Liga - Huge drama as Spanish season starts with a bang

Athletic Bilbao keeper Gorka Iraizoz had a goal disallowed and they were denied a penalty in a dramatic finale to their 1-0 defeat by a Malaga side who finished with nine men as the La Liga season got underway on Saturday.

Liga - Huge drama as Spanish season starts with a bang

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Luis Alberto of Malaga CF (R) celebrates with Sergio Sanchez after scoring against Athletic Club Bilbao at La Rosaleda

Bilbao were left fuming by the referee's decision to rule out Iraizoz's header, after the stopper came forward at a free-kick during added time, for what appeared to be an offside decision against Aymeric Laporte.


There was still time for Malaga keeper Carlos Kameni to upend Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz which the referee did not see. Malaga had taken the lead after 35 minutes when Luis Alberto knocked home the rebound after Iraizoz saved his spot kick.

However, the home side had to hang on in the final stages following red cards for Duda and Vitorino Antunes.

Valencia substitute Lucas Orban grabbed a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw at Sevilla after Rodrigo de Paul was given a red card within two minutes of coming on to make his debut.

Aleix Vidal had put Sevilla ahead before the break as he slotted home the rebound after his first shot was blocked by keeper Diego Alves.

Valencia reinforced their squad in the close season and have high hopes ahead of the expected takeover of the club by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, but apart from Pablo Piatti's first-half shot that hit both posts they caused few problems.

Vitolo could have added to Sevilla's lead but he shot wide after picking up a loose ball in the area and then De Paul, having just come off the bench, was dismissed after 65 minutes for elbowing Vidal in the face.

Valencia looked like they were heading for defeat before Orban, brought on for the final 10 minutes, bundled the ball over the line from close range to make the perfect start to his career at the Mestalla.

Granada's Ruben Rochina and Jean-Sylvain Babin scored in the second half to earn a 2-1 win over promoted Deportivo la Coruna, who had taken the lead through Cavaleiro after 20 minutes.

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