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La Liga Matchday 1 Review: Barcelona Open Season with a Win

Even before the new La Liga season got underway, there had been a lot of speculation surrounding Barca and their ability to launch a viable title bid following Neymar’s big move to PSG. We take a look at how they fared in our La Liga Matchday 1 review.

On Sunday, Barcelona proved they’ve still got what it takes to dominate the Spanish top-flight following an easy win over Real Betis. Whilst it wasn’t a typical Barcelona victory, it was a win nonetheless with a three-minute double salvo earning them maximum points in their first La Liga outing of the season.

Betis’ Alin Tosca scored an own goal in the 36th-minute before Sergi Roberto struck home to double the Blaugrana’s lead three minutes later.

Real Madrid were also in action on Sunday as they traveled to the Municipal de Riazor for their season opener against Deportivo La Coruna without star man Cristiano Ronaldo who is currently serving a suspension.

Gareth Bale found the back of the net in the 20th-minute before Casemiro once again showed his attacking talents by getting his side 2-0 up.

The scores remained at 2-0 up until the 60th-minute when Toni Kroos popped up with a goal to seal the win for Los Blancos.

Florin And one was granted the chance to pull one back for Depor in the 89th-minute, but he failed to convert his penalty. One minute later, Sergio Ramos was shown a second yellow card and sent off.

Athletic Bilbao were held to a draw by newly-promoted Getafe at the San Mames. Bilbao utterly dominated the tie, but Getafe’s defensive mindedness and resilience saw them grab a point despite going down to 10-men following Alvaro Jimenez’ sending off in the 66th-minute.

Elsewhere, on Friday night Leganes secured a slender 1-0 victory over Alaves courtesy of a goal from Gabriel in the 24th-minute.

Alaves’ Manu Garcia missed a chance to give his side the lead in the 17th-minute from the penalty spot as Leganes walked away with maximum points.

Valencia also secured a 1-0 win over Las Palmas with former Juventus striker, Simone Zaza finding the back of the net in the 22nd-minute.

Las Palmas went a man down in the 33rd-minute as Alen Halilovic was issued a red card.

On Saturday, Celta de Vigo and Real Sociedad played out the highest-scoring game of the weekend as Sociedad came back from behind to secure the three points at Estadio Municipal de Balaidos.

Maximiliano Gomez opened the scoring for Celta in the 22nd-minute before Mikel Oyarzabal drew the scores level 11 minutes later.

Celta’s lead was restored by none other than Gomez in the 50th-minute, but Juanmi managed to score the equaliser for Sociedad in the 80th-minute.

Sociedad were gifted a penalty in the 88th-minute, which Willian Jose converted thus helping his side to a memorable victory.

Sevilla began the new campaign with a 1-1 draw against Espanyol with goals from Clement Lenglet and Leo Baptistao cancelling each other out.

Banega was handed a red card in the 84th-minute, but it was of little significance to the game’s outcome.

Atletico Madrid were also held to a 2-2 draw by newly-promoted side, Girona.

Girona’s Cristian Stuani bagged two goals in three minutes (22nd and 25th minutes) thus sending reverberations around the de Montilivi Stadium.

After having Antoine Griezmann sent off in the 67th-minute, Madrid had to wait until the late stages of the tie to muster a response to Stuani’s goals as Angel Correa, and Jose Gimenez helped Los Rojiblancos to a point with goals in the 78th and 85th-minutes respectively.

Monday night’s fixtures saw Levante secure a 1-0 win over Villarreal courtesy of a Jose Luis Morales’ 88th-minute spot-kick whilst Eibar won away at Malaga with Charles getting his name on the scoresheet in the 57th-minute.

 

About the Author Phillip Ekuwem

Phillip is a football writer with an immense love and passion for the beautiful game. He’s well versed in European football as he enjoys watching the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and the Serie A.

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