·21 August 2023
·21 August 2023
La Liga continued with its double-header schedule on Monday nights, but few could accuse either game of lacking action or intensity, in spite of the hot weather in Spain.
Alaves 4-3 Sevilla
The home side got off to a great start after Luis Rioja rifled one into the bottom corner in the opening ten minutes. Sevilla would respond quickly though, with Erik Lamela’s effort from a set piece going wide, but turned goalwards inadvertently by Alaves defender Abdel Aqbar.
The game threatened to get out of hand for Alaves after Lamela hit the post from outside the box, and then found the inside of the post from the D shortly after. However their reponse was also swift. Left-back Ruben Duarte unleashed his own effort that found the inside of the post.
Into the second half, and Luis Garcia Plaza’s men turned up the heat on Sevilla, who crumbled under the pressure. A ball in from Rioja was flicked first by Jon Guridi and then nodded in by Kike Garcia, the veteran striker getting his first Alaves goal on his home debut to make it 3-2. Marko Dmitrovic would be called into action on several occasions to keep the score down, but when Rioja found a Kike run from deep in behind again, the bustling striker showed nimble feet to round the Serbian and finish from the angle.
Sevilla looked shellshocked and only in the final ten minutes did they look likely again. The game had one final twist as Rafa Mir drove down the left, cut in and should have crossed – had he not found the far side netting from another tight angle.
Los Babazorros move onto three points, and will be brimming with belief after an excellent performance. The Jose Luis Mendilibar fairytale won’t last long with performances like this – they looked outmatched at times, and start off with no points from their first two matches.
Granada 0-2 Rayo Vallecano
Granada followed up a good display away at Atletico Madrid last week with more promise, but no delivery.
Both sides had chances through the opening hour, perhaps the best being Bryan Zaragoza’s scampering runs and then his shot which struck the post from a pullback.
Rayo Vallecano carried plenty of danger though, and with the introduction of Jorge de Frutos for his debut, looked very fast on the break. His run was halted in the box with 15 minutes to go, but Unai Lopez picked up the ball and backheeled it into the path of Alvaro Garcia, who found the inside of the post with a lovely finish.
Barely had they taken the lead when they put together another smooth attack to kill the game. Pacha Espino played Garcia in down the line. The goalscorer picked out Raul de Tomas inside the box, and he unselfishly layed off for Pathe Ciss to thump the ball into the far corner.
Late on Antonio Puertas saw red for Granada after leaving his studs in during a challenge, and still found time to come close twice more. Ultimately, Paco Lopez is looking at his side bottom of the table without doing too much wrong.