The second matchday of the 2013-14 La Liga season kicked off on Friday with a pair of matches and continued into Saturday with three more encounters.
Real Sociedad, with an eye to Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Lyon, brought a slightly weakened team to the Mediterranean to face Elche. In Barcelona, Espanyol welcomed Valencia and, in Villarreal, the Yellow Submarine entertained Real Valladolid.
Following is a brief tour of the Primera Division action so far this weekend, beginning with Friday’s matches.
(All statistics courtesy WhoScored.com)
Both sides came into Friday’s encounter in search of their first win of the season, but at the final whistle in Madrid neither had done enough to claim the four points.
A flurry of goals late in the first half sent Almeria into the break with a 2-1 lead—Rodri having opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a finish inside the near corner and Lafita having equalized for Getafe two minutes later before Fernando Soriano directed the ball into the back of the net following a corner.
But while it looked for a time as thought the guests would escape the capital with the victory Lafita earned the hosts a penalty in the 83rd minute when he was upended by Rafita inside the 18-yard box.
Diego Castro finished low and hard to the goalkeeper’s left and the match ended level at two goals apiece.
Shots: Getafe 14-16 Almeria
Passing: Getafe 79%-75% Almeria
Possession: Getafe 49%-51% Almeria
Athletic Bilbao went into Sunday atop La Liga following a 2-0 win over Osasuna that came six days after a 2-1 victory away to Real Valladolid.
An Alejandro Arribas own-goal shortly after the half-hour mark gifted the hosts the lead, but it took until the 82nd minute for Athletic to get the insurance marker they so desperately craved.
In the end it was Oscar De Marcos who found it, finishing a swift counterattack that saw him accept the ball from Aritz Aduriz.
Osasuna had a chance to pull one back in the 90th minute but Arribas’ header was stopped by goalkeeper Iago Herrerin.
Shots: Athletic Bilbao 8-18 Osasuna
Passing: Athletic Bilbao 69%-81% Osasuna
Possession: Athletic Bilbao 40%-6-% Osasuna
With Champions League hero Antoine Griezmann resting in San Sebastian ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League return fixture against Lyon, Real Sociedad nevertheless managed to battle to a 1-1 draw 700 kilometres to the south in Elche.
But it was the hosts who opened the scoring after only two minutes—Coro scoring his side’s first goal of the campaign with a finish to the left corner following a set-piece.
Sociedad took until the final quarter-hour to get their equalizer, and it was scored by the player who had set up the Griezmann scissor-kick three days earlier: Carlos Vela.
The Mexico forward steered the ball into the back of the net following Xabi Preito’s corner and Sociedad claimed their fourth point of the season.
Shots: Elche 12-11 Real Sociedad
Passing: Elche 82%-88% Real Sociedad
Possession: Elche 41%-59% Real Sociedad
Villarreal have two wins from two following their promotion back to La Liga.
On Saturday the Yellow Submarine came from behind to beat Real Valladolid, who had taken the lead—after just four minutes—through Javi Guerra.
But a 38th minute penalty sent Giovani Dos Santos to the spot after Alcatraz tripped up Jaume Costa in the area—the Mexico attacker making no mistake from the spot to restore level terms.
With seven minutes remaining in normal time Villarreal got their winner.
Cani, who had been played through by Jeremy Perbet, smashed the ball into the top corner to send his side joint-top with Athletic Bilbao.
Shots: Villarreal 17-6 Real Valladolid
Passing: Villareal 83%-79% Real Valladolid
Possession: Villarreal 53%-47% Real Valladolid
Like Villarreal, Espanyol were forced to regroup after conceding early.
Only 10 minutes into the game, Valencia found themselves ahead in Barcelona when Helder Postiga slipped the ball into the left-hand corner of the goal following a pass from the Brazilian Jonas.
But by the second minute of the second half Espanyol had gone in front—first equalizing in the 31st minute through David Lopez and then getting the eventual winner when Christian Stuani bulged the top corner following a set-piece.
With two minutes to play, the hosts added a measure of insurance when Thievy Bifouma placed the ball in the top, left-hand corner of the goal after receiving a pass from Manuel Lanzarote.
Shots: Espanyol 13-8 Valencia
Passing: Espanyol 72%-86% Valencia
Possession: Espanyol 36%-64% Valencia
Atletico Madrid destroyed Rayo Vallecano 5-0 to reaffirm their status as top-two contenders in La Liga.
Raul Garcia opened the scoring after 17 minutes, directing a header from Gabi's corner just inside the far post. Diego Costa made it two just three minutes later, converting one of the easiest tap-ins he will ever score at the back post.
Arda Turan then rounded the 'keeper to make it 3-0 before halftime, and turned creator to cross for Tiago's nodded finish shortly after the break.
Raul Garcia added his second, and Atleti's fifth, in the 90th minute to round off a real rout.
Shots: Atletico 14-7 Rayo
Passing: Atletico 73%-82% Rayo
Possession: Atletico 43%-57% Rayo
Our first scoreless encounter of the weekend arrived in the form of Levante 0-0 Sevilla at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.
Neutrals will have been disappointed, but Granotes coach Joaquin Caparros will have been delighted: After taking a 7-0 thrashing against Barcelona at Camp Nou in Week 1, a clean sheet is nothing short of brilliant.
Sevilla, too, are adjusting to losing close to 10 players in the summer, and despite having the better of the game, could not get themselves on the scoresheet.
Shots: Levante 8-18 Sevilla
Passing: Levante 80%-87% Sevilla
Possession: Levante 41%-59% Sevilla
Barcelona claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Malaga at la Roselada on Sunday night.
Los Boquerones played an incredibly defensive game, founded upon counterattacks through four or five players at most, and Barca struggled to break them down.
The only goal of the game came through Adriano, who cut in off the right and fired an incredibly 25-yard effort into the bottom corner. Neymar and Sebastian Fernandez went close late on, and els Blaugrana's questionable defence remains an issue.
Gerardo Martino, though, is sitting on two wins from two and six points from six.
Shots: Malaga 9-15 Barcelona
Passing: Malaga 68%-89% Barcelona
Possession: Malaga 26%-74% Barcelona
Real Betis fell to Celta Vigo at home, conceding two second-half goals to make it two losses from two.
Pepe Mel's troops dominated the possession statistics but struggled to find the breakthrough, and strikes from Charles and Nolito sealed three points for the visitors.
Borja Oubina was sent off for a second bookable offense late on and Betis' Ruben Castro found the net in the 90th minute, but it was too little, too late.
Shots: Betis 20-13 Celta Vigo
Passing: Betis 85%-72% Celta Vigo
Possession: Betis 63%-37% Celta Vigo