Super Saturday for Espanyol, Celta, Atletico, Deportivo & Granada
Everton FC 0-1 RCD Espanyol
Espanyol continue to impress this pre-season. On this occasion they were up against strong opposition in Everton, but they could hardly have made a better start. Just six minutes had elapsed when Leo Baptistao converted from the penalty spot after Ruben Duarte had been fouled. That goal turned out to be the winner, although the English side had the chance to equalise with a penalty of their own, but goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez made a good save to deny Ross Barkley.
Middlesbrough FC 0-0 Real Sociedad
The Basques concluded their English tour with another very solid performance, despite once again being unable to come away with a win. Xabi Prieto and Juanmi had La Real‘s best chances, but Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes – a familiar face for all LaLiga players and fans – was equal to everything thrown at him.
Crystal Palace FC 3-1 Valencia CF
Palace striker Connor Wickham stole the show in the first half, putting his side ahead after eight minutes and doubling his tally, and the scoreline, with a penalty before the break. Valencia did their utmost to get back into the game, but were hit by a sucker punch when Mile Jedinak hit home another spot-kick to make it 3-0. Eugeni was at least able to bag a consolation effort for the Spanish outfit in the latter stages.
AS Nancy 0-0 R. Sporting
The Stade Marcel Picot was the stage for the Asturian club’s maiden LaLiga World outing. Two of the most eye-catching performers for the visitors were new signings Victor Rodriguez and goalkeeper Diego Mariño, but in the end no breakthrough was forthcoming at either end. The bad news for Sporting and their coach Abelardo Fernandez was the injury to Burgui, who was in real pain when he came off in the second half with a left-ankle problem.
FC Crotone 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Following their tour of Australia, the Rojiblancos played their last LaLiga World game of the summer in the Italian city of Cosenza. Their opponents on the day, Crotone, offered plucky resistance but were ultimately powerless to withstand the quality of Diego Simeone’s charges. Two new faces, Nico Gaitan and Diogo Jota, got the goals for Atletico.
Liverpool FC 4-0 FC Barcelona
The Catalans ended their International Champions Cup campaign with a heavy defeat at Wembley. Liverpool came storming out of the blocks and got their noses in front through Sadio Mane’s finish following a counter-attack. Despite Barcelona’s response, the Merseysiders extended their lead early in the second half through an own goal by their former player, Javier Mascherano. Divock Origi and Marko Grujic subsequently rounded off a highly satisfying victory for the Reds.
D. Alavés 0-0 R. Zaragoza (5-3 on penalties)
Contrary to what the scoreline might suggest, this was a high-intensity all-LaLiga clash – held at Olaranbe as part of the sixth edition of the Virgen Blanca Trophy – with no shortage of chances for both sides. With neither team able to make the most of their openings, it went to penalties and Alaves came out on top, prevailing 5-3.
Montpellier HSC 3-0 Real Betis
The Andalusians went into the game in flying form, but were unable to avoid slipping to their first loss of the pre-season. To compound Betis’s woes, new signing Antonio Sanabria was forced off in the first half after hurting his right shoulder. The match was still goalless at half-time, but the hosts were ruthless after the restart, running out emphatic winners thanks to Ryad Boudebouz’s penalty, followed by efforts from Ellyes Skhiri and Steve Mounie.
FC Girondins de Bordeaux 1-1 At. Osasuna
The Pamplona club continued its preparations for its return to the LaLiga Santander with a creditable draw with Bordeaux, despite being a man down for practically the whole second half due to Fausto Tienza’s sending-off. Imanol Garcia had handed Osasuna an early lead, but the French side levelled midway through the first half through Frederic Guilbert.
Pescara Calcio 1-2 RC Celta
The LaLiga tourists secured another victory in Italy, on this occasion over Pescara at the Stadio Teofilo Patini in Castel di Sangro. Summer recruit Naranjo broke the deadlock with a header, before the Italians equalised through Rey Manaj. Iago Aspas popped up to make it 2-1 with nine minutes left and Celta held on for the win.
RB Leipzig 3-2 SD Eibar
The Basques wrapped up their Austrian adventure with a defeat, despite a highly impressive first-half performance. Indeed, Eibar were 2-0 up at the interval courtesy of a Bebe brace. However, the Germans managed to turn it around after the break, with Marcel Sabitzer and Yussuf Poulsen on target and Unai Elgezabal putting through his own net.
CD Feirense 0-1 RC Deportivo
The Galicians earned another triumph against the newly promoted Portuguese outfit. Lucas Perez showcased his goalscoring prowess yet again with a second-half winner to poop the hosts’ party on the day when their squad for the upcoming season were paraded in front of the home fans.
Rayo Vallecano 2-0 CD Leganes
This Madrid derby between two LaLiga sides went the way of Rayo, who put themselves well on course for the victory in the first period thanks to goals from Patrick Ebert and Javi Guerra. Jose Ramon Sandoval’s men then held on to their advantage in the second 45 minutes, which saw Leganes make no fewer than 10 substitutions.
Cordoba CF 0-1 Granada CF
It was a different story in the other all-LaLiga derby of the day, with the top-flight team triumphing on this occasion. Following a deadlocked first half, Granada made the breakthrough around the hour mark through David Barral’s penalty. Cordoba pushed for an equaliser but were unable to find the net.
Malaga CF 0-0 UC Sampdoria (4-2 on penalties)
The Andalusians retained the Costa del Sol Trophy by overcoming their Italian opponents in a decidedly hard-fought encounter. It took a penalty shoot-out to separate the two teams, with Michael Santos, Charles, Mikel Villanueva and Zdravko Kuzmanovic on the mark for Malaga.
FC Porto 1-0 Villarreal CF
Villarreal did not enjoy the rub of the green in the last match of the day and fell to their first reverse of the pre-season. Andre Silva’s solitary strike after 12 minutes was enough to win it for Porto at the Estadio do Dragao, while both Alexandre Pato and Manu Trigueros came close to getting the Yellow Submarine back on level terms.