With 10 games and 40 goals in the opening weekend of La Liga, the following weekends were always going to have a sense of heightened expectation.
Matchday two saw a number of games that piqued the interest of La Liga fans and viewers across the world. Villarreal – Sevilla, Las Palmas – Granada and Real Madrid – Celta were games that, on paper, had the potential to be something special. However, not all turned out that way.
This week saw four goalless draws, a six-goal game in Gran Canaria and just 17 goals in total. As a result of this weekend’s games, two of the newly promoted sides remain unbeaten, while three teams are yet to pick up a point in the league.
There’s surprise leaders at the top of the table, and every team has scored at least one goal after two games each.
Below is a round-up of all 10 La Liga games from the weekend – which was your favourite?
1. Real Betis 0-0 Deportivo (Friday 26th August)
It’s safe to say that the opening game of matchday 2 was not one for the ages, and probably set the tone for the rest of the weekend’s games.
Real Betis were bottom of the table after the opening game, going down 6-2 against Barcelona. Depor, on the other hand, snatched a late win at Eibar and hoped to build on that first win.
They had to make do without last season’s top scorer Lucas Perez, who had been given permission to complete a move to Arsenal. The teams shared 27 shots between them, only managing six on target. A game to forget for both sides, but at least both came out with a point.
2. Espanyol 2-2 Malaga (Friday 26th August)
There doesn’t seem to be an Espanyol game in sight that doesn’t involve goals. They haven’t been involved in a goalless draw since January 2nd, and this game was to be no different.
Gerard Moreno put Espanyol on course for their first win under Quique Sanchez Flores after putting the Catalan side 2-0 up. However, a last minute goal from Charles and an earlier goal from Diego Llorente helped Malaga maintain their unbeaten record.
Espanyol fans have seen 14 goals in their two games so far this season – the only downside will be that their six goals have only led to a single point.
3. Eibar 1-0 Valencia (Saturday 27th August)
Valencia remain rock bottom of La Liga after suffering their second defeat of the season, this time to Basque side Eibar.
The only goal came after Pedro Leon saw his penalty saved by Mat Ryan, only for him to score the rebound. Valencia have played a much-changed side to start the season, with a host of key players leaving the club this summer.
Paco Alcacer was left out of the squad completely amid rumours of a deal being struck with Barcelona for the forward. He has since signed for Barcelona on a five-year deal.
Los Che’s last win also came against Eibar, at the end of April. They were 4-0 winners at the Mestalla, with Alcacer scoring three that day.
4. Osasuna 0-2 Real Sociedad (Saturday 27th August)
Real Sociedad picked up their first goals and points of the season after being Pampola-based side Osasuna at El Sadar on Saturday afternoon.
Former Southampton and Malaga forward Juanmi scored his first goal for his new club on the stroke of half-time after being set up by Mikel Oyarzabal, who was playing his first game since signing a new five-year deal.
The game was somewhat a game of two halves. Osasuna turned up the heat after half-time, but were undone by one of their own as Unai Garcia put the ball rather comically into his own net.
Defeat means that Osasuna are yet to win on their return to La Liga, while Real Sociedad have moved up to ninth.
5. Real Madrid 2-1 Celta (Saturday 27th August)
Real Madrid maintained their 100% record in this season’s La Liga after brushing past Celta, who are still without a point as things stand.
The first half was fairly even, but Real dominated the second. Alvaro Morata played his first game at the Bernabeu since returning after two years at Juve, but Celta pegged them back within seven minutes.
Following Orellana’s equaliser, Real piled on the pressure and eventually their persistence paid off, with Toni Kroos hitting a shot from the edge of the box that beat Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal.
The games don’t get any easier for Celta after the international break, with their first game against Diego Simeone’s Atleti.
6. Leganes 0-0 Atletico Madrid (Saturday 27th August)
After securing an unthinkable win in their first-ever La Liga game last week, Leganes fans flocked to the Butarque to see if their team could do the same in their first home game in the Spanish top flight. Their opponents? Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid.
Atleti were left red-faced after their home draw against newly-promoted Alaves on the opening day, and while their fans would’ve hoped a repeat didn’t occur. However, that was not to be the case as the new boys held Atleti to a goalless draw.
The game was fairly even in terms of attacking, though neither side were able to convert their chances into goals. Two clean sheets in two games mean Leganes are the only team not to concede a goal in La Liga this season.
7. Alaves 0-0 Sporting Gijon (Sunday 28th August)
Alaves had hopes of building on an impressive 1-1 draw at the Vicente Calderon in front of their home fans this weekend, but were made to rue missed opportunities as they were held to a goalless draw by Sporting Gijon on Sunday.
The game was fairly even in possession terms, but shots on target were scarce, with just three of the 20 shots attempted by teams combined being on goal.
The positive for both sides, who are likely to be battling it among the bottom clubs later in the season, is that both remain unbeaten and it’s one extra point towards staying in La Liga.
8. Las Palmas 5-1 Granada (Sunday 28th August)
To those not-too-familiar with the Spanish leagues, Las Palmas vs. Granada hardly sounds like a glamour tie. However, this was one of the games to look forward to this weekend, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Las Palmas were rampant against a Paco Jemez side who looked lost defensively (something which tends to be associated with his teams), eventually running away 5-1 winners.
The six goals in this game mean that over 35% of the goals scored in La Liga this weekend came at the Estadio Gran Canaria.
Two of those goals came from Nabil El Zhar, formerly of Liverpool. The Morocco international scored either side of Kevin Prince Boateng’s first home goal in Las Palmas colours, before Momo and Sergio Araujo sealed a comprehensive victory for Los Amarillos,
9. Athletic Club 0-1 Barcelona (Sunday 28th August)
Barcelona also maintained their 100% record at the top of La Liga after a solitary goal from Ivan Rakitic was enough to give the Catalan club all three points at San Mames.
It was Lionel Messi’s 350th league appearance for Barcelona but he was unable to mark it with a goal. He was, however, involved in the build up to Ivan Rakitic’s headed goal just past the 20 minute mark.
Luis Suarez missed a whole host of opportunities to put his side further in front, his best coming in the final minute when he was played through by Messi, but with just Eneka Bovedo on the line to beat, Suarez managed to aim his shot straight at the defender, who stuck out a leg to clear the ball off the line.
Barcelona take on two newly promoted sides before facing Atleti at the Camp Nou in three weeks’ time.
10. Villarreal 0-0 Sevilla (Sunday 28th August)
The final game of matchday two began how the weekend started – with a goalless draw.
After Villarreal’s Champions League exit during the week, Fran Escriba’s side were trying to make amends in the league. They didn’t have it easy against a Sevilla side who didn’t win a single league game away from home last season.
Alexandre Pato went off early on with an injury, but that didn’t stop the chances coming. Jorge Sampaoli’s men will have Sergio Rico to thank after the goalkeeper made a number of fantastic stops to keep his side in the game.
The draw puts Sevilla in the final Champions League spot on four points, while Villarreal are in 11th after scoring and conceding one goal in their opening two games.