Sevilla’s Stylish Start
As The Gaffer already mentioned Sevilla kicked off their season on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Getafe. While I had been looking forward to the Madrid derby, I decided to watch the Sevilla-Getafe match and was not disappoined at all. The game had plenty of excitement, flair and talking points. In the first half alone there was enough action and drama for an entire match.
Firstly, my thoughts go out to Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta who collapsed during the game and a teammate had to prevent him from swallowing his tongue as he lost consciousness. His collapse was ruled to be a heart attack caused by repeated incidents of ventricular arrhythmia. Puerta was able to walk from the pitch but collapsed again in the locker room and had to be given cardiac resuscitation before being taken to hospital. Puerta remains in intensive care and I wish him a full recovery.
As for the match itself, Getafe started brightly and jumped into the lead thanks to a spectacular free-kick by Pablo Hernandez in the second minute. Before half-time, Getafe found themselves down to nine men following the dismissals of Francisco Sousa and David Cortes. Sousa was dismissed for receiving two yellow keys while Cortes saw a straight red for his harsh studs-up tackle on Diego Capel.
After the break Sevilla wasted little time in taking advantage of Getafe’s reduced numbers. Jesus Navas headed home the equalizer just minutes after the restart but Getafe continued to fight and held on for another 20 minutes before finally wearing down. Luis Fabiano, Frederic Kanoute and Alexander Kerzakhov fired home late goals to give the Andalusian side a comfortable win.
The man of the match was undoubtedly midfielder Sergio Duda, whose plethora of pinpoint passes were central to three of Sevilla’s four goals. Diego Capel, Jesus Navas and Fredric Kanoute also had strong games for Sevilla. Kanoute had numerous chances to score and seemed to need a while to find his rythmn in the match. The added space was probably also a factor but he did score a goal and setup teammate Fabiano for one before being substituted for Kerzakhov. For Getafe, a
A noticeable absentee for Sevilla was Daniel Alves, who is unhappy at being priced out of a move to Chelsea, and has basically gone on strike. Alves has refused to travel with the squad for their Champions League third qualifying round clash with AEK Athens.
As for the Madrid derby, it ended in a 2 -1 win for Real Real fell behind less than a minute into the match after Sergio Aguero capitalized on some shoddy set-piece defending by Real. Raul equalised in the 14th minute as he headed home a lovely cross from Sergio Ramos. Debutant Wesley Sneijder scored from a free-kick in the 79th minute and seal all three points for Real.
There were a couple of surprising results from the weekend including 10-man Racing Santander holding FC Barcelona to a 0-0 draw. The Catalans, who spent well over 60 million euros on new players including Thierry Henry, were expected to come out and turn on the style but by all reports were outplayed by their modest opponents who are one of the lowest spenders in La Liga.
Villarreal continued from where they left off last season with a 3-0 win over Valencia who were reduced to nine men with over 20 minutes to play. Jon Dahl Tomasson opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Valencia’s David Villa was given a second yellow card for a dive just before the break. Valencia made a brave move before the second-half kickoff, bringing on Jaime Gavilan and Fernando Morientes to bolster their attack despite the numerical disadvantage. However, it was Villarreal who scored next, doubling their advantage through new signing Giuseppe Rossi’s penalty kick. Shortly after that Valencia lost Joaquin to a red card before Villareal’s Santi Cazorla completed the rout.
All three promoted sides got off to winning starts, Almeria trouncing Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 , Valladolid pulled off a 1-0 win away to Espanyol and Real Murcia beat heavily-favored Real Zaragoza 2-1.
Athletic Bilbao 0 – Osasuna 0
Mallorca 3 – Levante 0
Recreativo Huelva 1 – Real Betis 1