Spanish La Liga Live - Week 2
Levante v Murcia
Murcia made a dream start to their La Liga campaign this year as they upset Real Zaragoza 2-1 in their opening fixture played in front of a packed Nueva Condomina stadium. Buoyed by goals from Mejía and Baiano, Murcia ensured that their return to top flight football was a memorable one for their fans.
Pablo García was the man to watch out for in that encounter as he set up both goals. Goitom, Abel and Pignol had wonderful opportunities to increase the home side's lead, but Zaragoza held on. However they will need to be in top form as they viosit Levant in their second fixture.
In many ways this match can decide if Murcia have it in them to maintain their position in top flight Spanish football. Murcia have no injury worries and can field their whole squad against Levante.
On the other hand Levante are struggling with injuries to Courtois and Arveladze. The former is being evaluated on a daily basis, while the latter has torn his meniscus and is expected to be off for almost a month.
Levante had a nightmarish start to their La Liga campaign as they went down 0-3 at Mallorca. Ibagaza scored twice for the home side, while Güiza rounded off the scoring. It will take a huge effort from Levante to score their first goal and collect their first points in La Liga this season.
One good news for the team is that they have completed the signing of striker Christian Rigano from Messina. Rigano had not made up his mid for several weeks, but finally decided to join Levante.
It is unclear if he will play the game against Murcia.
Watch Levante v Murcia Live on free-football.tv.
Real Zaragoza v Racing Santander
Real Zaragoza had a horror beginning to their Spanish La Liga campaign as they went down 1-2 to newcomers Murcia. For a team that has self-confessed ambitions to finish in the top four this season, there could not have been a worse beginning.
Oliveira was the lone goal scorer in the game for Zaragoza, but overall the team looked listless on the field. In their second fixture, Zaragoza face Racing Santander, who had a wonderful beginning to their new La Liga campaign as they held might Barcelona to a draw at home.
Zaragoza were dealt a severe blow when Matuzalem was sent off against Murcia. He will not be available to play against Racing and that will definitely upset their plans. However winger Pablo Aimar appears to be in top form and Zaragoza will be hoping he fires on all cylinders.
Racing Santander have no such worries as they have had a dream beginning to their La Liga campaign. However even they will be without the suspended Smolarek, who misses out after his red card in the August 26 game.
New manager Marcelino will be pleased with his first game in charge and will hope to build on that result for the rest of the season. The club have brought in Jorge López from Valencia and Aldo Duscher from Deportivo La Coruna and will hope for better showing from both these players.
Last season this fixture ended in a 0-0 draw in May this year. Watch Real Zaragoza v Racing Santander Live on free-football.tv.
Valladolid v Deportivo La Coruna
Valladolid clash with Deportivo LaCoruna in their second fixture of the Spanish La Liga season after making a good beginning to their campaign. Valladolid beat Espanyol away from home thanks to a fine goal by Llorente.
Deportivo had a nightmarish start to their La Liga campaign after they went down 0-3 to newcomers Almeria. Deportivo have a new manager in Lotina who has signed from Real Sociedad and the club will hope for better results under him, but the beginning could not have been worse.
Negredo, Soriano and Crusat were the goal scorers for Almeria who looked settled despite returning to top flight after some years. Deportivo had signed Mexican midfielder Guardado, but he made no difference to the match as the home side crashed to a humiliating defeat.
Last season Deportivo had attainted the 13th spot and will be hoping to improve in their game against Valladolid if they are to entertain hopes to a top-half finish in the la Liga this year.
La Liga newcomers Valladolid have been busy in the transfer market this season and have brought in many new faces. Butelle, Estoyanoff and Sisi have arrived on loan from Valencia, while Vivar Dorado, Camacho, Ogbeche and Jonathan Sesma have been signed with a view to bolster squad strength in order to retain their position in top flight Spanish football.
The last time these two teams met was in the 2003-04 La Liga season and this fixture had ended in a 1-1 draw. Deportivo will be hoping for a result this time as they search for their first points this year.
Watch Valladolid v Deportivo La Coruna Live on Free-football.tv
Real Betis v Espanyol
Real Betis made a sedate beginning to their La Liga season as they drew 1-1 away to Recreativo Huelva at home on Day 1 this season. Their next fixture is at home to Espanyol, who crashed to a 0-1 defeat to newcomers Valladolid at home.
