spain review

La Liga: Atletico slump to Malaga defeat

August 30, 2009

Atletico Madrid made a poor start to their La Liga campaign when they were humbled 3-0 at Malaga on Sunday.

Villarreal surrendered a 1-0 lead at Osasuna to draw 1-1, promoted Xerez lost 2-0 at Real Mallorca in their first match in Spain's top flight, Athletic Bilbao beat visiting Espanyol 1-0 and Getafe thumped Racing Santander 4-1.

Nabil Baha gave Malaga the lead against Atletico in the 33rd minute and Manu Torres was on hand to smash in a loose ball from close range for their second just after the hour. Xavi Torres completed the rout with a header in the 90th minute.

Atletico coach Abel Resino was sent to the stands midway through the first half for protesting the referee's decision to caution Argentina forward Sergio Aguero.

Real Madrid began their campaign to dethrone treble winners Barcelona with a 3-2 home win over Deportivo Coruna on Saturday.

Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo twice put Real ahead, Ronaldo from the penalty spot, before Lassana Diarra lashed in a long-range winner on the hour.

Barca's opening match of the season against Sporting Gijon has been put back to Monday (2000 GMT) due to the Spanish and European champions' European Super Cup match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Friday, which they won 1-0.