Four games into the current campaign, and reigning champions Barcelona have just one victory to their name.
In an enthralling encounter, the Catalans were held 2-2 by Valencia at the Camp Nou last night, leaving them mired in mid-table.
Though they dominated the opening exchanges, the hosts had to wait until late in the first half to take the lead, as French forward Ludovic Guily, atoning for two earlier misses, drilled home a spectacular finish from an acute angle on the inside left channel.
Barca were left stunned however when, in two frenetic minutes after the restart, they found themselves trailing 2-1, courtesy of a David Villa brace.
The first came from the penalty spot, after Edmilson was adjudged, somewhat contentiously, to have impeded the forward.
Little over a minute later, Villa grabbed his – and Valencia’s – second. As goalkeeper Victor Valdes prepared to punt the ball upfield, ‘Pancho’ – as the ex-Zaragoza striker has been christened – got in the way of the clearance, and the ball rebounded off his right shin and into the back of the Barca net.
And it was an even more calamitous keeping error that enabled Deco to clinch an equalizer for the home team.
After coming out to collect a seemingly innocuous cross from Ronaldinho, Canizares, the Valencia goalie, fumbled the ball in mid – flight, allowing Deco to sneak in and the slot the ball home from close range.
Newly-promoted Celta Vigo once again find themselves afoot the summit of La Liga, after temporarily relinquishing top spot to Getafe over the weekend.
Celta’s emerged 2-1 winners from their match with Villarreal who, having yet to register a victory so far this season, find themselves bottom of the table.
A brace by Fernando Bianio, the Brazilian forward, formerly of Real Mallorca, in the 27th and 47th minute respectively, gave the visitors an unassailable lead at El Madrigal; Juan Roman Riquelme’s late drive was mere consolation for the hosts.
For their part, Getafe managed to muster a 1-1 draw at home to Real Mallorca.
Daniel Guiza’s early goal looked as though it may have been enough for the minnows but, with just three minutes of normal time remaining, the Islanders managed to salvage a point after Fernando Navarro fired home a powerful effort from close range.
Deportivo La Coruna – La Liga’s other early pace setters – spurned the chance to go top after drawing 1-1 with Real Betis at El Stadio Riazor.
The home side dominated the early stages of the match, with Valeron and Sergio going close in the opening three minutes. Two minutes later, they had a goal disallowed, after Ruben was adjudged to have been in an offside position when he received Diego Tristan’s cross field pass.
The Galacian’s profligacy was duly punished on the half-hour mark, when Ricardo Oilvera fired home from Joaquin’s right wing cross. It was the first goal that the hosts had conceded at El Razior this season.
It wasn’t long before they restored parity, however. Minutes before the interval, Diego Tristan converted a penalty after being tripped by Miguel Angel. As a result of their protestations, Betis striker Xisco and coach Senna Ferrer incurred yellow and red cards respectively.
After foiling Barcelona over the weekend, Atletico looked to be on course for another impressive victory after racing into a 2-1 lead against Real Sociedad in Aoeta.
Fernando Torres poked the away side into the lead as he controlled a low register cross before beating keeper Asier Riesgo from close range after nine minutes
Serbian striker Meteja Kezman doubled Atletico’s advantage ten minutes later with an inspired solo effort.
Sociedad reduced their arrears just after the break through Darko Kovacevic, before Turksih striker Nihat Kahveci leveled the score nine minutes from time.
In a frantic closing period, in which both teams had chances to win the match, Jose Bakero was sent off for the home side, allowing the Basques to push forward. Their endeavors were rewarded when, a minute into stoppage time, Kovacevic fired home his second of the match, granting Sociedad their second victory in as many games.
Though they remain unbeaten, Real Zaragoza recorded their first win of the campaign after beating Osasuna 3-1 at La Romereda.
After a goal-less first 45, the home side took the lead through Argentine striker Diego Milito. Sergio Garcia and Savio made the lead unassailable, rendering Ludovic Delporte’s late goal for the visitors meaningless.
A solitary strike from new boy Antonio, helped Racing Santander to a 1-0 victory over Espanyol. It is Racing’s second successive victory of the campaign, after beating Celta Vigo over the weekend.
To rub salt into the wounds, Espanyol had Albert Lopo sent off four minutes from the end.
Elsewhere, Malaga, who had Brazilian midfielder Anderson Silva sent off – drew 0-0 at home to Alaves, whilst Sevilla were held to the same scoreline by newly-promoted Cadiz in El Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.