La Liga Wk1: Betis & Villarreal collapse

Levante stunned Real Betis and defensive errors cost Villarreal against Real Sociedad in the first half of La Liga’s opening round.

Getting the 2018-19 campaign under way were Girona and Real Valladolid, the latter of whom had returned to the top flight after a four-year absence.

Eusebio Sacristan’s side saw 60 percent of the ball and had nine attempts on Jordi Masip’s goal as opposed to Valladolid’s two, but not even Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts was able to find a way through.

Betis reached Week 1 with huge hopes after they qualified for the Europa League and spent big on the likes of William Carvalho.

However, they sorely underestimated a Levante side who ended last season with eight wins out of a possible 11 and inflicted Barcelona’s only defeat of the campaign.

Jose Luis Morales played a key role in the Valencians’ resurgence, and he helped himself to a brace after Roger Marti broke the deadlock en route to a 3-0 victory.

There wasn’t quite as much excitement over at Balaidos, where it finished one apiece between Celta Vigo and Espanyol.

The Catalans had won all six of their friendlies under new boss Rubi, and they took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Mario Hermoso.

Yet Celta were spared when David Lopez turned into his own net, making for a fair result on balance.

Finally, Real Sociedad came from a debut goal down to beat Villarreal 2-1 and spoil Santi Cazorla’s return to La Ceramica.

Cazorla started his first game for two years, having moved back to Villarreal from Arsenal over the summer, and Gerard Moreno – another player to re-join – gave the Yellow Submarine an early lead.

However, Ramiro Funes Mori’s hashed pass out assisted Willian Jose’s half-volleyed equaliser, before another misjudgment at the back by Alvaro Gonzalez gifted Juanmi the winning strike.

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