La Liga Matchday 1 Reviews: Barcelona held off while Real Madrid started off with 3 points

La Liga 2022/23 officially started as Barcelona and Real Madrid were both in action during the weekends, but they did not share the same results.

Barcelona 0-0 Rayo Vallecano: Disappointing start for Blaugranas Spotify Camp Nou hosted the very first game of 2022/23 La Liga, as Barcelona faced Rayo Vallecano.

Despite a brilliant pre-season campaign, it was quite a disappointing start for Barcelona. The host was held to a goalless draw.

There were as many as 18 shots fired up until the 80th minute of the game, but Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ousmande Dembele could not convert them successfully even once. Xavi handed debuts to the triplet new signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen after they were registered on Friday night.

Blaugranas had two goals ruled offside among which was Lewandowskis’ chip, while the other was Franck Kessi’s.

Barca’s captain Sergio Busquets was sent off during the extra time of the 2nd half for a clumsy elbow at Rayo’s Radamel Falcao.

It was important to mention Ter Stegen’s amazing performance that saved Barca a humiliating defeat. Ther German keeper stopped Garcia’s finish right before the break in a one-on-one situation, following at least two more crucial saves in the second half of the game.

It’s safe to say Barca did well, but it was not enough to earn 3 points. They must improve their finishing skills before the visit to Real Sociedad in MD2 on 22nd August.

Almeria 1-2 Real Madrid: 3 points for Los Blancos as the defending champion started with drama It was thrilling as Real Madrid came from behind to beat La Liga’s newly promoted side Almeria 1-2.

The defending champion needed David Alaba’s stunning free-kick to seal a second half turnaround after Largie Ramazani took the lead for Almeria early in the game.

Los Blancos had as much as double the possession rate (68% to 32%) compared to Almeria, but it did not mean that they have an easy game.

Lucas Vazquez drew Madrid level in the 61st minute and Alaba claimed the three points in the 75th minute, it was the defender’s first touch in the game after coming off the bench.

Almeria started strongly at the Power Horse Stadium and took a surprise lead through former Manchester United forward Ramazani in just the sixth minute. Antonio Rudiger was at fault with the offside trap, benefitting Ramazani with a sublime run and finishing to break the draw.

Both sides had chances in the first half, although perhaps the better ones fell to Madrid, but the game changed after the break when Luka Modric came on.

Intense Madrid pressure finally paid off when Vazquez slid home from six yards after good work from Vinicius Jr. Despite being outnumbered in the 6-yard box, Madrid still managed to equalize as Vazquez’s foot was faster and perfectly on time.

And Alaba completed the turnaround with a free-kick just moments after coming off the bench.

The host may feel they deserved more but Madrid ended the game with 29 shots — 15 of which were on target — as they kicked off their title defense campaign with three points and some dramas.