Celta shocked Atlético Madrid, one of the title favorites, with a 2-0 victory; Joaquín won the Andalusian derby; and the Valencian derby was a draw.
Celta Overpower Atléti
Atlético were considered one of the preseason title favorites, but Celta Vigo put them to sword. Maxi Gómez pounced on a slip by Diego Godín and put away the first goal for Celta with a smart finish. Then, he put in a good cross for Aspas to head in for the 2-0. Celta almost had three, but VAR ruled it out for offside. A huge blow for Atléti, as they take only four points from their first three matches.
Betis Win Derby
Joaquín Sánchez came on as a sub and won a controversial Andalusian derby for Betis against Sevilla. Roque Mesa was sent off for a foul on Betis’s keeper, Pau López. Replays showed the keeper did a fair bit of play-acting and initiating the contact, but it was Mesa who got a second yellow. Joaquín came on as later and scored the winner with a header at the back post.
Valencian Derby Draw
Levante-Valencia ended in a draw in the searing heat. José Luis Morales had an absolutely brilliant run which culminated in giving Emmanuel Boateng a shooting chance, but the keeper parried it... only for Roger Martí to be on hand to tap in the first goal for Levante. FIFA World Cup star / living meme Denis Cheryshev got the equalizer for Valencia with a header from a Carlos Soler cross just three minutes later to make it 1-1. Martí put Levante back in front after bringing down a long ball from Enis Bardhi, to make it 2-1. A clumsy challenge inside the box on Soler allowed Dani Parejo the chance to tie it with a penalty for Valencia. He slotted it past the keeper’s left-hand side to make it 2-2. Coke was sent off for Levante in the 76th, but Valencia couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage and the match ended in a draw.
The other news in La Liga is that Real Madrid thrashed Leganés 4-1, while Barcelona doubled that scoreline, 8-2, against Huesca.