Sinama-Pongolle had opened the scoring for Recreativo, but Nano made sure Betis shared the spoils at the very least. Héctor Cúper's side looked a much improved team from last season and they will hope to build on this result for the season ahead.
Last season the club finished just above relegation in 16th spot and will hope for better results this time around. New manager Cuper has brought in several new faces including Babic, Mark González and Ricardo have also arrived at the club. The club has also signed Argentina midfielder Leandro Somoza on loan.
Meanwhile Betis have also set their sights on West Ham striker Bobby Zamora. Rumors to this effect began after Betis sporting director Manuel Momparlet watched Zamora in last weekend's game against Birmingham. Betis are also interested in signing to Newcastle United winger Albert Luque, but have thus far been unable to convince him to stay.
Betis have one injury concern as Gonzalez was knocked up in training and his fitness is being evaluated on a daily basis.
Espanyol have a huge headache as three of their players are sidelined with injuries. the nature of injuries to Garcia and Rufete remain unknown, while Tamudo will miss at least three weeks from a thigh injury suffered in September last.
Espanyol manager Ernesto Valverde has brought in four new players this season including the loan signings of Clemente Rodríguez from Spartak Moscow and Lafuente from Athletic Bilbao. But he will need to motivate his team if he wants to ensure they finish above the 12th position attained last season.
Watch Real Betis v Espanyol Live on free-football.tv
Athletico Madrid v Mallorca
Atletico Madrid lost to rivals Real Madrid in the Madrid derby on the opening day of the Spanish La Liga season. Agüero began in fine fashion for the visitors, but Raul and Wesley Sneijder made sure the defending champions were not embarrassed at home on the first day of a new season.
Athletico are yet to recover from the loss of star striker Fernando Torres who had expressed his interest in joining Liverpool. The 23-year old joined the Anfield team for a fee of £27 million and his absence appears to have weakened the strike department at Madrid.
Atletico coach Javier Aguirre has brought in several new players like Simao, Reyes, Diego Forlán and Luis García and will be hoping for a better showing from his wards against Mallorca.
Mallorca won 3-0 against Levante in their opening game of the new La Liga season. Ibagaza scored twice for the home team, once from the penalty spot and once from a field goal. Güiza scored the remaining goal for Mallorca to leave them sitting in the top half of the league table after day 1 of the new season.
Mallorca manager Gregorio Manzano has brought in six new players this season including a loan move for Valencia's David Navarro. Germán Lux from River Plate, Osasuna's Webó and Atletico Madrid's Molinero are his other notable signings. He will be pleased with his side's display against Levante and will hope they continue in the same vein for the rest of the season.
Last time these teams met, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Watch Athletico Madrid v Mallorca Live on free-football.tv
Getafe v Recreativo Huelva
Getafe had a forgettable opening match against Sevilla as they went down 1-4, but the most haunting moment of the game will be the fatal heart attack suffered by Sevilla's Antonio Puerta, who succumbed to the cardiac arrest.
Pablo Hernández's free kick gave the visitors a shock lead at Sevilla, but Navas, Luis Fabiano, Kanouté and Kerzhakov all scored for the home side to establish dominance and subdue Getafe.
Getafe finished ninth in the La Liga in 2006-07 season and will hope to put in a better performance this time around, but will have to pull up their socks against Recreativo if they are to pose any serious challenge to the top teams in La Liga this season.
Getafe have brought in French left back Franck Signorino from Nantes, but he was largely invisible at Sevilla. They have also agreed to a loan transfer of striker Braulio Nobrega from Athletico Madrid.
Recreativo Huelva on the other hand have made a bright start to their season as they held Betis to a 1-1 draw. Martin Caceres, Garcia Marcos, Jorge Martins and Javier Camunas all made their debuts for Recreativo, but Beto and Quique Alvarez were absent because of injury.
However the side redeemed themselves and will look to build on this fantastic result for the rest of the season.
Last season this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw and both teams will want to avoid that this time around. Watch Getafe v Recreativo Huelva Live on free-football.tv.
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona will clash with Athletic Bilbao in their second match of the Spanish La Liga season. Fans will be hoping for an improved performance from the 0-0 draw against Racing Santander on the opening day.
