Photo Credit – LA LIGA

La Liga finally commenced with the top teams ever ready to battle it out for the top prize in Spain and with some exciting signings made over the summer by various clubs, all remains to see how well they would fare in the 22/23 season as Real Madrid looks to defend her title.

La Liga kicked off with Sevilla playing away to Osasuna on Friday as much expectations were high for the Seville based club to start their season on a strong foot. Reverse was the case for the team as they fell behind after just 9 minutes courtesy an Ezequiel Avila goal, the lead was however cut short as Rafa Mir equalized for Sevilla and the first half ended on that note. Sevilla squandered opportunities to go into the lead and they were duly punished as Osasuna had a penalty kick which was converted in the 74th minute thanks to Aimar Oroz to ensure it was Osasuna who started off their season on a flying note.

Saturday brought in an exciting clash when Celta Vigo hosted Espanyol in what was an entertaining game. Iago Aspas had summed up a somewhat dull first half with a goal just before half time but it was the second half that ensured much drama and suspense were in for the fans, Goncalo Pacienca doubled the lead of Celta Vigo in the 64th minute and it looked like they were going to run away with victory but the Espanyol team had other tricks up their sleeves. The 81st minute saw an Espanyol goal with Edu Exposito drawing one back for them but the late drama in itself came in the last minute of the game when Joselu ensured the comeback was complete to force the game into a draw in what was a disappointing afternoon for Celta Vigo.

Villarreal started the season with a trip to Real Valladolid as they looked to put last season disappointing campaign behind them. In a match that saw Real Valladolid maintain more possession and have more chances, the lack of poor finishing cost them dearly as they entered into the break 0-0 at half time. The second half saw tides shift in the favor of Villarreal who took their chances and were up 1-0 in the 49th minute thanks to a Nicolas Jackson strike and the addition of a double from Alex Baena including a sweet strike from outside the box capped off a successful outing for The Yellow Submarines who won 3-0.

Barcelona welcomed Rayo Vallecano to The Spotify Camp Nou as they sought to kick off their season in sublime fashion after registering their new signings a day before. To sum it up, it was a very disappointing afternoon for The Catalans who squandered lots of chances and would count themselves lucky not to have gone behind if not for a Marc Andre Ter Stegen masterclass. The match ended in a frustrating way as captain Sergio Busquets was given his matching orders and ensured that Barcelona have still failed to beat Rayo Vallecano since last season.

Cadiz and Real Sociedad squared off in what was touted as an exciting clash between the two Spanish giants and in the end there was going to be one victor and that was Real Sociedad who carried the day thanks to a goal from new signing from Real Madrid Takefusa Kubo whose first half strike was more than enough to ensure 3 points for The Anoeta based team.

Valencia welcomed new boys Girona to the Mestalla in what was a grueling encounter for both sides with lots of fireworks expected from them. Girona fended off series of Valencia attack but fell behind thanks to a Carlos Soler penalty and that proved to be enough for Los Che who had to weather intense pressure after their player Eray Comert was shown a red card in the 52nd minute, they stood their ground to ensure the 1 solitary goal was enough to hand them the 3 points.

La Liga defending Champions Real Madrid had to survive a major scare from new boys Almeria to finish the day 2-1 winners after Almeria Goalkeeper had kept them at bay for most of the match making over 15 saves and earning the man of the match award. Almeria had gone ahead after just 6 minutes with a nice goal from Largie Ramazani and they held on to that lead entering into the break. Real Madrid had lots of chances to equalize but it was a very disappointing day for the attackers and the goals came from the other end of the pitch courtesy Lucas Vazquez and a beautiful David Alaba free kick to ensure Real Madrid started their title defense on a winning note.

Athletic Club started off their 22/23 season with a drab goalless draw when RCD Mallorca came visiting, although the home side were in total control of the match, they failed to convert their chances and it was not to be their day as Mallorca rescued a point after some brilliant and astute defending from the side. Inaki Williams and his Bilbao team would have to settle for a point with Mallorca in a game they should have won.

The first derby of the season saw Getafe host Atletico Madrid in what on paper was to be an exciting clash and rightly so as Atletico Madrid showed their class thanks to an Hattrick of assists by Joao Felix setting up all three goals as Alvaro Morata grabbed a brace and Antoine Griezmann notched one himself to make it 3 goals on the day for Atletico Madrid.

The last match of La Liga Matchday 1 saw Real Betis take on Elche in a highly anticipated game and it was the home side who ensured they were in control of the match after just 16 minutes John Nwankwo saw himself sent off and that opened up the floodgates as a Juanmi double and a Borja Iglesias saw Real Betis and Manuel Pellegrini start off Matchday 1 on a scintillating note.

Total Goals Scored – 21 Goals

Total Yellow Cards – 56

Total Red Cards – 3

Most Goals Scored by a Team – 3 Goals { Villarreal, Real Betis and Atletico Madrid}

Most Goals Scored by a Player – 2 goals { Juanmi – Real Betis, Alex Baena – Villarreal, Alvaro Morata – Atletico Madrid }

La Liga resumes this weekend with yet another dose of THE LEAGUE IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN.


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