Five major talking points from La Liga's opening weekend

Five major talking points from La Liga's opening weekend

Real Madrid enjoyed a successful outing on the opening weekend of the new La Liga season, while their archrivals Barcelona were condemned to a 1-0 loss away to Athletic Bilbao. 

It was an explosive weekend, with Villareal vs Granada match that ended in a 4-4 draw arguably the match of the weekend.

With the first week done and teams gearing up for the second week, we take a look at some of the talking points that we noted;

1. Barcelona's shocking defeat

The defending champions stumbled in their first match of the campaign after a well-taken Aduriz goal in the dying minutes of the match gave Bilbao all the three points.

Prior to the match, all talk was on Barca's key man Lionel Messi missing out after failing to recover in good time following a calf injury.

It was an underwhelming performance, and not even new signing Antoine Griezmann, who was deployed on the wing, could help them.

To further compound their problems, Luis Suarez was replaced after suffering an injury, and with Coutinho already having left for Bayern on loan, it might be a bumpy ride for Ernesto Valverde in the coming weeks. 

Many questioned the manager's 'suitability' with some fans running the hashtag #valverdeout on Twitter. 

2. Real Madrid's victory

The Los Blancos put their injury troubles behind them to register a 3-1 away win over Celta Vigo. The scoreline, however, did not reflect the happenings on the pitch, with the hosts having been a better side in large spells of the match.

Zidane was not able to call on any of his new signings for the opening match, with marquee signing Eden Hazard sustaining an injury on Friday evening in training. The team relied on its old cog to deliver, and deliver they did.

Led by Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Toni Kroos, the team put up a real fight and despite being reduced to 10 men after Modric was red-carded, they held on to score two goals and claim the win. The kind of spirit Zidane would want to see from his team. 

3. Joao Felix is a star in the making

Eyebrows were raised when Atletico forked out £113million for the teenager. He has however shown that he can live with the pressure that comes with such a huge fee.

He dazzled in the preseason and has continued with the same form into the new season in La Liga. The Portugues prodigy was at the heart of everything good that happened as Atleti sunk Getafe at home, and won a penalty, even though Morat missed from the spot. 

His runs and ability to dribble make him a lethal weapon for Diego Simeone, and we might see a better side than what they've had in the last couple of seasons. 

4. Luka Modric's red-card due to new rules

The Croat international was shown a straight red card after stepping on Denis Suarez, and particularly the Achilles tendon.

The new rule clearly specified that the Achilles tendon was to be protected from stomps and Modric paid for this, despite not having done it on purpose.

It was also the first La Liga red card, which was a second for the former Spurs playmaker in his Madrid career. 

5. Zidane's new Galactico

With the Frenchman unable to call on his new signings in the opening weekend majorly due to injuries, it might take a while before we finally see his new galactico team. 

Eden Hazard might be out for three to four weeks, Rodrygo the same, with the likes of Jovic yet to fully recover. 

Zidane will be forced to rely on the old stones that he wanted to get rid of, the likes of Gareth Bale and the returning James Rodriguez. 

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