La Liga 2012 Week 1: Ex-Segunda Teams Sweep

It was a good day to be a recently-ascended Liga team Monday evening, as they went 2-0 against their better-credentialed opponents, in a relatively shocking display of how weak the bottom of the Liga remains. Rayo Vallecano, last year's ascendant side-turned-almost-relegated-catastrophe, also took home a victory against Granada, another almost-descended-near-catastrophe.

Deportivo 2-0 Osasuna

Depor looked fantastic in their Liga BBVA debut, pressuring a tired-looking Osasuna side from the start. While Osasuna, who almost managed to grab the last European spot last season, defended brusquely, Depor showcased a fungible, exciting style, able to attack from any direction at any time.

They broke through in the 52nd minute, when Riki took on a couple defenders after a brilliant pass, and slapped in a goal. The key moment for Depor, however, was the entrance of Nelson Oliveira, the young Portuguese forward. Oliveira dominated Osasuna's back line all game, creating danger everywhere he went. He was finally compensated for his efforts when, in the 92nd minute, he slotted a ball into Osasuna's net.

Zaragoza 0-1 Valladolid

Valladolid made their triumphant return to Primera the same way they ascended: with a happy, exciting game, not losing the ball in bad places, and constantly moving themselves around their opponent. And Zaragoza began the Liga much the way they played their last: boringly sterile, though trying desperately not to lose. And hey, it worked last year, so why not keep doing it this year. (Poor Villarreal. Zara should've gone down, not them.)

Valladolid was in complete control of the match, and they found their winner on 45 minutes, when Óscar and Omar combined down the right side, the latter finally smashing in a brilliant cross to the former who slotted it home with ease.

Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Granada

Much like Zaragoza, Rayo and Granada picked up more or less where they left off last year: desperately trying to hang on to their top-flight football. Rayo was more or less successful, while Granada was not: neither side was particularly impressive on the night, but a brilliant free kick by Trashorras in the 90th minute stole the win for the Vallecanos. And that was all they needed last year to be successful: a well placed goal at the right time--right, Villarreal?

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