La Liga Round Up: Rayo Vallecano and Valencia kick off 2023/24 with key wins

Rayo Vallecano and Valencia kicked off the new 2023/24 La Liga season in winning style.

La Liga opted for two Friday night games to restart the Spanish top-flight campaign and Rayo and Valencia both enjoyed victorious trips down to Andalucia.

Rayo narrowly missed out on a shock European qualification place at the end of the 2022/23 season with head coach Andoni Iraola moving on to the Premier League from Vallecas.

New boss Francisco Rodriguez has looked to build on that momentum over the summer and they made a perfect start away at Almeria.

Isi Palazon scored the first goal of the new season as he calmly slotted home from the penalty spot early on.

The visitors opted to swap penalty takers just after as Randy Nteka fired home from the spot to make it 2-0 on the night to Rayo.

Almeria carried an intermittent threat either side of the break as Rayo keeper Stole Dimitrievski produced a string of key saves to seal the win.

In the late game, Valencia left it until the final moments to secure all three points away at Sevilla.

Both sides created chances in a hectic opening 45 minutes at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan before Mouctar Diakhaby steered the visitors in front.

Sevilla responded positively to the setback as Youssef En-Nesyri headed the home side level with 10 minutes to play.

But there was to be a thrilling finale on a sweltering night in Sevilla with Loic Bade sent off in the closing stages.

Substitute Javi Guerra scored a key winner off the bench for Los Che in their battle for survival last season and the 20-year-old emphatically powered home the winning goal.

Wins for both sides sets them up perfectly for a busy run of matches this month with Rayo heading to Granada on August 21 and Valencia hosting Las Palmas four days before.

Images via Getty Images

Tags Andoni Iraola Francisco Rodríguez Isi Palazon Javi Guerra Loic Bade Mouctar Diakhaby Randy Nteka Stole Dimitrievski Youssef En-Nesyri
La Liga - Club News