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Celta Vigo – who only this season returned to the Primera Liga – now find themselves at its summit, after securing an impressive 3-2 victory away to Real Madrid.

In a tumultuous match, the ‘little Celts’ took the lead on 8 minutes through Chilean defender Pablo Contreras, only to find themselves facing prospect of going into the interval 2-1 down as Brazilian duo Ronaldo and Julio Baptista – the former from a penalty – gave the home side the lead. A minute short of half – time, however, Liverpool cast off Antonio Nunez restored parity, heading against the club whom, coincidentally, he left to join the Mersysiders last season. With 11 minutes left on the clock, Cannobio’s contentious effort ricocheted off the bar, and was adjudged to have crossed the line.

Further controversy was to follow: Robinho, who once again impressed for his new club, believed that he had salvaged a point for Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s side a minute later, but his long range shot was disallowed for offside.

Rivals Barcelona, meanwhile, fared somewhat better. The Catalans recovered from their shock 0-0 draw against newly promoted Alaves on the opening day of the season to ease past a stubborn, defensive minded Real Mallorca 2-0 at the Camp Nou. Samuel Eto’o – last season’s top scorer in Spain – supplied the goals – both from headers, in the 27th and 32nd minute respectively. To add insult to injury, the Cameroon striker’s old club finished the game with nine men, after Ballesteros and Farinos received their marching orders late in the second half.

Level on points with the formative league leaders are Deportivo La Coruna. Javier Irueta’s side had to wait until four minutes into injury time, though, to overcome the much-fancied Atletico Madrid. As with the corresponding fixture last season, it was defender Joan Capdevila who delivered the coup de grace for the Basques, precluding a second scoreless draw in as many games for Atletico.

Valencia, who like Depor, are looking to recover from a comparatively poor season last time out, were lucky to escape with a point away to Real Zaragoza. Despite Anguelo securing an early lead for the visitors, Los Chez would slip behind within 25 minutes, after Ewerthon and Cani – who replaced the injured Brazilian striker 10 minutes after he had equalized – scored two good goals. The home side, however, failed to compound their lead, and were made to settle for a draw after David Villa met Mista’s through ball to make it 2 – 2.

Gefate and Atletico Bilbao remain third and fourth respectively after they played out an eventful 1 – 1 draw. The home side took the lead within the first half an hour when Gueia delivered a delightful chip over the head of the approaching Aranzubia. Bilbao ensured that they went in at half time level, though, when Yeaste’s in swinging corner found the late run of Casas, who duly headed home in the 40th minute. Both sides had chances to win the match late on, but neither could convert them.

The match between last season’s surprise packages, Villarreal and Sevilla, yielded the same scoreline, Argentine international striker Luciano Figueroa ensured that the yellow submarines staved off a second consecutive defeat, striking from close range to cancel out Carriera’s 41st minute goal for the visitors, who would have doubled their lead had not former Tottenham Hotspur striker Fredric Kanoute fizzed his 45th penalty wide of Barbosa’s left hand post. Worryingly for Manuel Pelliegrini’s side, they will be without creative catalyst Juan Roman Riquelme for the first match of their inaugural Champions League campaign against Manchester United this week. The Argentine limped off 30 minutes into the game after incurring an injury.

Fellow Champions League debutantes Real Betis atoned for their 1-0 opening day defeat to Valencia by beating Osasuna by the same margin. Olivera’s second half penalty was enough to secure the points for the Andalucians in a game largely bereft of major incident.

Elsewhere, Malaga and Racing Santander – both of whom struggled last season – are still to record their first victories of the new campaign. The latter went down 1-0 to newly promoted Cadiz. Just as it was looking as though the game was heading for a goalless draw, Santander keeper Dudu Aoutae failed to deal adequately with Estoyonaff’s speculative long range drive, allowing Jonathan Sesima to nip in and head the ball into an empty net. The former, meanwhile, lost 2-1 at home to Espanyol. Gerrardo’s penalty one minute from time proved a mere consolation, as the Parakeets marched into a 2-0 lead, with new signing Luis Garcia scoring the Catalans second, after setting up Zabaleta for the first.

Lastly, Real Sociedad clocked up their first points of the season, beating Alaves 2-1. The side from San Sebastian – who were playing their second derby match in a row – made much of the early running, and were finally rewarded for their efforts when Barkero converted a tenth minute penalty. He added to his tally 25 minutes later from another dead ball situation – this time a free kick – which rocketed into the top left corner of Banano’s net. Alaves reduced the deficit in the last minute courtesy of De Lucas, but Sociedad held on for a deserved victory.

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