La Liga Roundup, Gameweek 2: Narrow Wins for Real Madrid and Barcelona
Barcelona and Real Madrid had slender 1-0 away wins in Andalucia to leave both giants among five clubs with maximum points after two weeks of the new La Liga season.
The Catalans, without Lionel Messi, won at Malaga thanks to full-back Adriano’s goal just before half-time, while Los Blancos had an early Karim Benzema goal to thank for their victory at Granada.
In contrast, Atletico Madrid put five past Rayo Vallecano without reply. Goals from Raul Garcia, Arda Turan and Tiago Mendes added to a Diego Costa brace to register their second win and heap more misery on Rayo.
Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal were the other two teams to retain an unbeaten record. Athletic defeated Osasuna 2-0 at their temporary home at Anoeta with an Alejandro Arribas own goal and a late strike from Oscar De Marcos. The Yellow Submarine, meanwhile, overcame Valladolid at El Madrigal. Javi Guerra gave the visitors an early lead and Giovani dos Santos’ penalty levelled matters before Cani hit Villarreal’s winner six minutes from time.
The only other side to score more than twice on an uncharacteristically low-scoring weekend was Espanyol, who had an impressive 3-1 win over Valencia. Former Zaragoza striker Helder Postiga gave Los Che a 10th minute lead, but David Lopez, Christian Stuani and Thievy Koulossa made the result comfortable for Los Periquitos.
Celta Vigo had a good 2-1 win at Real Betis. After a goalless first half in which they were reduced to 10 men following Borja Oubina’s dismissal, Celta went 2-0 up through Charles and Nolito. Ruben Castro’s 90th minute goal for Betis was barely a consolation.
Newly-promoted Elche gave Real Sociedad a scare, Coro giving them the lead as early as the second minute. La Real had to wait until the 74th minute for Carlos Vela’s equaliser as the sides shared the points.
Almeria were denied three points by a late Diego Castro equaliser at Getafe. Los Rojiblancos took the lead on the half hour thanks to Rodri’s third goal of the campaign, only for Angel Lafita to reply immediately for Getafe. Almeria had the lead again before half time after Fernando Soriano scored, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw, leaving coach Francisco Rodriguez once again lamenting defensive weaknesses.
Levante and Sevilla fought out a goalless draw in the weekend’s remaining fixture.