La Liga results: Zaza scores in Valencia win; Alaves beaten by Gabriel’s goal for Leganes

Leganes 1-0 Alaves

Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas

    • Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas
  • Simone Zaza was the match-winner as Valencia started their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 home victory over 10-man Las Palmas.

    The former Juventus and West Ham forward struck after 22 minutes when Carlos Soler rolled the ball into his path on the edge of the penalty area.

    Zaza finished with a powerful side-foot which gave Leandro Chichizola no chance in the visitors’ goal.

    Alen Halilovic should have equalised two minutes later but he fired tamely at Valencia goalkeeper Neto and it got a lot more difficult for Las Palmas when Croatian midfielder Halilovic was sent off after 34 minutes, receiving a straight red card for catching Jose Gaya with a high foot.

    Valencia’s impressive football should have put the game beyond Las Palmas in the second half, but Chichizola made excellent saves to deny Joao Cancelo and Zaza before substitute Santi Mina’s header hit a post in the final seconds.

    • Leganes 1-0 Alaves

    Gabriel’s close-range strike settled the first game of the new La Liga season for Leganes as they beat Alaves1-0.

    The Brazilian struck in the 24th minute after Miguel Angel Guerrero’s free-kick took a deflection and Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco could only push the ball into his path.

    In doing so, Gabriel became the first Brazilian since Atletico Madrid midfielder Juninho in 1997 to score the opening goal of a La Liga season.

    Alaves had wasted a great chance to take a 17th-minute lead when home defender Diego Rico flattened Burgui in the penalty area.

    Manu Garcia sent a weak spot-kick straight at Ivan Cuellar, who was able to catch the ball for his third successive penalty save in LaLiga.

    Few chances were created in the second half with Leganes content to defend their 1-0 lead, although Burgui gave them a late scare when his powerful 25-yard drive clipped the top of the crossbar.

    Spanish Super Cup Second leg – Asensio and Benzema strike as Real beat Barcelona to clinch Super Cup

    Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (Agg 5-1)

    Real Madrid produced a dominant display in the Spanish Super Cup second leg to beat Barcelona 2-0 on the night and lift the trophy after a 5-1 aggregate win.

    Real Madrid were without their two most expensive players as Ronaldo began a five-game ban for pushing a referee and Bale was dropped to the bench to make way for 21-year-old Marco Asensio.

    Marco Asensio, who also scored in the 3-1 first-leg win, gave them an early lead with an excellent 25-yard strike.

    And Karim Benzema flicked up Marcelo’s cross and turned defender Samuel Umtiti to fire home a second with Barcelona rarely looking like coming back.

    Real eased off in the second half, with the cup practically wrapped up, and Barca improved slightly as a result, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hitting the woodwork.

    In less than two years in charge, Zinedine Zidane has led Real to two Champions Leagues, and the 2016-17 La Liga title.

    Kevin-Prince Boateng leaves Las Palmas by mutual consent

    Las Palmas have released Kevin-Prince Boateng after reaching an agreement to terminate his contract following the player’s request to leave the La Liga club due to “irreversible personal reasons.”

    The announcement comes just three days before Las Palmas open their league campaign away to Valencia and just three months after the 30-year-old midfielder signed a three-year contract extension with the club.

    A Las Palmas statement read:

    “UD Las Palmas and Prince Boateng have reached an agreement to terminate the contract that linked the player to the club for the next three seasons. Irreversible personal reasons have led to this unexpected exit.

    “The player alongside club president Miguel Angel Ramirez will give a news conference this afternoon to bid farewell to the fans.”

    German tabloid Bild reports that Eintracht Frankfurt hope to complete a deal for Boateng, who has already played in the Bundesliga for Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

    “He’s certainly on our radar,” Eintracht coach Niko Kovac said. “We lost [Marco] Fabian [with a back injury] and are scouting the market.”

    Boateng signed a one-year contract with Las Palmas last summer after being released by AC Milan.

    He arrived in Spain eager to prove his worth after making just one league start during a second spell with Milan, whom he joined in January 2016 from Bundesliga side Schalke.

    Boateng was Las Palmas’ leading scorer with 10 goals and has also set up four more in 28 league appearances, 25 as a starter, last season.

    The former Ghana international said after putting pen to paper on a contract until June 2020 with Las Palmas that he had turned down several offers this summer to remain at the club, where he was “very happy.”

    Las Palmas president Ramirez thanked Boateng in May for turning down lucrative offers from other European clubs that would have seen the player move closer to Milan, where his wife and child live.

    However, Boateng has now reconsidered that decision.

    The statement continued:

    “The player’s personal situation has precipitated his departure. Boateng will continue his sporting career in a place that will allow him to be closer to his family.

    “The club wishes to thank the player for his professionalism during his season with us and especially for the gesture he made when he signed a new contract when he had better financial offers from important European clubs.

    Las Palmas wishes him success and will always be grateful for the season he had with us.”

