La Liga Table 2018 Week 1: Opening Standings Following Friday's Results

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2018

SEVILLE, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Andres Guardado of Real Betis competes for the ball with Jose Luis Morales of Levante UD during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Levante UD at Estadio Benito Villamarin on August 17, 2018 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images)
Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Levante were quickly out of the blocks as La Liga kicked off on Friday, earning a stunning 3-0 victory at Real Betis.

Roger Marti scored the opener against the run of play seven minutes before the interval, and Jose Morales capped a fine performance with a virtuoso run and strike after 54 minutes. 

Morales claimed a third on the stroke of full-time, with the hosts' hopes crushed and broken.

Girona hosted Real Valladolid in the night's other match, as the two teams played out a goalless draw.

Here are the latest results with the upcoming fixtures for the opening weekend, as Levante claim the early lead at the top of the division:


Friday, Aug. 17

Girona 0-0 Real Valladolid

Real Betis 3-0 Levante


Saturday, Aug. 18

Celta Vigo vs. Espanyol

Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad

Barcelona vs. Alaves


Sunday, Aug. 19

Eibar vs. SD Huesca

Rayo Vallecano vs. Sevilla

Real Madrid vs. Getafe


Monday, Aug. 20

Valencia vs. Atletico Madrid

Athletic Bilbao vs. Leganes


The full La Liga table is provided by the Guardian here.


Friday Recap

Real Betis were left floundering as Levante performed a smash and grab as they visited the Estadio Benito Villamarin on a hot and humid night in Seville.

The hosts dominated the ball for the whole of the first half, but the away side were disciplined and soaked up the pressure with aplomb.

La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney gave his assessment on the home side:

Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC

Real Betis are very Arsenal at the moment. A lot of nice passing/triangles and movement down the wings but are offering very little goal threat. Quique Setien does have options on the bench to change that though. #LaLiga

Beticos were clearly frustrated as they failed to find the necessary penetration, and they were punished by Levante shortly before half-time.

Marti slotted home from close range as he met Jason's driven cross, and the home supporters were dumbfounded by the scoreline.

The second half followed suit with Betis comfortable on the ball, but there was always a menace about the visitors with Morales on the counter-attack.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Andres Guardado and Sergio Canales of Real Betis compete for the ball with Jose Luis Morales of Levante UD during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Levante UD at Estadio Benito Villamarin on August 17, 2018 in S
Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

It was the 31-year-old attacker that provided the moment of the match as he doubled Levante's lead.

Morales beat four players as he sprinted from the halfway line, weaving and slaloming past defenders until he reached the penalty area.

The winger slotted home with calm assurance, and he wheeled away to celebrate one of the greatest goals of his career.

BeIN Sports presenter Kay Murray tipped her hat to the goalscorer:

Kay Murray @KayLMurray

Morales was key in Levante’s survival in the top flight last season. An absolute boss in this side. 2-0

Morales was rewarded with his brace deep into stoppage time, finding the bottom corner to compound Betis' misery.

Beticos will be shocked by the defeat after beating stellar opposition in pre-season, but the quality of their possession suggests they will recover quickly.

Girona and Valladolid played out a disappointing goalless draw in Catalonia, as the pair shared the spoils.

The hosts were the dominant side, but the visitors survived a flurry of chances as Blanquivermell displayed no sharpness in front of goal.