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Real Madrid start title defense with goalless draw

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-21 11:15
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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane during the match. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - Real Madrid began the defense of their La Liga title with a 0-0 draw away to Real Sociedad on Sunday night in a game they controlled for long stretches but created few clear-cut chances.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was without Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Isco, but he produced a surprise by including Martin Odegaard, who spent last season on loan in San Sebastian, in his starting 11 and leaving Casemiro on the subs bench.

Zidane's men controlled most of the ball in the first half, but it was a sterile domination with their only clear chance coming thanks to Karim Benzema after an error by home keeper Alex Remiro. At the other end, Thibaut Courtois produced a fine save to deny Alexander Isak.

The second half saw David Silva make his home debut, coming on for Isak shortly after the hour, while Casemiro, Fede Valverde and youngster Marvin Park, making his Madrid debut, came on for Zidane's side with 20 minutes left to play.

Real Madrid kept pressing, but Real Sociedad always gave the sensation of danger on the break with winger Ander Barrenetxea a precocious talent on the left.

The final chance of the match fell to Madrid's Tony Kroos but the German's effort went wide.

Granada continue their 100 percent start to the season that has seen them win two league games and qualify for the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Goals from Roberto Soldado and Darwin Machis gave Granada a 2-1 win at home to Alaves, whose goal was scored by Joselu.

Betis are another team with two wins from two games after Nabil Fekir's penalty after 10 minutes and William Caravalho's powerful drive from outside the area eight minutes later gave the team from Seville a comfortable 2-0 victory against Valladolid and maintain new coach Manuel Pellegrini's perfect start.

A first half goal from new signing Alvaro Negredo and an 83rd minute striker from Jorge Pombo gave Cadiz a 2-0 win away to Huesca in a duel between two newly promoted sides.

Cadiz looked disciplined after the opening goal from the veteran striker, while Huesca struggled to create clear chances throughout the game.

Iago Aspas scored twice as Celta Vigo won 2-1 at home to Valencia on Saturday night.

The Celta captain opened the scoring after receiving a pass from Nolito after 15 minutes in an entertaining match which saw Celta play some impressive football.

Valencia drew level when Maxi Gomez scored an impressive goal in the first minute of the second half following a pass from Daniel Wass but Aspas had the final word with a dipping free kick in the 57th minute.

Villarreal came back from a goal down to take their first win of the season with a 2-1 at home to Eibar.

Kike Gonzalez put Eibar ahead in the 50th minute, but Gerard Moreno scored an excellent goal after spinning in the area in the 62nd minute, before Paco Alcacer kept calm when put through on goal eight minutes later.

Finally, Jaime Mata's second half goal saw Getafe start their season with a 1-0 win at home to Osasuna. Mata scored from close range and his goal was given after a VAR review, when he had looked offside.

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