This weekend the Spanish and Italian leagues commenced with more excitement than has been witnessed in the last few seasons. There were some very big surprises from the respective league giants as well as enthralling matches that inspired hope for numerous fans across the two countries.
In Spain, the most shocking result was Real Madrid’s barren draw at Mallorca. Jose Mourinho’s first match as coach of Los Blancos will be one he wishes to forget as quickly as possible. Of course its only the first match of the season, however, that result should give Madrid’s critics something to talk about.
Real was one of the highest spending club’s this summer acquiring a total of 5 top players who mostly impressed during the summer World Cup. Oezil, Khedira, Cannales, Pedro Leon and Angel di Maria were snapped up by the Spanish giants to be part of their renaissance this season.
Mourinho picked the positives from the match pointing out that defense wise, Los Blancos were solid.
“One positive is that from a defensive point of view we didn’t have any problems,” Mourinho said. “Another positive is the enormous number of chances we created in the second half. The negative is obviously the result. It is important to defend well and score when you are not at your best and we are far from our best. We didn’t play well but we did enough to win. We had five or six chances but didn’t take any of them and I am disappointed about that. We were solid defensively and if we had scored we would have taken the three points.”
Meanwhile fierce rivals Barcelona opened up the La Liga account with a convincing 3-0 demolition of Racing Santander . Messi, Iniesta and Villa were the goal scorers as the Catalan opened up a two point lead over their fierce rivals after match day 1.
In other fixtures, Valencia were 3-1 winners over Malaga, while Espanyol defeated Getafe by 3 goals to 1. The weekend’s biggest winners were Sevilla who thumped Levante 4-1.
Villarreal suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad adding to the number of results that were not expected. Atletico Madrid play Sporting Gijon later today in a match that dictate their campaign this season.
In Italy, things were not too different as traditional powerhouses Juventus and AS Roma collected negative results from their opening fixtures. Juventus however, came out worse as they slumped to a 1-0 loss away to Bari.
A lot was expected from the Bianconeri especially considering how much they spent to acquire some top class talent. After guiding Juve through to the Europa League despite the tough opposition , Luigi Del Neri expected a much easier task when they faced Bari yesterday.
That was not to be as Bari provided one of the shocks of the day to deny the 28 time Serie A champions victory under their new coach. Meanwhile in Rome, the Giallorosso were on Saturday held to a barren draw by new comers Cesena at the Stadio Olimpico.
Last season’s runners up failed to utilise their home advantage and as a result earned a point from a match that they should have won hands down. However, it was not all gloom as AC Milan recorded the biggest win of the weekend beating Lecce 4-0 at the San Siro.
Brazilian star Pato was on target twice to help the Rossoneri to one of their finest starts to a Serie A season in a long time. Thigo Silva and Inzaghi also scored goals on the night.
Fiorentina and Napoli drew 1-1, while Sampdoria beat Lazio 2-0. Palermo and Cagliari shared the spoils after their barren draw while Chievo were 2-1 winers over Catania.
Tonight champions Inter face Bologna in an opening fixture which they are expected to win.
Photo credit: rom & Golden Boy &