Barca were unable to break though the Racing defense even though the hosts played with just 10 men for the last 20 minutes of the game. Eric Abidal and Yaya Toure made their starting debuts in the match while Thierry Henry had to be content with an unfamiliar bench role as Frank Rijkaard went into the match with his tried and tested strike force of Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Messi.
However Henry made an appearance in the second half and very nearly bagged all three points for his team, but his shot smashed against the post. Barcelona looked shaky for most of the first half and though they had the upper hand in the second half, with Racing reduced to 10 men, Barcelona's finishing left a lot to be desired.
Meanwhile Athletic Bilbao will have their hands full in keeping Barca's attackers at bay. Athletic earned a deserved 0-0 draw against Osasuna on the opening day of the campaign, but will be without the services of defender Aitor Ocio Carrión who was sent off in the match.
Barcelona thrashed Athletic 3-0 in the fixture last season and Barca fans will be hoping that their team returns to form with a similar performance. Watch Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao live on free-football.tv.
Sevilla v Osasuna
Sevilla will be looking to continue their impressive start to the new season with another victory when they face Osasuna on Monday.
Sevilla impressed in their 4-1 victory over Getafe on the opening day of the season but the victory came at a very heavy price with news that midfielder Antonio Puerta succumbed three days after suffering multiple heart attacks during the match.
Puerta collapased on the pitch during the game and had to be prevented by players and medics from swallowing his tongue. Though the 22 year old recovered enough to walk off from the pitch, he suffered another heart attack in the dressing room and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment.
The player was reported to have suffered from at least one more heart attack in the hospital before he died on Tuesday. Doctors revealed that Puerta died due to multiple organ failure due to prolonged cardiac arrest. Thousands thronged to Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan stadium to pay their last respects to one of Spain's most promising player.
The match will be played in a somber mood with the Professional Football League requesting the all teams to observe a minute's silence ahead of this week's matches. Watch Sevilla v Osasuna live on free-football.tv.
Villarreal v Real Madrid
Villarreal play Real Madrid in their next Spanish La Liga match at the Estadio El Madrigal on Sunday as the club looks to maintain their 100 percent record with a victory over Real Madrid.
Villarreal thrashed Valencia 3-0 on the opening day with goals from Jon Dahl Tomasson, Giuseppe Rossi and Santi Cazorla. David Villa and Joaquín were both sent off in the match, providing numerical superiority for Villarreal for a major portion of the match.
Villarreal manager Manuel Pellegrini has strengthened his team with no less than eight new players in the summer and will be looking to break into the top four of the table come the end of the season. Pellegrini will be impressed with his team's performance as they dominated possession as well as defended well against a superior Valencia attack.
Meanwhile Real Madrid will be looking to put behind the disappointment of the loss to Sevilla in the Super Cup and make it two wins in a row against Villarreal. Having spent big in the summer, coach Bernd Schuster will be looking for a good start to the season as his team prepares to defend its league title. Royston Drenthe should be fit for the tie after suffering minor injuries in a road accident on Monday.
Villarreal had won the fixture 1-0 last season and will be looking to repeat the performance on Sunday. Watch Villarreal v Real Madrid live on free-football.tv.
Almeria v Valencia
Valencia will be looking to bounce back from the opening day defeat to Villarreal and kick start their season when they face newly promoted side Almeria on Sunday.
Valencia suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of Villarreal on the opening day and will have to work hard if they are to challenge for the La Liga title this season. Jon Dahl Tomasson, Giuseppe Rossi and Santi Cazorla scored for Villarreal as Valencia were reduced to nine men by the 67th minute.
Manager Quique Sánchez Flores will be without the services of David Villa and Joaquin after the players were sent off in the match against Villarreal. Flores would have been furious with Villa as the striker picked up unnecessary yellow cards in the match, once for arguing with the referee and the second one for diving in the penalty box.
Meanwhile Almeria will be delighted with the start to the new season as they upset the odds with an impressive 3-0 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna on the opening day of the new season. Goals from Álvaro Negredo Sánchez, Fernando Soriano and Albert Crusat saw the newly promoted team start the new season with a victory.
Watch Almeria v Valencia live on free-football.tv.
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