Wed, 21 Oct 2020

MADRID, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid kicked off their title defense with a draw away to Real Sociedad this weekend, while Villarreal showed their firepower and Granada ended a perfect week. Here are some things we learned during Matchday 2 in La Liga.

1. Same issues for Real Madrid

It may seem harsh to say that the reigning Champions have problems scoring goals, but that was one of Real Madrid's main issues last season, with much of the responsibility falling on Karim Benzema.

Real opened their season with a 0-0 draw away to Real Sociedad on Sunday after 90 minutes where they controlled the ball for large periods, but failed to create the clear chances needed to take all three points. It's true they still lack match practice after just one warm up game and that Martin Odegaard gave glimpses that he will slot into the side with few problems. Meanwhile the return of Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Isco after injury should also help Zinedine Zidane, but for the moment it looks as if scoring enough goals is again going to be Zidane's main headache this season.

2. Alcacer and Moreno: Villarreal's deadly duo

Villarreal's league campaign got off to a slow start with a 1-1 draw at home to Huesca a week ago and things looked to be going wrong again on Saturday when they fell behind to Eibar. However, Gerard Moreno levelled the score in the 62nd minute with an excellent goal that saw him turn on a sixpence before firing home and Paco Alcacer sealed the win with a calm finish when put clean through. In Moreno and Alcacer, new Villarreal coach Unai Emery knows he has players who are both capable of netting between 15-20 goals a season (Moreno scored 18 last season and was the top scoring Spaniard in La Liga) and the pair will give his side a lot of points as they look to qualify for the Champions League this campaign.

3. Reality check for Valencia while Aspas marches on

Valencia's 4-2 win at home to Levante a week ago was a morale boost to a club that has internal problems and lost key players over the summer. However, Javi Gracia's side received a reality check on Saturday when they were outplayed by Celta Vigo, who beat them 2-1 with two goals from club captain Iago Aspas.

Gracia is still asking for new signings and he would surely love a player like Aspas, who was quick and intelligent with his first goal and then netted a dipping free kick for the second. Celta have struggled in the past two seasons and Aspas has been vital in saving them both times - while he remains fit, Celta should be OK.

4. Great week for Granada

Granada were last season's surprise package with a seventh place finish qualifying them for Europe for the first time in the club's history and the first week of this season implies their second campaign could be just as good.

Diego Martinez's side kicked off with a 2-0 win at home to Athletic Club, won 4-0 away in Albania in the Europa League qualifying round and then defeated Alaves this Sunday.

Martinez's side are tight in midfield and defense, really dangerous from set pieces and have the experienced Roberto Soldado in attack; this week they have shown last season was no fluke.

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