A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helped Real Madrid get their La Liga campaign off to a perfect start with a commanding 6-0 victory over Real Zaragoza on Sunday as they look to claw the league title back from Barcelona.
Real coach Jose Mourinho warned that the opening weekend of fixtures often spring surprises, but the game went according to plan for the Portuguese and it will serve as a statement of intent for Barca, who were in action away to Villarreal yesterday.
Ronaldo was the joint highest scorer in Spain last season with Lionel Messi on 53 goals and midway through the first half he opened his league account for this campaign after converting a Mesut Ozil pass.
Marcelo quickly added a second as Real peppered the Zaragoza goal. The home side were never in the contest and in the second half Real’s domination was reflected in the scoring, with Xabi Alonso (63 minutes) and Kaka (81 minutes) finding the back of the net, along with two more goals from Ronaldo after 70 and 86 minutes.
“In order to win you have to play well, but I am not going to hide from the fact that my friend [Zaragoza coach] Javier Aguirre has had problems and he has not been able to count on several important players,” Mourinho said. “At 2-0 the game was already over and so it depended on whether Real Madrid played together or individually, and the players chose the first option and we won by a big margin.”
A double from Alvaro Negredo saw Sevilla win the Andalusian derby 2-1 against Malaga.
Former Real youth product Negredo headed home in the first minute and was in imperious form against a Malaga side that is looking to push for a place in Europe this season after plenty of investment over the past year.
He was on target again midway through the first half as Sevilla dominated. Malaga’s expensive new signings failed to have an impact on the game until Santi Cazorla scored 10 minutes from time, but it was only to be a consolation.
Earlier, an unfamiliar RCD Mallorca side scraped a 1-0 win over RCD Espanyol thanks to a deflected Jonathan de Guzman goal.
There were five new faces in the Mallorca starting lineup and it was one of those, Alejandro Alfaro, who had the side’s best chance of the first half in the opening minute.
Espanyol grew as the game went on and after the break youngster Alvaro Vazquez hit the post and saw another effort well-saved.
The visitor’s lack of strength in attack proved crucial as a messy goal from de Guzman, which hit a defender and wrong-footed the goalkeeper, decided the encounter.
“This was a typical game for the start of the season and we won it through a bit of luck,” Mallorca coach Michael Laudrup said. “We played well in the first half considering that we had so many new players in the starting lineup.”
Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino was disappointed and accepted that the loss of players such as Pablo Osvaldo and Jose Callejon had made a difference to the team.
“It is clear that we have lost important figures, but still we played some good football and created chances, which gives us hope for the future. I am sad about the defeat and the way the goal came about,” Pochettino said.
New Getafe coach Luis Garcia watched his side draw 1-1 against his former club Levante UD.
Nicolas Miku, who had missed an early chance for Getafe, hit the back of the net after 62 minutes, but Levante fought back and netted a deserved equalizer from Juanlu Gomez.