La Liga wrap: Real cruise, Barca sweat, Atletico make real statement

first_imgReal Madrid got their first three points of the La Liga campaign after a scintillating display against Pepe Mel’s Real Betis at the Bernabeu.Los Blancos boss Rafael Benitez had come under severe criticism for favoring a defensive style of football but his side responded in tremendous fashionGareth Bale and James Rodriguez both scored twice and Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas saved a penalty as Rafa Benitez’s side thrashed Real Betis.Navas’ name echoed around the Santiago Bernabeu after one fine first half save and even more loudly in the second half when he blocked Ruben Castro’s spot-kick. Benzema added a fifth to put  a gloss on Madrid’s performance.At the Camp Nou, Barca were made to sweat for their win over Malaga on Saturday night. The Andalusians who were went unbeaten against Barcelona last season proved tough opponents for Luis Enrique’s side again.The threat posed by the attacking trio of Suarez, Messi and Neymar were all nullified either by Kameni’s brilliance or last ditch tackles.A late  strike from Thomas Vermaelen in only his fourth official appearance for Barcelona earned the Blaugrana all three points which effectively meant Luis Enrique has now won against every team he has faced as Barcelona coach. Jackson Martínez came off the bench to score his first Atlético Madrid goal in a 3-0 win over Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.Spain international Koke scored the opener 10 minutes before the interval and Martínez’s introduction as a 78th-minute substitute to replace Fernando Torres paid dividends to the tune of two further goals.He had been on the pitch a matter of seconds when Gabi’s deflected effort beat Beto to make it 2-0 and Martínez found the net following a one-two with Antoine Griezmann.Eibar 2-0 Athletic BilbaoEibar recorded a first ever league victory over Athletic Bilbao to go joint top of the Primera Division.Saul Berjon opened the scoring from the penalty spot while Adrian Gonzalez scored his first goal for his new club in the second half to cap a 2-0 win for Jose Mendilibar’s side, following a 3-1 success at Granada in their season curtain raiser. Valencia 1-1 DeportivoValencia and Deportivo La Coruna are still searching for their first Primera Division win of the season after playing out a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla stadium on Sunday.Lucas Perez fired Deportivo in front with a spectacular long-range strike on 38 minutes, but their lead lasted only seven minutes as Alvaro Negredo rifled home from close range just before half-time to restore parity.Villareal 3-1 EspanyolRoberto Soldado continued his impressive form on Spanish shores by scoring one and assisting another two as Villarreal beat Espanyol 3-1 in La Liga.He equalised for his side on Friday at El Madrigal after Felipe Caicedo, who was once on Manchester City’s books, put the away side ahead after five minutes. Soldado’s equaliser in the 67th minute was a neat swivelled volley after a lofted pass from the left by Samuel.The game appeared to be heading for a draw until Soldado threaded in Cedric Bakambu, who rounded the goalkeeper and converted from a tight angle. Soldado turned provider once more to settle the match in stoppage time, as he teed up Bakambu for his second goal of the game. Celta Vigo 3-0 VallecanoCelta Vigo continued their 100 percent start to their Primera Division campaign by easing to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Rayo Vallecano.The visitors had goalkeeper Tono sent off when the game was barely 10 minutes old and Nolito converted the subsequent penalty to put Eduardo Berrizo’s side on their way to a second successive victory. The Celta forward struck again early in the second half, while midfielder Andreu Fontas added a third moments before the final whistle.Las Palmas 0-0 LevanteLas Palmas and Levante picked up their points of the season after playing out a goalless draw in the first top flight game at the Estadio Gran Canaria in 12 years.Newly-promoted Las Palmas dominated possession and were the only side to take the initiative over the 90 minutes, but they came unstuck against Lucas Alcaraz’s ultra-defensive unit.Getafe 1-2 Granada Granada picked up their first win of the season after grabbing a controversial 2-1 win at Getafe.The visitors took the lead through a hotly contested penalty converted by Youssef El Arabi on 26 minutes and just moments later Isaac Success increased their advantage.Angel Lafita gave Getafe hope of a comeback by scoring late in the second half but Granada held on for the remaining minutes to take the three points.–Compiled by Kweku Arhin. Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img

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