Yes, its the first round of La Liga fixtures. Yes, to begin judging the outcome of the next 37 matches based solely on the opening day is foolish.
However, Real Madrid won’t care tuppence after (briefly) putting an end to a rotten run in La Liga which has seen the gradually fall further behind the country’s leading side, Barcelona.
La Liga kicked off on Friday as Athletic Club caused an early shock by beating La Blaugrana 1-0 courtesy of a stunning overhead kick by Aritz Aduriz. In falling to defeat on the opening day, an opportunity was presented to Zinedine Zidane’s side to do something they hadn’t done for 818 days. Move above Barcelona in the league table.
The stat comes via Marca, who note that you would have to go back to the
Furthermore, the victory over Celta Vigo had added value as it is was first time since the 2007/08 season that Madrid have been above Barcelona after the first matchday. That year, Los Blancos went on to win the title.
It is, of course, only the first match of the season. But, it will potentially provide Zidane’s new-look side with a degree of confidence moving forward for the rest of the campaign.
Even with the added incentive of overtaking the champions, Madrid made hard work of the win. Karim Benzema got the ball rolling in the 12th minute, but a 56th minute red card to Luka Modric threatened to derail the early celebrations. Madrid were undeterred though, as goals from Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez ensured Iker Losada’s late consolation mattered little.