Madrid, Barcelona lose

Madrid, September 1:

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona lost their opening matches of the new Spanish league season on Sunday. Defending champions Madrid were beaten 2-1 by Deportivo La Coruna and have not won at Riazor Stadium since 1991. Miguel Angel “Mista” Ferrer and Albert Lopo scored Deportivo’s goals, while Ruud van Nistelrooy scored for Madrid.

Barcelona lost 0-1 to promoted Numancia. Mario Martinez scored the lone goal in the 13th minute with a fierce shot past goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Also on Sunday, it was: Atletico Madrid 4, Malaga 0; Sporting Gijon 1, Getafe 2; Racing Santander 1, Sevilla 1; Athletic Bilbao 1, Almeria 3; and Real Betis 0, Recreativo Huelva 1. On Saturday, Valencia beat Mallorca 3-0, and Espanyol edged Valladolid 1-0.


LONDON: Darren Bent secured Tottenham’s first point of the season in a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Chelsea, and Liverpool’s perfect start to the season was ended by a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa. Juliano Belletti capped Chelsea’s early domination with a 28th-minute goal. But Bent scored the equaliser in first-half injury time.

Three days after leaving Chelsea, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips scored two goals on his return to Manchester City in a 3-0 victory over Sunderland.

Stephen Ireland put the visitors ahead in first-half injury time. Wright-Phillips scored in the 50th, latching onto Brazil striker Jo’s pass across goal and sidefooting into an empty net. It took Wright-Phillips, who left City in 2005, just eight minutes to add another, connecting with Michael Ball’s lofted pass and flicking past Craig Gordon.

Italian Serie A

ROME: Ronaldinho sparkled on his debut but could not prevent AC Milan slumping to a dismal 2-1 home defeat to Serie A newboys Bologna in their opener match.

It was a poor start for scudetto hopefuls as AS Roma were held 1-1 at home to 10-man Napoli while Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge of Inter Milan ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Sampdoria.

In Milan, Carlo Ancelotti handed debuts to Gianluca Zambrotta and Mathieu Flamini as well as Ronaldinho. Marco Di Vaio gave the visitors a shock lead in the 18th minute. Ronaldinho was at the centre of everything and it was his cross that Massimo Ambrosini headed home to restore parity in the 41st. Francesco Valiani won it for Bologna 11 minutes from time with a thunderbolt from 25 yards out into the top righthand corner.