Soldado magic spurs Valencia

Soldado magic spurs Valencia

Valencia’s Roberto Soldado exults after scoring against Racing Santander  during their Spanish League clash on Saturday. AFP

Unai Emery's side, who finished a distant third behind Barcelona and Real Madrid last season, were ahead in the first minute when Soldado slotted home a rebound following a fierce Pablo Hernandez strike.

Racing were level six minutes later when the Valencia captain nodded the ball into his own goal from a corner, and Lautaro Acosta then finished off a fine breakaway to make it 2-1 to the visitors in the 14th minute.

Adrian gave Racing a two-goal cushion 11 minutes after the break before Valencia's French defender Adil Rami pulled a goal back a minute later. Soldado made amends for his earlier blunder by scoring twice in two minutes, including a last-gasp winner, to snatch a rousing victory that will lift the club following the midweek departure of Spain international Juan Mata to Chelsea.

In the opening game of the season earlier on Saturday, Real Sociedad held on with 10 men to secure a 2-1 win at Sporting Gijon, who also had a player sent off late on.

Granada stumbled in their first match back in the top flight since 1976 when they were beaten 1-0 at home by fellow promoted side and Andalucian rivals Real Betis.

On Sunday afternoon, a new-look Atletico Madrid suffered a setback in their opening La Liga match of the season when they squandered several chances and twice struck the post in a 0-0 draw at home to Osasuna.

In brilliant sunshine at a festive Calderon, midfielder Eduardo Salvio was guilty of poor finishing and curled an effort off the upright in the first half, while former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes hit the post with a powerful swerving shot shortly after the break.

Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez pulled off a string of fine saves to deny the home side and Atletico were fortunate substitute Nino opted for power rather than precision in blasting wide from close range at the death.

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