La Liga Opening Weekend: Exciting, Expected Results

Ah it felt so good to finally watch La Liga games again! There was a bit of drama around several games. My big prediction about a thrilling Valencia-Málaga game fell through. Their game was a bit boring and ended 1-0 for the home team. Nonetheless, other teams decided to pick up the slack. On Sunday, Barcelona destroyed Levante. At the halftime whistle, the score was 6-0. Barça scored 6 goals before halftime! After the game, the Levante coach said something along the lines of “We’ve left the dentist’s office…now it’s someone else’s turn.” The Catalan team played clinically and with few mistakes. Their high defensive line kept Levante pinned in their own half. And here’s the kicker: Neymar didn’t come on until the second half.

Diego Costa's brace ensured Atleti's season starts with bang!

Diego Costa’s brace ensured Atleti’s season starts with bang!

Thanks to Barcelona’s blowout win, Real Madrid had to win. Last season, they lost the league in the first few weeks. Both Barça and Madrid rack up so many points during a season that a draw is basically a loss for either of them because it means they drop two points. Real Madrid played Real Betis in the Bernabéu and it was quite entertaining. I was about ready to have a heart attack 5 minutes into the game. Cedric, Betis’s speedy winger without a buyout clause of €1.20, tore Madrid’s defensive line apart. At the other side of the field, Benzema was offside for a good portion of the game and Madrid had three goals disallowed (rightly) for offside. It looked like the game was headed for a 1-1 draw, but Isco had other plans. The young midfielder scored a stunning header on his debut, won the crowd, and won the game. It was brilliant!

Also on Sunday, Atlético Madrid traveled to Sevilla and won 1-3. They may have lost Falcao, but they’ve found a way to keep their squad strong. The fiery Diego Costa scored a brace and there’s definitely no way Liverpool is getting him now. Atleti will face Barcelona August 21 for the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa, winners of the league versus winners of the Copa del Rey. Atleti say they will not underestimate Barça and they have a slightly-not-so-secret weapon in David Villa who knows firsthand how Barcelona function.

The controversy from last season over Monday night games carried over to this season. The three promoted teams all played Monday night. It’s a difficult fixture to play, and the fans (especially those from Rayo Vallecano) blame it all on the TV channels. Villarreal, the yellow submarine back from relegation, went down 2-0 to Almería, but somehow managed to come back and win 2-3. Even with the difficult schedule, Villarreal were ecstatic in their win and look to the rest of the season with hope. Here are the full results from the weekend:

Villarreal return to the Primera Division and come from behind to win against Almería

Villarreal return to the Primera Division and come from behind to win against Almería

Real Sociedad 2-0 Getafe
Valladolid 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
Valencia 1-0 Málaga

Barcelona 7-0 Levante
Osasuna 1-2 Granada
Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis
Sevilla 1-3 Atlético Madrid

Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Elche
Almería 2-3 Villarreal
Celta Vigo 2-2 Espanyol

Also as I’m writing this, Real Sociedad are playing against Lyon in their Champions League playoff game, and Antoine Griezmann just pulled this beauty:

Photos courtesy of Follow @AerysSoccer for frequent updates on MLS, EPL, and La Liga. Also look for us on Facebook!

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