    Spanish Super Cup – First leg result: Ronaldo sees red as Real Madrid beat Barcelona in Camp Nou

    Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid

    Cristiano Ronaldo went from hero to villain in the space of two minutes as Real Madrid won the first El Clasico of the season with a 3-1 victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

    An incident-packed second half at the Nou Camp saw Gerard Pique’s own goal put Real ahead before Lionel Messi equalised from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez was fouled by Keylor Navas.

    Ronaldo, on as a substitute, was booked for taking his shirt off to celebrate his spectacular strike three minutes later.

    That was followed swiftly by a second yellow card for diving following a challenge by Samuel Umtiti and an angry Ronaldo appeared to push referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea on his way off the field.

    Marco Asensio wrapped up the victory for 10-man Real with a brilliant finish in the 90th minute, condemning new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde to defeat in his first competitive match at the Nou Camp.

    The two sides will play the second leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

    Barcelona grant Neymar permission to discuss with PSG ahead of world record move

    Barcelona forward Neymar has been given permission to discuss a world record 222m euro (£198m) transfer with Paris St-Germain.

    The Brazil international told his team-mates at training on Wednesday that he wanted to leave the Spanish club, and spent 40 minutes at Barcelona’s training ground.

    He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde not to train and to “sort out his future”.

    A Barca club statement read: “Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club’s offices. “Faced with this position, the club has informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of 1 July totals 222million euros, which will have to be deposited in its entirety.

    “Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the club has once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved. “The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions.”

    The 25-year-old contract has a release clause set at 222m euros, which PSG are understood to be ready to pay.

    The latest development comes two days after it emerged Barca were ready to push for a Financial Fair Play investigation if PSG signed Neymar.

    That came after La Liga president Javier Tebas threatened, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo,a legal response against the former Ligue 1 champions if European football’s governing body failed to take action.

    He also said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had been made aware of the Spanish league’s intentions.

    Neymar flew back to Spain from Dubai on Tuesday following Barcelona’s pre-season tour in the United States, after attending a series of promotional events in China earlier this week.

    One of Neymar’s agents, Wagner Ribeiro, has now arrived in Paris, according to his Twitter account.

    A spokesperson for La Liga president Javier Tolbas told Sky Sports News they would not accept payment for Neymar’s €222m (£198m) release clause over “doubts that this money is in accordance with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules”.

    However, UEFA sources have since confirmed that Neymar’s release clause cannot be blocked by La Liga.

    Neymar moved to Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 for £48.6m, and signed a new five-year deal with the 24-time Spanish champions in 2016.

    The Brazilian has scored 105 goals for Barcelona, helping them to two league titles, three Copas del Rey and a Champions League crown.

    Jesus Navas rejoins Sevilla from Manchester City

    Former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas has returned to Sevilla on a four-year deal, the LaLiga club have announced.

    The 31-year-old Spain international has signed contract until the summer of 2021 after being released by City at the end of last season.

    Sevilla announced the move after posting a video on YouTube of a man appearing to be ‘kidnapped’ by masked men, bundled into the boot of a car and then driven to the club’s ground, where Navas removed a hood and smiled at the surroundings.

    A statement on sevillafc.es read: “Sevilla FC have reached an agreement with Jesus Navas, with the player signing a deal on Tuesday keeping him at the club for the next four seasons.”

    Navas joined City from Sevilla in 2013 and went on to make 183 appearances and helped the club to one Premier League title and two League Cups.

    He joined Sevilla as a 15-year-old and progressed to the first team, winning two UEFA Cups and two Copa del Reys.

    Navas suffered from homesickness earlier in his career that forced him to skip pre-season tours and turn down international call-ups.

    The winger took counselling to solve the problem and was able to be a part of Spain’s victorious World Cup squad in South Africa in 2010, before leaving Andalusia for Manchester three years later.

    Navas will be presented to Sevilla’s fans on Wednesday evening at Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

    Sevilla sign Manchester City winger Nolito on a three-year deal


    Sevilla have announced the signing of Spain forward Nolito from Manchester City.
    The 30-year-old has agreed a three-year deal and returns to La Liga after one underwhelming season at the Etihad Stadium.
    Sevilla are reported to have paid £7.9m for Nolito, who joined Pep Guardiola’s City for £13.8m from Celta Vigo last summer.

    The 30-year-old appeared in 30 games in all competitions in his only season with Man City, scoring six goals. He started only nine games in the Premier League and now returns to La Liga, where he starred for Celta Vigo from 2013-16.

    Nolito had another three seasons on his City contract but said in May that he was “crazy about returning to Spain.” 

    “I hope I can leave, whether it’s on loan, a transfer or whatever. I have several teams I’d prefer to join,” Nolito said.
    Last month he claimed his “daughter’s face has changed  colour”because of the English weather.
    He underwent a medical with Sevilla on Sunday and is now expected to join up with the squad on their pre-season trip to Japan.

    Sevilla have been busy this summer as they prepare for the Champions League playoff round, with Luis Muriel, Ever Banega, Guido Pizarro and Sebastian Corchia already joining, while Vitolo, Adil Rami and Vicente Iborra have all departed.
    The club have also expressed interest in bringing back Jesus Navas, whose contract recently expired at Man City, while Stevan Jovetic, another former City player, is expected to leave.