look team.
One of the most important match in the first matchday was between the teams affected the most this transfer season.Real Madrid bolstered their already big squad by adding a few more stellar names and “the special one” as the coach, while RCD Mallorca lost as many as 7 of their first team players due to financial instability. It was assumed that the Madridistas will crush the weakened Mallorcan to start their challenge to the league champions Barcelona in an emphatic manner. However, a great performance by Israeli goalkeeper Duda Aouate and some hard-tackling defender prevented the star-studded Real Madrid side from scoring any goal. One of the few players of Mallorca who remained with the squad this time, Gonzalo Castro operated the counter attacks and had he been able to make something of the chances he got the result could have been more shocking. The match ended 0-0, and the injuries to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lassana Diara will hurt Madridistas more in the coming weeks.
However, the things were not as bad in other parts of the country. In Santander, defending champions Barcelona had a comfortable 3-0 win with all three stating strikers Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and debutant David Villa finding the net for the Catalans. Though the Racing Santander side did put up a good fight and barcelona goalkeeper had to save a penalty by Tchite, the match never look out of control for the champions. Atletico Madrid also continued their good run of form to post a 4-0 win against Sporting Gijon in the home stadium Vicente Calderon. World Cup hero Diego Forlan scored a brace while Jose Manuel Jurado scored most probably the last goal for the Madrid side and veteran Simao came as a substitute to find the back of the net at the end. Sevilla and Valencia also started the season on a good note winning their away matches comfortably. Valencia were without newly signed ex-Getafe man Roberto Soldado due to injury in their match at Malaga and won it 3-1 thanks to a brace by Joaquin and a goal by debutant Aritz Aduriz, who signed from Mallorca this summer. The new-look Malaga side didn’t have a bad game but the Valencians were too much to handle for them. Sevilla had a 4-1 win over newly-promoted 4-1 at their backyard. Defender Abdoulay Konko scored a brace and Renato score the last one before Alvar Negrdo converted from the penalty spot. Sevilla had both Luis Fabiano on bench rising speculation about a tranfer to Spurs which by now seems improbable.
In the most shocking result in the first week, comeback men Real Sociedad defeated Villareal 1-0 thanks to a goal by Xabi Prieto. Villareal had a very bad start to the season last year also and were in the relegation zone for the first few weeks before coming back to form to take the seventh spot in the league table.
Athletic Bilbao had a tough win at Hercule where world cup winner Fernando Llorente scoring the only goal in their 1-0 win. Espanyol had a bright start to the season with a 3-1 home win against Getafe with Osvaldo scoring a brace and Jesus Datolo scoring the other. Deportivo la Coruna were held 0-0 at their home ground against Real Zaragoza as was the case of Osasuna against Almeria.
22 goals were scored in the 10 matches in the opening week of la liga with 3 matches ending in draw with identical scoreline of 0-0. Four players scored a brace each, 14 others finding the net among them E Galan of Espanyol scoring in their own goal.