Real Madrid started the new La Liga season with a victory, but Manuel Pellegrini’s expensively assembled side were made to sweat at the Santiago Bernabéu before sealing a 3-2 triumph over RC Deportivo La Coruña on the first day of the new Liga campaign.
New signings Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Raúl Albiol and Álvaro Arbeloa all started for the Merengues, but it was an old-boy who had the fans on their feet first, Raúl González opening the scoring on 26 minutes after a Benzema shot had bounced back off the post. Madrid spent close to €250m in the summer in a bid to wrestle the silverware back from last season’s treble winners FC Barcelona, but they were stunned on the half-hour when Riki drew the visitors level with an excellent header that left Iker Casillas no chance in the Madrid goal.
Madrid, however, controlled much of the first-half and deservedly went back in front on 35 minutes when world record €94m-signing Cristiano Ronaldo opened his account for his new club from the penalty spot after Raúl had been brought down by Depor goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia. Juan Carlos Valerón fired Depor level again a minute after the restart and it was left to lesser known Lassana Diarra to restore the smiles to the Madridistas’ faces, the French international hitting the winner with his first league goal for the club on the hour.